Pet Insurance Blog

Monday November 17, 2014

To Tell the Truth: Black Cats

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Black cats can make the best companions. To prove it, we’ve compiled some fun facts about our sable-coated friends.

1. Black cats are considered lucky in the UK and Asia.
2. Melanism, which causes their raven fur, may also enhance their immune systems.
3. Their fur goes with everything and won’t show on your little black dress.
Bonus: You can tell everyone you adopted a mini panther!

Having problems getting a good shot? Check out these tips.


Monday November 10, 2014

Tips for Photographing Black Cats & Dogs

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It can be challenging to take good photos of pets with black fur, but there is no such thing as an un-photogenic pet. These tips will help you capture your raven-haired beauty’s best side. 

Staged Setting- Choose light colored background, avoiding stark white and dark backdrops.
Soft Lighting- Bright lights wash your cat out, and they’ll only disappear in the dark.
Tight Focus- Your cat’s expression should be the focal point, not the surrounding clutter.
Creative Approach- Try out different colors, lighting and angles to find the rest combination.

Bonus Tip: Use photo editing software to brighten and sharpen photos.

Check out our Top 3 Pet Photography Tips infographic for more help coaxing out your pet’s inner supermodel!


Monday November 3, 2014

Lend a Helping Hand

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Of course, the best way to help a shelter pet is adoption. But if that’s not possible, you can still lend a hand in other meaningful ways.

Volunteer – Give some of your time to help a shelter organize events or care for animals.
Fundraise – Organize a fundraiser, like a bake sale, and donate the proceeds to a shelter.
Donate – Ask a local shelter what supplies they need and gather donations from friends.

If you have kids, you can also get them involved and give them a great lesson in caring for animals.

Want do more? Check out this list of the “Top Ten Ways to Help Your Local Shelter” from our friends at the ASPCA®.


Monday October 27, 2014

Top 3 Halloween Safety Tips

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These tips can help your pet have a happy Halloween without a scary accident:

1. Spooky Lighting– Make jack-o’-lanterns glow with battery lights, not candles, to prevent accidents.
2. No Quick Tricks– Watch that your pet doesn’t scoot out the door when you open it for trick-or-treaters.
3. Ghoulish Treats– Keep chocolate, candy with Xylitol and other toxic foods out of paw’s reach.

Learn more about why chocolate is so dangerous for your pet.


Friday October 24, 2014

Customer Story: Big Reimbursements for Sick Kitties

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“I am very grateful to have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance for three of my cats. It is a relief to know that if and when my cats get sick, the costs will be more manageable. Knowing they have insurance makes treatment decisions much easier. My kitties have gotten sick in the past—luckily nothing too serious—and a big portion of the claims were covered. Thank you!” –Josie C., Frederick, MD

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


Monday October 13, 2014

Pet First-Aid Prep

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Do you know what to do if your pet has an accident? These tips can help you be better prepared.

Set a plan – Ask your vet about an emergency protocol, especially if your clinic isn’t available 24/7.
Make a kit – Have a pet first-aid kit ready with gauze, non-stick bandage pads and tape, saline eye flush and other useful items.
Be careful – Handle an injured pet with caution. Even the sweetest dog or cat can act out when hurt. And try to stay calm, so you can think clearly and avoid upsetting your pet even more.

For more advice on what to do in an emergency, visit 101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet.


Monday October 6, 2014

Fire Safety Advice

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Are you prepared for a fire emergency? Here are a few tips to help get you ready.

Watch those flames – Always keep an eye on your pet around open flames, like candles, fireplace and fire pits.
Pet proof your home – Address issues, like unsecured electrical wires, that can sometimes cause pets to inadvertently start a fire.
Have an exit plan – Hang a collar and leash near both the front and back doors in case you need to evacuate quickly.

You should also affix a pet rescue alert sticker where it can be seen by emergency responders, so they’ll be aware of any pets in your home.

Get one free through the ASPCA®’s website.

For more pet safety tips, visit 101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet.


