The Truth About Your Dog’s Droppings and the Effect on Your Lawn

We all have a special place in our hearts for our pooches. However, most dog owners would tell you their daily droppings aren’t the most fun thing to deal with. In fact, picking up Fido’s mess is a top annoyance for many Americans. But picking up dog poop is an essential part of keeping both your lawn and yourself healthy. Learn more of the truth about your dog’s droppings and the effect on your lawn with these common myths:

Myth #1: It’s Just Poop, It Can’t Make Me Sick

Truth: Dog waste contains millions of bacteria that could lead to some severe health problems. Allowing dog poop to stay on your lawn creates a higher risk of getting sick. Dogs and other animals (including yourself!) could step in the poop and transit tiny particles to other areas of the home. Carpets, furniture, and other spots where your dog walks can contain harmful bacteria. Common problems associated with dog feces include intestinal issues, diarrhea, and kidney disorders.

Dog poop can also pose problems for your dog and other pets. Roundworms and tapeworms are often found in dog poop which can spread to other animals. This intestinal issue can make your pets and you sick.

Myth #2: Dog Waste Fertilizes My Lawn

Truth: While you may see more growth in certain areas of the lawn where your dog likes to relieve himself, dog poop does more damage than good. Dog urine is high in nitrogen and can cause dead patches of grass. Dog poop also creates an unsightly “landmine” situation where you and your family can’t enjoy the lawn that you’ve worked so hard to maintain.

Dog waste isn’t a good fertilizer like cow manure. Spreading dog waste onto a garden can contaminate the produce.

Myth #3: Heartworm Spreads Through Dog Poop

Truth: Heartworm is a horrible disease that has become a significant problem for many pet owners. Although it would be easy to blame dog poop for spreading the parasite, heartworm actually spreads through mosquito bites.

Myth #4: My Neighbors Don’t Really Care

Truth: Your neighbors do care! Many homeowners associations will fine an owner who doesn’t pick up after Fido since the poop creates an eyesore for the neighborhood. Dog poop also produces an unpleasant smell which can cause a big stink with your neighbors. About 10 million tons of dog poop is not picked up each year creating a germy, unsightly damper on the environment. It’s one of the biggest contributors to urban watershed pollution in the country. The feces gets swept away by stormwater and contaminates creeks, rivers, and ponds. This issue has created division among many neighbors who find dog poop in their yard… especially if they don’t own a dog.

Myth #5: It’s Not A Big Deal

Truth: The fact is that dog poop left on the lawn can become an eyesore for your home. Those who pass by may think that the inside of your home is also not cared for. If you’re trying to sell your home, allowing dog poop to pile up in the backyard is a major turn off and can significantly reduce the value of your home.

Now that we have debunked the common myths about dog poop and your lawn, what can you do to keep your lawn healthy?

Pick It Up On A Regular Basis

We’re all busy so you may not have time to pick up dog poop every day. So set a goal of picking up poop every three days to keep the lawn clean. This will help keep the smell down in the yard as well as allow the grass to have a chance to bounce back. This is an excellent job for older kids, like teenagers, who understand good hygiene after coming in contact with fecal matter.

Take Bags Along

Walking your dog is a significant part of owning a pet. Daily walks help the dog get exercise and can cut down on hyperactivity while inside the home. Make sure you always have a bag with you on walks in case your pup relieves himself on someone else’s lawn. If you forgot your bag, make a note of the mess and make sure to come back after the walk to clean up after your pet.

Where to Discard Poop

Many homeowners end up gathering the poop and throwing it in the trash. This can lead to a stinky home if forgotten or left in a trash can indoors. Of course, you could always flush the poop when you get home. Some pet care companies have introduced new biodegradable pet waste bags that will slowly decompose.

Create A Designated Spot

When bringing home a new dog or puppy, consider training them to only poop in one area of the yard. This can cut down on your need to hunt for poop all over the yard and make it easier to care for your lawn and your pet. Pet proofing your yard and garden is also a good way to keep your dog safe when left outdoors unsupervised.

Properly Care for Your Lawn

For those areas of the lawn that your dog visits often, diluting the spots with water. This will help break up the concentration of nitrogen and allow your grass a chance to recover. Other options include spreading lime over the lawn to help neutralize the acidic parts. Reseed bare spots where the grass has died and consider adding fertilizer to help lawn growth.

