Popular and Unique Names for Pets

Are you looking for inspiration to name a dog, cat, or other new pet?  Check out VPI’s top 10 lists for the most popular pet names based on their records.

Dogs Cats Birds and Exotics
1. Bella 1. Bella 1. Charlie
2. Bailey 2. Max 2. Max
3. Max 3. Chloe 3. Baby
4. Lucy 4. Oliver 4. Sunny
5. Molly 5. Lucy 5. Buddy
6. Buddy 6. Shadow 6. Jack
7. Daisy 7. Smokey 7. Angel
8. Maggie 8. Tiger 8. Daisy
9. Charlie 9. Charlie 9. Bella
10. Sophie 10. Tigger 10. Coco

 

Want something a little more unusual?  VPI also puts together lists of the wackiest pet names, including notables such as Stinkie Mcstinkerson, Beagle Lugosi, Beanfart, Oxxy Pawsbourne, Mittens Ninja, and Bobblehead.

The hard work of pet ownership doesn’t stop once you have a name picked out.  You also have to make sure you have all the pet supplies and resources on hand that you will need to keep your pet happy and healthy in its new home.

New Survey Shows How Far Owners Will Go for Their Pets

A new survey done by the Kroger Company shows that about one in ten dog or cat owners would be willing to spend more than $3,000 on medical procedures if it meant that their pet’s life could be saved, and some pet owners would spend even more.  The majority of those polled (61%) said they would be willing to spend between $100 and $1,000 under the same circumstances.

The survey also asked owners what they fear most with regards to their pet’s well-being.  The top responses were:

Dogs

1. Cancer (27%)

2. Hip/Knee/Leg Injury (17%)

3. Getting hit by a car (16%)

Cats

1. Kidney Disease (19%)

2.) Cancer (17%)

3.) Injuries sustained in fights with other animals (10%)

Owners were also polled about their interest in pet insurance, which can cover accidents, illnesses, routine care and pet medications.  61% of dog owners and 48% of cat owners said they would consider purchasing pet insurance if it costs under $20 a month, and at least half of pet owners said they would be interested in adding their pets to their own health insurance plans if such a thing were possible.

Pain Relief for Cats

Cats are physiologically different than dogs.  Because of this, they are more prone to developing potentially life threatening side-effects from the most common class of pain relievers used in dogs –NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). This makes keeping cats comfortable in the face of both acute (i.e. post-surgical or traumatic injury) and chronic (i.e. osteoarthritis) pain challenging.

When cats are hospitalized, veterinarians have a wide range of options to choose from regarding pain medication. But once a cat is scheduled to go home, the choices become more limited.  Below are a few of the more commonly used pain relievers for cats commonly available from retailers like http://www.vetdepot.com.  Many are also good options for dogs.

  • Buprenorphine – good  for acute and chronic pain but can get expensive with long-term use
  • Tramadol  – good  for acute and chronic pain
  • gabapentin – good for chronic pain
  • amantadine – good for chronic pain
  • Joint Supplements – good for chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis and possibly some other conditions
  • Metacam (meloxicam) – this is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that has been used in cats, but repeated use increases the risk of side effects.  It may still be an option for some individuals.

If you think your pet is in pain, talk to your veterinarian and ask if any of the aforementioned pet medications might be appropriate.

 

How to Properly Muzzle your Pet

A muzzle is an important restraining device for any pet that may be ill or injured.  Muzzles are designed to protect people from bite injuries when an ill or injured animal must be transported or examined.

Many types of muzzles are available and they can usually be purchased at your local pet store.  For dogs, there are basket/cage muzzles, cloth or nylon muzzles and leather muzzles.  Sometimes, a hard-sided Elizabethan collar with proper restraint can have the same effect as muzzling.  For cats, nylon face muzzles are available.

Materials around the house can be used as muzzles for most dogs with a medium to longer snout (these are typically difficult to use for cats or dogs with very short noses like pugs).   A leash, rolled gauze, sock or even shirt sleeve can be wrapped once around the mouth and tied behind the ears if a commercial muzzle is not available.

Any muzzle placed on an animal should not limit their breathing in any way.  It may prevent them from open-mouth panting for short periods of time, but should not restrict breathing.  A muzzle that completely closes the mouth should not be placed on an animal with nasal discharge of any kinds as it may restrict breathing.  If an animal appears to have difficulty breathing, the muzzle should be immediately removed.

Muzzles should also be used with caution for any pet that may be sick enough to vomit.  If abdominal contractions, retching or other sounds of vomiting begin, the muzzle should be removed immediately because if the animal vomits, and the material (vomitus) cannot pass out of the mouth easily, it’s possible the animal may choke on the material or aspirate vomitus into the lungs.

Cats can be a little more difficult to muzzle. Commercial cat muzzles cover the face, with a small hole in front for them to breathe through and velcro connections in the back.  With a little creativity, one can create a muzzle for a cat at home.  A small plastic cup can be used as a muzzle.  Two holes must be made just under the top rim, small enough for some gauze or string to pass through and tie.  The cup is placed (widest portion first) over the cat’s face and the string tied behind the head.  This will allow the cat to see.

Regardless of the type, you should be able to remove a muzzle quickly and easily.  When used properly, muzzles can be helpful restraining devices for protecting people from an animal that is ill, aggressive or in pain.

Is Pet Insurance Right for You?

More owners are looking into and purchasing health insurance for their pets.  Choices range from very inexpensive policies that provide some financial help when dealing with an unforeseen illness or accident to more comprehensive plans that cover preventative care and have high coverage limits.  Of course these latter policies also have higher premiums, but with a little research most pet owners can find a pet insurance plan is a good fit for them.

Here are a few things to remember when considering health insurance for your pet:

  • No policy covers all your veterinary expenses.  You will still need to have savings and/or credit available to cover deductibles, copays, and costs that exceed or are excluded from your policy.  Primarily think of insurance as a way to help deal with unexpected expenses.  Routine purchases like vaccines, heartworm prevention and flea and tick control can be budgeted for and purchased from online retailers such as vetdepot.com.
  • Know what you are buying.  All policies have exclusions, so check the fine print.
  • Preexisting conditions will not be covered, so if your dog or cat has already been diagnosed with a disease, the cost of treating it (pet medication refills, rechecks, etc.) will come out of your pocket.  Consider getting insurance when your pet is young to avoid the pitfalls associated with preexisting conditions.