Pet Insurance Blog

Sunday March 8, 2015

Customer Story: A Frightful Tale of Ingested Plastic

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“I was scared when my cat swallowed a bit of plastic, and we took him to the veterinarian. It wasn't just the anesthesia, X-rays and other procedures that scared me, it was the price tag as well. Our ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan covered a lot of the claim, and everyone there was truly concerned about my cat's health. They asked about his health every time they called to go over the claim. It was really sweet, and they made it so much easier to deal with such a scary experience. Thank you!” –Jeni R., Dublin, OH

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


Monday February 23, 2015

How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

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Brushing your dog or cat’s teeth might seem like a daunting task at first, but you'll both get used to it with a little time and patience. These tips can help:

  1. Pick a time when your pet is calm, for instance, after a long walk or an energetic game. It would be a good idea to get your pet accustomed to having his muzzle and mouth handled gradually before leaping into a full teeth cleaning.
  2. Go slow and stop if your pet starts to get upset, even if you haven’t finished brushing. You want to make sure your pet is comfortable during the whole session. You may want to contact a qualified professional if your pet shows signs of fear or aggression at any time during the brushing.
  3. Choose a quiet area and speak in a calm, soothing voice as you brush to help your pet relax and enjoy the experience. If you want to leash your pet during the session to limit his movement, keep the leash short (about 3 ft.) Also, make sure there’s enough slack so that your pet can sit or lie down easily.

Don’t forget to give your pet treats throughout the process and maybe even a new pet-safe dental chew toy at the end! Rewards will help your dog or cat associate good things with getting his teeth brushed.


Monday February 23, 2015

3 Pet Dental Health Myths Debunked

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In honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, we’re debunking 3 common myths about pets and their pearly whites.

Myth 1: Pets are supposed to have bad breath.
While most dogs and cats don't have pleasant breath, very foul breath can indicate a health issue like digestive problems or a gum condition such as gingivitis. If you spot any sign of gum inflammation, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended.

Myth 2: You can use human toothpaste for pets.
People paste usually contains fluoride, which can be toxic for pets. Only use paste made for pets. Pet toothpaste even comes in a variety of flavors, like liver, mint, chicken and peanut butter, so you can experiment with a few flavors to find out which one your pet prefers!

Myth 3: Real bones are good for your pet's teeth.
Real bones can fracture teeth or splinter and cause injuries. Stick to hard kibble and pet-safe dental chew toys to help prevent the build-up of harmful plaque. Don’t forget to supervise your pet while he’s playing and immediately see your veterinarian if your pet consumes part of an inedible chew toy.

Many veterinarians advise annual dental cleanings to keep your dog or cat’s teeth healthy. Regular brushing can also help. Learn more about how to brush your pet’s teeth here.


Sunday February 22, 2015

Customer Story: Denver Learns Not to Tangle with Cords

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“A bungee cord was lying on the table, and there was some exposed wire between the cover and the hook. All of a sudden, our cat Denver cried out and began running in circles and then under the couch. Evidently, he had chewed the cord and scratched the inside of his mouth. We took Denver to the veterinarian’s office so they could sedate him and examine his mouth. Luckily, it was only a scratch, and he was given antibiotics. It took 3 days for Denver to return to normal. We are very happy to have pet insurance!” –Sarah I., Greenwich, CT

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


Sunday February 8, 2015

Customer Story: Belle’s Recovery from Mouth Cancer

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“Belle was recently diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her mouth and had to have all but two teeth extracted. I have submitted four claims so far for Belle and have received my reimbursements within two weeks. I've spoken with representatives a couple times with questions and each time they were courteous and knowledgeable, and they voiced compassion and concern for Belle. My girl is on the road to recovery, and there has been no recurrence of the tumor so far. The small monthly fee is well worth it as I could never have afforded the surgery and aftercare necessary to keep her alive and well. Thank you to the caring folks at the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program!” –Charlotte S., Potsdam, NY

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


Sunday February 1, 2015

Customer Story: Coverage for All Stages of Life

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“I have had an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan for three years now, and I cannot say one bad thing about it. I have used it over and over for my 10-year-old cat and my two 2-year-old cat. I adopted my 10-year-old when he was 8 and added him to the insurance without any issues, which is great because I had no idea of his previous medical history. I have recommended ASPCA Pet Health Insurance to many people and will continue to do so. Thank you for helping me provide my boys with the best medical care possible!” –Damien M., York, PA

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


Monday January 26, 2015

Pets & Cancer

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According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, roughly 6 million dogs and a similar number of cats are diagnosed with cancer each year. Cancer is a scary word, but new treatments and preventative tactics are helping us win the fight against the disease.

Early detection is key and knowing the symptoms can make all the difference. Be sure to keep an eye out for:

  • • Lumps
  • • Swelling
  • • Persistent sores
  • • Abnormal discharge from any part of the body
  • • Bad breath
  • • Listlessness/lethargy
  • • Rapid, often unexplained, weight loss
  • • Sudden lameness
  • • Black, tarry stools
  • • Decreased or loss of appetite
  • • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

For more information about cancer in pets, visit our friends at the ASPCA®.


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 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 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.