Pet Insurance Blog

Wednesday January 21, 2015

Office Pet of the Week: Angel

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Angel loves people, especially her grandpa. She also adores her Kong squeaky ball, which she carries everywhere. The first thing she does in the morning is venture with it through the house, squeaking all the way!


Sunday January 18, 2015

Customer Story: Focusing on What’s Important

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“I am very glad I have an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. When Carolina became ill, I was able to focus on what was truly important, her medical care and our time together, not the cost of the care. Carolina has since passed away, and now my elder cat Seneca is facing the typical challenges many older cats experience. Again, I can focus on providing her quality care and our time together. I depend on our ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan.” –Sheryl B., Roanoke, VA

We'd love to hear if we've helped your pet. Share your story and it may be featured on our blog.


Monday January 12, 2015

How to Train Your Cat to Come When Called

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Does your cat come running when called? If you chuckled and answered no, you may want to spend some time teaching your cat this important trick. It comes in handy when you want to summon kitty for a mealtime, but can also be a lifesaver if your cat gets out of the house unexpectedly.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand a foot away from your cat and say, “Come, Whiskers!”
  2. Offer a favorite treat when your cat moves in your direction.
  3. Walk a few steps away and repeat the process.

It may take some time to get your cat to respond reliably, but practice makes perfect. Try to work with your cat once or twice a day for 5 minutes or less. Any longer, and you’ll likely lose your feline’s attention. Switch up the treats to help keep your kitty motivated.


Monday January 12, 2015

Impulse Control Games for Your Dog

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Dogs are naturally impulsive, but games like these can help them learn how to control their natural instincts and comply with cues and commands.

Wait then Fetch

This game of fetch with a challenging twist is a great way to reinforce impulse control. Here’s how it works:

  • • With your dog leashed, drop a favorite toy a couple of feet away and say, “Wait.”
  • • If your dog waits a second or two, say, “Get it!” and allow him to go after the toy.
  • • If your dog struggles, hold the leash securely. The moment your dog calms down, give the command “Get it!” and release him to fetch the prize.

After your dog brings the toy back, do it over again. As your dog gets the hang of it, gradually increase the time your four-legged friend has to wait.

Watch

This game helps train your dog to look at you first before following his impulse to grab something, like food or a toy.

  • • Show your dog a treat or toy and say, “Watch.”
  • • Hold the treat or toy still until your dog looks at you.
  • • Say, “Yes!” and give your dog the toy or treat.

In the beginning, you should reward your dog the instant he looks at you, even just a quick glance. As you continue to play this game, extend the length of time your dog needs to hold your gaze before being rewarded.


Monday January 5, 2015

Bath Time Tips

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Bath time doesn’t have to be a battle. Use these tips to make the cleansing process more fun for both you and your furry friend!

  • Temperature- Just like Goldilocks, you’ll want to find a lukewarm temperature that’s just right for your pet.
  • Toys- Rubber duckies aren’t just for children! Bath toys can help keep your dog entertained while you concentrate on the task at hand.
  • Treats- Hand out a small snack before, during and after a good scrubbing to help your pet associate tub time with fun time.

Want more? Check out our friends at the ASPCA® for further information about bathing your dog and cat.


Monday December 29, 2014

Top 10 Dog Names

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We’ve got the 10 most popular names for our best canine friends.+ Did your dog’s name make the list?

  1. Bella
  2. Max
  3. Buddy
  4. Lucy
  5. Bailey
  6. Molly
  7. Daisy
  8. Charlie
  9. Maggie
  10. Chloe

We also cover close to 200 Gizmos, nearly 160 Oreos and one Sir Scruffy McDoodle!

Are you planning to adopt a dog this month? Save 10% on each additional pet! Get a free quote to learn more.

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Monday December 22, 2014

5 Boredom Busting Winter Activities

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If your pet is showing signs of cabin fever, try these fun activities to brighten the day.

  1. Offer a treat-filled puzzle toy
  2. Arrange a pet play date
  3. Play fetch or chase inside
  4. Set up a treat hunt around the house
  5. Go on an outing to a pet store

Check out even more fun ideas here!