Mometamax (Mometasone; Gentamicin; Clotrimazole) Otic Suspension for Dogs and Cats

Overview of Mometamax for Dogs and Cats

Mometamax is a medication to treat ear infections in dogs and cats. Otitis externa (outer ear infections) commonly include infection with both bacteria and yeast organisms. Many medications designed to treat these infections will include multiple medications to treat all aspects of the infection. You can learn more about otitis externa in these articles from the Petplace library: go to Otitis Externa (Ear Infections) in Dogs and Otitis Externa (Ear Infections) in Cats.

Mometamax contains three medications to treat your pet’s otitis:

  • Mometasone – a synthetic steroid that will help reduce inflammation in the ear canal. Inflammation is a large source of the pain associated with otitis, this will help your pet become comfortable more quickly.
  • Gentamicin – an aminoglycoside-type antibiotic that will treat a wide variety of bacteria types found in ear infections.
  • Clotrimazole – an antifungal medication used to treat infections caused by fungi (yeasts and molds). It is effective in the treatment of the common skin and ear yeast Malassezia pachydematitis and in control of the skin fungi (dermatophytes), Microsporum, Candida, and Trichophyton. The drug is also used occasionally for treatment of fungus infection of the nasal cavity.

Mometamax is specifically used to treat otitis externa caused by susceptible strains of yeast (Malassezia pachydermatis) and bacteria (Pseudomonas, coagulase-positive staphylococci, Enterococcus faecalis, Proteus mirabilis, and beta-hemolytic streptococci).

Brand Names of Mometamax for Dogs and Cats

  • Mometamax® – Merck
  • Similar multi-drug products include:
    • Otomax Ointment (Intervet-Schering-Plough) which includes Gentamicin sulfate, betamethasone valerate and clotrimazole
    • Posatex (Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health) which includes Orbifloxacin, posaconazole, mometasone furoate monohydrate
    • Tresaderm (Merial) which includes neomycin sulfate, dexamethasone, and thiabendazole
    • Surolan (Vetoquinol) which includes miconazole nitrate, polymyxin B sulfate, and prednisolone acetate
    • Claro® Suspension which includes florfenicol, terbinafine, and mometasone Furoate
    • Generic formulations which contain neomycin, polymyxin B, and hydrocortisone (generics)

Uses of Mometamax in Dogs and Cats

  • Mometamax is prescribed to treat or control infections caused by susceptible yeast and bacterial ear infections (otitis externa). The product is currently labeled for use in dogs only but has been used “off-label” in cats also. This means it is believed to be safe but has not been directly researched in cats.
  • Mometamax is not effective against infections caused by viruses or parasites (such as worms or mites).
  • Identification of the cause of an ear infection should be undertaken by your veterinarian.
  • For more information on ear infections, please read Otitis Externa in Dogs or Otitis Externa in Cats.

Precautions and Adverse Side-Effects of Mometamax

  • The combination of clotrimazole, gentamicin, and mometasone found in Mometamax® is generally safe for use in dogs. It can also be used in cats but has not been labeled by the manufacturer for this usage at this time.
  • Your pet should be examined by your veterinarian before starting this medication, it should not be used in animals with a ruptured eardrum (tympanic membrane).
  • Signs of allergy to Mometamax® may include skin reactions, hives, and redness of the treated area.
  • Use of Mometamax® has been associated with partial hearing loss in a small number of geriatric dogs. It can be temporary in some dogs.
  • If you notice hearing loss, head tilt or dizziness in your pet undergoing treatment with Mometamax® stop the treatment and call your veterinarian immediately.
  • The steroid component of Mometamax®, mometasone has the advantage of having a lower risk of systemic corticosteroid signs than some other ear medications.
  • Do not use this drug in pregnant dogs.

How Mometamax® is Supplied

  • Mometamax® is available in various size bottles (7.5gm, 15 gm, 30 gm, and 215gm)
  • The ear canal should be cleaned and dried before the topical use of this product. It should be confirmed that the eardrum is intact prior to using this medication.
  • It is recommended to clip the excessive hair away from the area to be treated.

Dosing Information for Mometamax®

  • Mometamax® should only be used under the direction of a veterinarian. It may not be safe to administer the clotrimazole, gentamicin, and betamethasone combination to pets with certain medical problems.
  • The typical dose of Mometamax® ranges from 4 to 8 drops in the ear canal.
  • Administer 4 drops to dogs weighing less than 30 pounds once a day for 7 days, or as indicated by your veterinarian.
  • Apply 8 drops to dogs weighing more than 30 pounds once a day for 7 days.
  • Here is an article on How to Administer Ear Medication to Your Dog that may be helpful.
  • The duration of administration depends on the severity of the infection, response to the medication, and the presence of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription.

