Throughout history most of a veterinarian’s clientele was farm livestock (large animals). Dogs, cats and other household pets made up such a small amount of their daily business there was very little reason to study up on it. Even the beloved European veterinarian, James Herriott, counted on the Yorkshire farmers for a majority of his country clinics business. In 1884 that began to change when the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school opened the United States very first clinic specializing in the veterinary needs of dogs. In 2001 the United States of America had over 28,000 veterinarians who specialize in small animals.
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It is fitting that Pennsylvania opened the very first vet clinic that specialized in the veterinary needs of dogs, the state has had a long running bond with the canine population, starting with the states founders, William Penn’s, Great Dane. A portrait of this Great Dane standing beside his master can be seen hanging in the governor’s reception room of the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania considers the Great Dane the state dog. Owners of Great Dane’s appreciate the breed’s faithfulness, intelligence, beauty, courage, and tolerance. Great Danes stand approximately 30-34 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 120-200 pounds, people who have Great Danes believe that the larger the dog the better. Because of their large size Great Danes are not an exceptionally long lived dog; their bodies simply aren’t designed to last very long. Many Great Danes suffer from heart problems, bloat, twisted intestines, and tail injuries. Some Great Danes have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Great Dane owners are not advised to take their Great Danes jogging until the puppy is at least one year old. Dogs featured in ancient Greek art work bear a strong resemblance to today’s Great Dane. German hunters were especially impressed with the dog’s ability at hunting bears and wild boars and bred the best great Danes to the best Greyhounds which helped create a leaner more agile breed.
Dog owners in the state of Pennsylvania are more then eligible to purchase pet health insurance for their dogs from the American Kennel Club. The American Kennel club estimates that the average pet owner who purchases an essential pet health care insurance plan (the essential health insurance plan is the name of the AKC’s lowest health insurance policy) through them will only pay approximately sixty-eight cents per day. Pet owners who purchase pet health insurance through the American Kennel Club have four different types of health insurance plans to choose from. The American Kennel Club Insurance company is happy to include cats into its health care insurance program. The American Kennel club is so confident that pet owners will love the benefits of purchasing pet health care insurance through them that they proudly offer owners the opportunity to test drive their insurance policy free for sixty days. Pet owners who insure their pets with pet health care insurance offered by the American Kennel Club are allowed to decide if they would like to receive a monthly statement in the mail or if they would rather pay for the an entire years worth of insurance in one lump sum and then not have to worry about it for twelve months.