Monday September 8, 2014

Prevent Cat Falls

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As summer heat wanes, you may be more likely to open a window rather than crank the A/C. But remember to take care that your cat doesn’t tumble out.

Even a fall from a 1- or 2-story home can cause injuries like a shattered jaw or punctured lung. Help keep your cat safe by making sure window screens are secure. 

Visit 101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet for more pet safety tips.


Monday August 25, 2014

Treats for Furry Friends

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These cool treats are the perfect way to show your pet you care. Not to mention they are easy to make!

For dogs: Pour low-sodium chicken broth into a plastic bowl and add a small cube of cheese. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and freeze it.

For cats: Put a scoop of your feline’s favorite we food (the wetter the better!) into a plastic bowl. Mix in a few soft cat treats, cover and freeze.

After the treat is frozen, run a little hot water over the bottom of the bowl to slide the treat out. Then offer it to your pet to enjoy!


Sunday August 10, 2014

Customer Story: Pam's Alley Cat Antics

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“Pam, my indoor cat, and I live in an apartment with an alley in the back. Once Pam got out and ventured into the alley. Soon I heard a cat fight. I was so worried! Pam had been inside her whole life, and I didn’t know if she would be able to defend herself.

I rushed out into the alley, and I saw Pam hissing and pushing away a huge male cat. Luckily, I got Pam inside, but she kept licking her paw, and I could see it was bleeding. We went to the vet right away, and I was told Pam needed minor surgery.

I was very nervous about how much it would cost. I’d had an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan for Pam, but I hadn’t used it so far. Thank goodness for that policy!

After I paid the deductible, my pet insurance plan paid about 80% of the remainder. I would have been out several hundred dollars without it, and I don’t have that kind of money.

Pam has been lucky since then, but there is nothing like the reassurance I feel because she is covered. I will never have to choose between her health and money.” –Calista M., Calabasas, CA

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


Monday August 4, 2014

How to Give Your Pet a Pill

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Many pets will eat anything—except their medications. Our friends at the ASPCA® have some tips for what to try if all else fails. Here are some tricks to try first.

How to give your pet a pill:

Get Chewable- If possible, get your pet’s medications in flavored, chewable form.
Mix It Up- If your pet is an energetic eater, try mixing the meds in with his or her kibble.
Try a Disguise- Hide the pill in a soft treat, chunk of hot dog or cheese cube and offer it to your pet.
Use Bait-and-Switch- If your pet chews her treats instead of swallowing them whole, give her a few non-medicated treats first, then give one with a pill followed by one last pill-free snack.


Monday July 28, 2014

Common Skin Problems in Cats

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The state of a cat’s skin can be a great indicator of her overall health, which is why it is important to visit your veterinarian at the first sign of any abnormality. Signs there may be a skin problem include excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking.

Common causes of skin irritations for cats include:

Ringworm
Fleas
Parasites, such as ear mites and lice
Seasonal allergies
Food allergies
Grooming products
Seasonal changes
Environmental factors, including certain chemicals and fabrics
Bacterial or yeast infections
Tumors
Stress or anxiety

Our friends at the ASPCA® have some great tips for skin care that could help your cat avoid many issues.


Sunday July 20, 2014

Customer Story: Two Cats Triumph Over Cancer

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“My sister’s beloved dog was hit by a car. My sister recounted how she carried her dog, wounded and bleeding to the veterinarian’s office. It was a horrible experience, but she was grateful to have had pet insurance to help with the bills.

That made me pause and realize that my two cats weren’t insured. I shopped around and compared plans offered by a couple providers. I decided to buy an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan that covered accidents and illnesses. My plan also has coverage for chronic conditions.

Four months later, I took one of my cats to the vet for a checkup. I pointed out a small bump I’d felt on the tip of her tail. I was surprised by the doctor’s concern. It was biopsied, and I was stunned to hear it was cancer.

Our vet amputated a part of my cat’s tail, and now, years later, she’s in good health. My other cat also had a cancerous growth removed, and she’s doing well also.

I’m grateful that I didn’t have to worry about unexpected veterinary bills at these stressful times.” –Jenny C., Fayetteville, NC

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