Resources & References

  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XIV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology, Miller WH, Griffin CE, Campbell KL. 7th edition
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Mometamax gentamicin sulfate, mometasone furoate monohydrate, and clotrimazole suspension [product information]. Madison, NJ, USA.
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition
  • Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Ettinger & Felman

Cytopoint (Lokivetmab or CADI) for Dogs

Overview of Cytopoint for Dogs

  • Cytopoint®, also known by the names Lokivetmab and Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic (commonly abbreviated as CADI), is a monoclonal antibody treatment that targets and deactivates canine IL-31.
  • Canine IL-31 is a cytokine involved in sending the itch signal to the brain. Therefore, Cytopoint® is effective at controlling pruritus (itching) in dogs with allergies. Because this drug focuses on canine IL-31 – it is a dog only product. Cytopoint® not effective in cats.
  • Cytopoint® is not considered a corticosteroid or an antihistamine but has effects that can be similar and has been shown to be a great drug alternative to antihistamine drugs and steroids such as prednisone, dexamethasone, depomedtrol, and triamcinolone. Cytopoint® has been very effective in controlling itching without the side effects.
  • Cytopoint® is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
    Studies have shown that CYTOPOINT started controlling itch within 1 day of the injection and can keep the itching controlled for 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Cytopoint® has been specifically approved and labeled for use in dogs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Brand Names and Other Names of Cytopoint®

  • This drug is registered for use in dogs only.
  • Veterinary formulations: Cytopoint®. Cytopoint® is also known as Lokivetmab and Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic and commonly abbreviated as CADI).

Uses of Cytopoint® for Dogs

  • Cytopoint® has been used in the treatment of allergies such as atopy (Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs) and those allergies caused by fleas, food or other contact substances.

Precautions and Side Effects of Cytopoint for Dogs

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, Cytopoint® may cause side effects in some dogs.
  • Cytopoint® should not be used in dogs with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Cytopoint has been shown to be safe if given with antibiotics, vaccines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or allergen immunotherapy.
  • There have been limited long-term studies to identify side effects. The most common side effect from Cytopoint® noted to date has been lethargy for the first 1 -2 days following an injection.
  • There is some evidence that some dogs may show a diminished response to Cytopoint® over time suggesting that they are developing antibodies to Cytopoint®.

How Cytopoint® Is Supplied

  • Cypoint® is available in in single-use 1-mL vials in four concentrations: 10, 20, 30 or 40 mg/vials. This drug is dosed by weight with some dogs getting a combination of vials to active the appropriate amount of medication.

Dosing Information of Cytopoint® for Dogs

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • In dogs for an anti-itching effect, Cytopoint® is generally given once every 4 to 8 weeks as a subcutaneous injection.
  • Some dogs will need year-round continuous treatment and others seasonally and only during flare-ups.
  • Cytopoint® is most commonly dosed at 2 mg/kg body weight (0.9 mg/pound). For convenience, the manufacturer provides a dosing table by weight to be used as a guideline.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication, and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed otherwise by your veterinarian. Even if your pet appears to be feeling better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.

Resources & References for Cytopoint

  • Plumb’s Veterinary Handbook by Donald C. Plumb, 9th Edition
  • ASPCA Pet Poison Hotline
  • Current Veterinary Therapy XV, Bonagura and Twedt
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. Mometamax gentamicin sulfate, mometasone furoate monohydrate, and clotrimazole suspension [product information]. Madison, NJ, USA.
  • Pet Poison Helpline
  • Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology, Miller WH, Griffin CE, Campbell KL. 7th edition

11 Pet Dangers and Concerns for Pregnant Women

Your pets are an important part of the family and can continue to be a big part as your family grows. When there is a pregnant woman in the home, some precautions should be taken with handling your pets medications, supplements, and waste. The risk of handling cat waste/litter boxes is handled in a separate article. For more information on cats and pregnant women, see the following article in the PetPlace library: Are cats dangerous to pregnant women?