Saturday December 20, 2014

Beat the Winter Doldrums with Indoor Fun

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The snow and cold have arrived. If you are looking for fun winter activities for you and your pet, these ideas will chase Old Man Winter away:

  • • Create a pet playground with discarded gift boxes and wrapping paper.
    • Play hide and seek with your pet by hiding treats around the house.
    • Practice a new trick, like speaking, shaking hands, or rolling over.
    • Give your pet a treat dispensing toy to knock around the house.
    • Throw a small ball across the room for a good old fashioned game of fetch.

And don’t forget one of the best ways to warm up on a cold day – a good, long cuddle with your furry friend.


Monday December 15, 2014

7 Safety Shortcuts for a Happy Holiday

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With so much going on this time of year, it’s not always easy to keep your pet safe and sound. Here are a few shortcuts to help make your holidays vet visit-free.

  1. Give a Special Treat – With all the festive foods around, why not make something special for your pet? Check out this recipe for Apple + Carrot Dog Treats.
  2. Avoid Harmful Sweets – Speaking of holiday goodies, remember to keep your pet away from troublesome treats, like chocolate and desserts sweetened with Xylitol.
  3. Raise Your Glass – Place glass ornaments and fragile decorations out of paws reach so your pet can knock them down or bat them around and break them.
  4. Enlist a Helper Elf – If you’re the host, ask a trustworthy guest to keep an eye on your pet. This way, your furry friend will be safe while you focus on the festivities.
  5. Provide a Respite – Parties can make some pets anxious or uncomfortable. Set up a warm and quiet spot out of the way where your four-legged friend can retreat.
  6. Lift the Gifts – Is your pet nosy? Put the presents atop a sturdy table. You can also help satisfy your pet’s urge to open with a treat-filled gift of his or her own.
  7. Wind Them Up – Holiday light cords can be troublesome for pets. Consider tucking them away in a cable box or winder, which you can buy at a hardware store.

If your pet does get into trouble during the holidays, an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan can help you manage the costs. Get a free quote.


Monday December 8, 2014

How Cold is Too Cold?

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There’s a chill in the air, and you may be wondering if it’s safe to take your pet outside. While cats should never be put out in the cold, many dogs can handle low temperatures. Just keep these tips in mind.

  • • Always supervise dogs during super cold temps and don't let them stay out too long even if they’re having a ball.
    • Is your pooch the shivering sort? A cozy jacket or sweater might help. Dog boots can also be useful to keep paws warm and injury free.
    • Puppies and small breeds may need to stay inside on very cold days. Consider placing a training pad near the door until it warms up.

Read more cold weather tips here.


Monday December 8, 2014

Frosty Outside? These Cold Weather Pet Tips Can Help!

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It's cold outside, but these tips can help keep your pet healthy and safe in spite of the chill.

For cats:

  • • Keep your cat inside if possible, since felines can freeze, get lost, or suffer injuries outdoors in the cold.
    • Antifreeze has a sweet taste cats tend to like. Help avoid an accidental poisoning by cleaning spills or leaks.
    • Cats love sleeping in warm places. Prevent burns by protecting your cat from fireplaces, stoves and heaters.

For dogs:

  • • Wipe off your dog after being outdoors to remove salt and other chemicals that can be harmful if licked and ingested. Also consider using pet-safe de-icing salt.
    • Trim longhaired dogs to avoid ice and salt clinging to them, but don't go too short or they might get chilly.
    • Consider a coat or sweater, especially for shorthaired pups, to help retain body heat and prevent dry skin.

Also, be sure to offer a nutritious diet with plenty of protein to help make sure your fluffy friend's coat and health are in top shape.


Monday December 1, 2014

A Pup's Turkey Feast

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Cook up a special Thanksgiving dinner for your dog with this simple and healthy recipe. It's a great way to use up leftovers too!

Ingredients
1 ½lb. cut up turkey (no bones or skin)
½ lb. cooked sweet potatoes, diced
½ c. cooked oatmeal
1 T. cranberry sauce

Directions
Mix all of the ingredients together and portion out at dinnertime. Store the
remainder in the refrigerator for a future meal.