Pet Insurance Blog

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.


Monday November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Safety

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As you plan your family’s Thanksgiving menu, keep in mind what to leave off your pet’s plate. Here are 5 expensive examples of commonly swallowed objects.+

Swallowed Object Approx. Claim Amount
Turkey Bones $2,600
Cornhusk $4,500
Plastic Baggie $4,800
Ribbon $4,270
Almonds $4,570


We’re thankful we could help these pets get the care they needed. Visit 101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet for more holiday safety tips.

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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!


Saturday November 8, 2014

Pets Are Bold: Ashley's Story

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We cover bold because we know how adventurous pets can be. Ashley’s dog is one such little daredevil.

“She loves the boat, especially jumping off to go play at the sandbar." –Ashley F.

See more bold pets and share your courageous companion’s story with us here


Friday November 7, 2014

Fiona's Mushroom Misfortune

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“I came home from training classes with two of my German Shepherds and another, Fiona, was laying in the hallway. I noticed Fiona didn’t get up as she usually would when we passed. She was lethargic and glassy-eyed with a very high heart rate. Apparently, Fiona had gotten into some mushroom residue left from when the lawn was mowed earlier in the day. I rushed her to the emergency veterinary hospital immediately.  She ended up vomiting a tremendous amount of grass and mushroom clumps, and her liver enzymes were very high. She returned to her normal self after a couple of days of IV therapy and medication.” –Deacon W., Bakersfield, CA

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


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®.