The focus of this article is medications and treatments your pet may receive and cautions that should be taken. You should always ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns about the treatments your pet is receiving while you are pregnant. This article is not meant to replace any advice given by your doctor, you should also let them know you have pets and what medications they are taking so they can discuss these topics. We tried to come up with the most common exposures you may have during pregnancy- if there is a medication prescribed that is not listed, check out our Drug Library to find out more information. Most of the concerns with the following medications can be avoided by wearing gloves when handling the medication and washing hands immediately afterward or having someone else in the house medicate your pet.

1. Chemotherapy: There are many different drugs used in chemotherapy in veterinary medicine and the safety margins will differ, it is important to discuss the specific drug used with your veterinarian. In general, the biggest danger is the elimination of the chemotherapy drug which is commonly in urine. Pregnant owners, those who are trying to conceive, or breastfeeding should avoid handling chemotherapy and should avoid their pet’s waste (urine, feces, and vomit) for 72 hours after the last treatment. For more information on Chemotherapy, go to Chemotherapy Treatment Procedure for Dogs.

2. Chloramphenicol: A broad spectrum antibiotic that is usually reserved for serious infections or those that have failed to respond to other antibiotics. It can cause bone marrow suppression, vomiting, and nausea in humans. All owners should wear gloves when giving this medication to their pets, pregnant and nursing women should use extra caution to avoid exposure. For more information on Chloramphenicol, see our drug library article: Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®) for Dogs and Cats.

3. Cyclosporine: Immunosuppressant medication commonly used for severe allergies and skin conditions as well as autoimmune conditions such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). Cyclosporine will also suppress the immune system in humans and contact with this medication should be avoided by pregnant women. For more information on Cyclosporine, go to Cyclosporine (Atopica®, Optimmune®, Sandimmune®) for Cats and Dogs.

4. Diethylstilbestrol (DES): Diethylstilbestrol is used in female dogs for hormone-responsive incontinence and can be used to avoid pregnancy in accidental mismating although the second use is controversial and not commonly recommended. This drug is a synthetic estrogen, a hormone important in female reproduction. Exposure to pregnant dogs or humans is not recommended. This medication is not used in cats. For more information on Diethylstilbestrol, go to Diethylstilbestrol (DES) for Female Dogs.

5. Dinoprost (prostaglandin-F2alpha; PGF2; Lutalyse®): Dinoprost is a salt of the naturally occurring prostaglandin F2alpha that can be used in cats and dogs to treat uterine infections (pyometra) or induce abortions. This drug should not be handled by pregnant women at all. Women of childbearing age and people with asthma or other respiratory problems should use extreme caution in handling these solutions. This drug is easily absorbed through the skin and can cause uterine contractions and bronchospasm in exposed people.

6. Mitotane (Lysodren) and Trilostane (Vetoryl): Both Mitotane and Trilostane are used to treat hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) by interfering with the hormone production in the adrenal gland. It can reduce the production of prostaglandin and should not be used in pregnant animals, pregnant women should also use caution when handling these medications. For more information on treatment of Cushing’s disease and Mitotane or Trilostane therapy, see the articles in our drug and medical library: Mitotane (Lysodren®, o’p’DDD) for Dogs and Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Syndrome) in Dogs.

7. Methimazole (Tapazole, Felimazole): Methimazole is used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) in cats. This medication interferes with thyroid function, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. It is available in tablets and a transdermal ointment that can be rubbed onto your cat’s skin, the transdermal ointment would not be recommended with a pregnant woman in the house. Pregnant or nursing women or women who may become pregnant should wear gloves when handling tablets, litter or bodily fluids of treated cats. For more information on Methimazole, see the article in our drug library: Methimazole (Tapazole®, Felimazole®) for cats.

Top 5 BEST Dog Halloween Costumes

It’s estimated that 15 percent of Americans will buy costumes for their pets and will spend almost three times more on costumes for children than they will for pets. The business of pet costumes has been growing.  It’s no longer about a simple bandana or  Santa hat on your dog.

When it comes to dressing up your dog in a costume, some pet costume options are just better. Our Top 5 Dog Costume list is filled with the most hilarious, adorable and favorite pet costumes out there!

Our Top 10 list was compiled by conducting interviews with pet owners just like you. Plus, we vetted the costumes based on quality and actual customer reviews from Chewy.com.

#1: Prisoner Dog & Cat Costume

With the Frisco Prisoner Dog & Cat Costume, your pooch or kitty will be the cutest jail-pet around. Dress up you fur-gitive with this two-piece costume that includes a prisoner’s hat complete with an adjustable chin strap for a secure fit, and a pull-over style shirt with bars for an authentic look. Perfect for all shapes and sizes.

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $9.99 with a special $3.00 discount
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#2:  Werewolf Dog & Cat Costume

Full moon or not, your furry one can get a whole lot furrier wearing the Frisco Werewolf Dog & Cat Costume. This three-piece werewolf costume comes complete with fluffy hands, “ripped” pants, plaid shirt, furry hat, and removable cape. Perfect for themed photo shoots!

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $12.99
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#3:  Hotdog and Ketchup Costume

Hold the dog, because your pooch or kitty is actually the hotdog in the Frisco Hotdog Ketchup Dog & Cat Costume. Dress up your pal in between two plush sesame-seed buns and a generous squirt of squishy ketchup on the back. It’s super easy to put on thanks to the Velcro straps on the belly and the neck.

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $8.99
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#4:  Red Riding Hood Costume

Whether she’s a wolf or just a sweet little girl on her way to grandma’s house, your precious pup will bring the fairy tale to life with the Rubie’s Costume Company Red Riding Hood Dog Costume. She’s sure to turn plenty of heads strolling through the woods or at a pet parade

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $12.00
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

#5:  Devil Dog Costume

Give your little angel a new look with the Zack & Zoey Sequin Devil Dog Costume. A must-have for your Halloween party—or just a share-worthy photo op—your friends will love the sparkling cape that is decked out in sequins for a devilishly cute effect.

  • Rated 5 Stars
  • Only $15.99
  • 1-2 day free shipping option
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Click here to order in time for Halloween. 

 

 

How Much Should You Expect For Dog Vet Costs?

Over the decade from 2006 to 2016, the amount of money pet owners in the United States spent on pets nearly doubled from $38.5 billion to $66.8 billion dollars. Not million, but billion. These pet care costs include one time costs, annual costs and unexpected costs. We will review dog vet costs in different parts of the country, give you an idea of costs for some common procedures, and provide ideas on how to save money on dog vet costs.

Dog Care Costs

Most costs relating to having a dog can be broken down into one of the following three categories:

One-time costs:

  • Adoption or purchase costs. These are costs associated with obtaining your pet. This can be the cost of purchasing your dog from a breeder or adoption fees at your local humane society.
  • Core supplies. These are things you can buy and use forever that include leashes, crates, carriers, feeding bowls and dishes, pet beds, cages, collars, ID tags, grooming supplies such as brushes, combs, toothbrushes, fencing, and/or gates.
  • Initial care. Puppies require a series of vaccines and deworming medications that require more costs the first year. In addition, microchipping, spaying and neutering are additional costs incurred in the first year and are one-time costs.
  • Training. Some dogs benefit from training.

Annual costs:

  • Wellness care. Wellness, also known as preventative care, are things that are recommended to keep your dog healthy. They include vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm prevention, parasite control, annual examinations, dental cleanings, fecal exams, microchips, licenses.
  • Boarding. Costs for boarding and/or house sitting, doggie daycare, pet walkers.
  • Food and treats.
  • Supplies. There are supplies needed on a regular basis such as poop bags and toothpaste.
    Optional supplies. This includes toys, pet clothes, catnip, training classes.

Unexpected costs:

  • Medical care. Medical care costs may include treatments for problems relating to trauma, illnesses, toxin exposures, dental disease problems, ear infections, and other medical problems. This can also include ongoing costs for chronic problems such as veterinary rechecks, repeat blood testing, medications, and other care as needed.

Pet owners can spend hundreds of dollars on core supplies. Annual costs can be somewhat fixed for wellness care but can vary greatly depending on the size of your dog, quality of food you feed, and your boarding or training needs. High-quality food and boarding costs can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Some pet owners spend hundreds of dollars alone every year on toys and dog clothes.

There are different estimators on costs for wellness care, staples such as food and treats and even medical care. Here is one article on what it costs to own a dog and her is one on what it costs to own a cat.

The annual costs for most dogs generally ranges from $500/year to $800/year. Some pet owners wonder if Medicaid will cover pet care costs. Learn more about this – Does Medicaid Pays for Your Pet’s Costs?

Dog Vet Costs

There are two common categories for dog vet costs. They include costs associated with wellness care and the other is medical care for illnesses or emergencies.

  • Wellness care includes annual examinations, vaccinations, heartworm prevention, flea control, tick control medications, fecal checks, heartworm testing, microchipping, spaying and neutering, and dental cleaning.
  • Medical care includes the exam fees, diagnostic tests, and treatments for troubles such as vomiting, diarrhea, lacerations, trauma, ear infections, evaluation of skin problems, treatment for fleas, bite wounds and/or other medical problems.

The costs for wellness, medical care, and chronic illness costs are where the dollars can add up. And often these dollars are often unexpected costs.

The typical wellness dog vet visit consists of the annual examination (appointment), distemper vaccine, Bordetella vaccine, rabies vaccine, heartworm testing, fecal exam, plus prescriptions for heartworm prevention as well as flea and tick control. Other vaccines may be discussed including the canine flu (CIV) and/or Lyme vaccination depending or your vet’s recommendations and assessment of risk for your dog.

Dog vet costs vary substantially by your location and even within clinics in a geographic area. I researched costs from 5 different clinics in different parts of the country to provide the cost ranges listed below. The areas included Granville, OH; Kansas City, KS; Seffner, FL; South Orange, NJ; and Odessa, TX.

Cost ranges associated with procedures from a typical vet visit include:

  • Annual examination – $30 – $94. The average price for a veterinary visit is right around $52.
  • Distemper vaccine – $19 – $38
  • Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine – $20 – $45
  • Rabies vaccine – $14 – $42
  • Fecal testing – $17 – $38
  • Heartworm testing – $25 – $74
  • Medium-sized dog spay – $295 – $487

Costs for hospitalization and treatments such as fluid therapy, or surgery to fix a fracture can range greatly. For example, the cost to surgically fix a fractured hip by a veterinary surgeon can range from $2,500 to $8,000 depending on the extent of the injuries, size of your dog and your location in the country.

What’s the Best Pet Insurance in Regards to Cost?

There are over 13 pet insurance companies on the market in North America and it can be very confusing to understand how to choose the best pet insurance for your dog or cat based on cost and different factors that affect costs. In addition, you want a company you can trust and one that will cover your claims if your pet were to become ill or have a problem. We will cover tips on how to choose the best pet insurance in this article. As you look at costs as related to pet care costs, there are five common categories. They include:

  1. Daily needs. This includes ongoing needs that are required daily including food, litter, poop bags
  2. Core supplies. This includes leashes, collars, litter boxes, crates, pet carriers, fencing, gates, grooming supplies such as brushes, combs, dishes and bowls, toothbrushes/paste
  3. Optional supplies and needs. This includes treats, catnip, toys, climbing trees, and scratching posts, boarding, pet sitters, training and training supplies
  4. Wellness care. Also known as preventative care, this includes vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm prevention, tick prevention, heartworm testing, parasite control, annual examinations, spaying, neutering, dental cleanings, microchips, fecal evaluations, supplements
  5. Medical care. Care for problems including acute problems such as illness or problems relating to trauma as well as chronic medical care costs for ongoing care for chronic problems, medications, veterinary rechecks

The costs with food and core supplies can be reasonable but when you get into wellness care and medical care this is where the dollars can really add up. And often these dollars are unexpected costs. With the advancement in veterinary medicine, the quality of care can be very sophisticated. For example, it is not uncommon in some pets to consult with an oncology team and undergo surgery with radiation therapy for treatment of cancer.

Pet insurance can help with wellness, emergency medical care and chronic medical care costs depending on which policy you choose. To better understand what is the best pet insurance in regards to cost, it is important to first understand how pet insurance works.

What is Pet Insurance?

Let’s look at – what is insurance? Wikipedia defines insurance as “a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.”

More specifically, what is pet insurance? Pet insurance is a tool to help pet parents avoid a financial predicament in the case of unexpected medical expenses for their pet. In some capacity, pet insurance will help pay for medical care costs. How they do this, how much they cover, what they cover, and how much the insurance costs are all factors that differ from company to company and specifically depend on the policy that you choose.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

To better understand pet insurance and how to get the best pet insurance for your dog or cat, it is important to understand more about policies.

There are 7 variables to consider as you look at a pet insurance policy. These are factors that you will need to contemplate as you select the best pet insurance policy that works for you.

  1. Premium: This is the amount you pay to the insurance company to insure your pet. You can often choose monthly or annual premiums.
  2. Deductible: This is the amount of the vet bill you must pay before insurance benefits start or “kick in”. It is important to understand that some companies have per-incident deductibles while others have an annual deductible.
  3. Maximum coverage limit: This is how much money an insurance company will pay out per health issue, per year, or lifetime. Some may have a limit of $5,000 and others may have unlimited coverage.
  4. Reimbursement: This is the amount of a bill, after deductible, an insurance company will pay you.
  5. Waiting Period: Period of time you wait for your policy to kick in.
  6. Exclusions: It is also important to understand what the pet insurance company won’t cover. For example, pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions.
  7. Coverage type: Most policies cover accidents and illnesses. Many companies offer add-on policies that also cover wellness such as vaccines, flea prevention and more.

Here is a very good article that gives you specific details – on How Does Pet Insurance Work?

So… What is the BEST Pet Insurance?

The best pet insurance will provide you with the above variables that work with your budget and with your needs. It needs to be a premium that you can afford as well as a deductible, coverage limits and reimbursement that provides you with the care that works best for your pet.

How Do Dog DNA Tests Work?

Dog DNA tests are becoming more popular among dog lovers. Not only will they provide you with information about your dog’s true heritage, they can also help dog lovers to provide better care for their dogs.

Have you wondered how dog DNA tests work? These tests compare a sample of your dog’s DNA to their breed database to determine your dog’s heritage. The bigger the database used for the test, the greater the accuracy and usually the higher the cost. There are a number of different dog DNA tests on the market with varying qualities of database information to determine your dog’s heritage. There is also a variety of price ranges for these tests ranging from about $69 up to $200. When choosing a dog DNA kit, you should make your selection based on the test’s accuracy, cost and the type of results you want to achieve.

Dog DNA kits can be purchased online or at many pet retail stores.

After you purchase your dog DNA kit, read the instructions carefully. Most dog DNA test kits will require you to wait a while after your dog’s last meal before testing.

When you’re ready to test, swab the inside of your dog’s cheek using the swab in the package. Then, package the swab in the container provided in your kit and use the postage paid envelope to mail your sample back to the company’s lab as soon as possible.

Dog DNA testing is very much like human DNA testing. The companies that sell these dog DNA tests maintain a database of breed-related genetic markers that they use when performing genetic testing. After receiving your dog’s DNA sample, they run it against these profiles. By determining which breed-specific markers are present in your dog’s DNA profile, they can give you an idea about the different breeds in your dog’s ancestry.

In a few weeks, you’ll receive the results of that testing by mail or email. The length of time you will have to wait for your results depends on the type of test you use. The more data you compare, the longer it will take to complete the test. Some dog DNA tests will deliver results in as little as two weeks while others may take up to seven weeks to process your results.

The results of your dog’s DNA test will vary based on the test kit that you use. All dog DNA tests provide breed identification, but the accuracy of that information will depend on the number of breeds in the tester’s database. The more breed information available for testing, the more accurate the results will be.

Some dog DNA tests screen for genetic health conditions. Some will identify how big your young dog will grow to be. Other tests may give you information about food and environmental sensitivities. Your dog DNA test may help you to better understand your dog’s traits and behaviors. Or they may test for stress, drug sensitivities or general health information.

All dog DNA tests do not work the same way. Some dog DNA kits work much better than others, depending on the accuracy of their breed database and their ability to screen for genetic diseases.

Remember that all dog DNA tests are not created equal. Some dog DNA tests will only identify your dog’s breed, while other tests give you more information, including a complete health risk profile.

To learn more about dog DNA tests, go to What Is a Dog DNA Test? 

You may also like this article – Mixed Breed or Purebred Dogs: Which Is Right for You?

What Does Dog Genetic Testing Tell Us?

If you’ve ever owned a mixed breed dog, you’ve probably wondered what type of dog you really have. In the past, there was no way to know for sure. Today, more and more dog owners are turning to dog DNA tests to tell them more about their dog’s heritage and their health.

Dog genetic testing actually gives us the power to better care for our dogs. By having your dog’s DNA tested, you will have a better idea of the various diseases your dog may be genetically predisposed to. Armed with this information you will be better prepared to deal with it if and when the situation arises. To learn more about genetic diseases, go to Top 100 Diseases and Conditions of Dogs.

Dog genetic testing tells us what breeds our dogs are, and if you take the results to your veterinarian you can find out about potential health risks for those breeds. By being aware of these potential risk factors, your veterinarian can more closely monitor your dog for these conditions and possibly save his life. For instance, if your dog’s DNA shows that he is genetically predisposed to developing arthritis or hip dysplasia, you can help your dog fight these symptoms and give him a better quality of life by giving him joint health supplements. To learn more about hip dysplasia, go to Hip Dysplasia in Dogs.

The results of your dog DNA testing can also help you to provide a better diet for your dog. Understanding your dog’s genetic makeup can help you to select a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for his genetic makeup.

The information from your dog’s DNA test can also give you a better idea of how big your young dog will grow to be, or what breed characteristics it may have. And by understanding your dog’s breed characteristics, you can better develop a more effective training program to deal with your dog’s behavioral problems.

If you have a mixed breed dog, a dog DNA test can identify the breeds in your dog’s heritage, tracing them back to the great grandparents. It can tell you by percentage how much of each breed is present in your dog’s genetic makeup. But if your mixed breed dog has a lot of different breeds in its background, the test may not be able to accurately determine your dog’s actual heritage.

If you have a purebred, a dog DNA test can attest to its purebred status. Before DNA testing, determining the actual parents of a specific puppy was not an accurate science. People had to rely on the breeder’s records and honesty. Since dogs are in heat for several days and multiple matings are possible, puppies within the same litter can have different fathers. This has led to some disputes and even lawsuits regarding parentage. Today, with the help of DNA testing, these disputes can be readily and accurately solved.

Since 1998, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has used DNA testing to monitor dog breeding programs. To learn more, go to DNA and the American Kennel Club.

To learn more about dog DNA tests, go to What Is a Dog DNA Test?

Find out what this dog lover learned about her dog through DNA testing. Go to What Breed Am I, Asks Hazel? Check Out Her DNA Results.

How Much Is a DNA Test for a Dog?

A dog DNA test can help you to determine your dog’s heritage. It can also help you to find out about possible illnesses in your dog’s genes before the illnesses are active.

You may have asked yourself, how much is a DNA test for a dog? There are a number of different dog DNA tests on the market, ranging from about $69 to $200. You can purchase these dog DNA tests online or at many pet supply retail stores. While there are a few dog DNA test kits that are slightly cheaper, most of them have poor reliability and have received poor customer reviews.

How much is a DNA test for a dog? Remember that you get what you pay for. To help you make an informed choice, you must start by knowing that all dog DNA tests are not created equal. As a rule of thumb, the more breeds that are in a company’s database, the more expensive the test, and the greater the chance for accuracy. Some tests will provide only breed information while other tests include additional information like a predisposition to certain health conditions. You should make your choice based on your budget, the depth of information you are looking for, and the credibility of the provider.

Here is a list of some of the dog DNA tests available on the market along with their average costs.

  • Embark Dog DNA Test – $179 to $199
    This comprehensive dog DNA test is the most accurate screening for breed identification, traits, ancestry and genetic disease risk for 160 known canine genetic health conditions. Embark tests 100 times more genetic markers than its competitors – more than 200,000 genetic markers. It tests for 150 out of 187 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
  • Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit – $80 to $88
    The Wisdom Panel 3.0 kit tests cover more than 250 breeds, types, and varieties, including 99% of the 180 AKC recognized breeds. The test offers high accuracy, covering 1,800 genetic markers. However, the test only offers genetic mutation testing for two inherited health conditions.
  • Dog DNA Canine Breed Identification Test – $36
    Uncovers DNA-based insights that may help you understand your dog’s unique appearance, behaviors, and wellness needs.
  • IdentiBreed Complete Dog Breed Test – $77
    This dog DNA test gives you 7 reports in one test: canine DNA breed, genetic conditions, food intolerances, stress level, hormone levels, vitamin levels, and minerals and toxins.
  • Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit – $100
    Tests for more than 220 breeds, types, and varieties. Includes a predicted weight profile. Helps you to customize your dog’s diet and nutrition plan according to the breed’s specific needs.
  • Find My Pet DNA Dog DNA Kit – $90
    Identifies the certified dog breeds found in your dog’s DNA sample.
  • DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Kit – $69
    There are only 84 breeds in their database, which means you won’t get the same level of accuracy as you would with Wisdom Health or Embark. Also, this test does not offer genetic mutation testing for health conditions.
  • Wisdom Panel Health Canine DNA Test – $150
    Screens for more than 150 genetic health conditions. Identifies more than 250 breeds, types and varieties for better accuracy.

To learn more about dog DNA tests, go to What Is a Dog DNA Test?

You may also like this article – Mixed Breed or Purebred Dogs: Which Is Right for You?