Pet Insurance Blog

Monday November 16, 2015

25 Tips for a Clean and Pet-Friendly Home

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The holidays are upon us, and that means company is on its way! These tips can help you prepare your home for visitors and make your house cleaner and safer for your furry friends already in residence.


One of the best things you can do to help keep your house clean is to keep your pet clean and well groomed.

  • 1. Brush your pet frequently to reduce shedding and help prevent hairballs in cats.
  • 2. Trim fur between your pet’s paw pads, around the backend and on the belly so that they won’t collect dirt.
  • 3. Clip your pet’s nails and file any rough edges that could tear upholstery or other fabric around the house.
  • 4. Wipe your pet’s face after mealtime and don’t forget to clean floppy ears if they dip into water or food bowls.
  • 5. Be sure to wipe those paws every time your pet comes in from outside and towel your furry friend off completely on wet days.


  • 6. If you’re looking into new flooring, keep in mind that tile, sheet linoleum, and laminate flooring are easy to wipe clean.
  • 7. Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting or covering well-travelled sections with machine washable area rugs.
  • 8. Have a pet-friendly carpet-cleaning product handy to remove stains.
  • 9. If you have unsealed hardwood floors, seal them with polyurethane to prevent them from absorbing odors.
  • 10. Put an absorbent placemat under your pet’s food and water bowls to make clean up easier.
  • 11. Place a small washable area rug near entryways, though make sure it’s non-slip.
  • 12. If you have a teething puppy, roll up and store rugs with fringe, which can tempt pups to bite and chew.
    13. Put away vegetable-dyed area rugs until your pet is fully house-trained. The dye can run and stain if it gets wet.


  • 14. If you’re painting, choose washable semi-gloss paint because it’s easy to wipe down.
  • 15. Keep in mind that washable vinyl-backed wallpaper is easier to clean than traditional paper-backed wallpaper.
  • 16. Protect antique wallpapers or fabric wall treatments by having them only on the top half of walls. You can paint or hang a washable wall covering below.


  • 17. Use pet-friendly window treatments, like fabric shades, café curtains, and valances.
  • 18. Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery and ornate tassels. Pets can get tangled up in them and cause everything around to come crashing down.
  • 19. Tie up long cords to avoid accidental strangulation.
  • 20. Think twice about mini-blinds, which can get bent beyond repair when they block a curious pet’s view.
  • 21. Make sure all of your windows screens are installed securely. Cats especially can lean on loose screens and fall out.


  • 22. Choose patterns, tweeds and dark colors for your upholstery, if possible, because they won’t show stains or fur as much as light and solid colors.
  • 23. Keep your pet’s nails well trimmed if you have leather or Vinyl furniture, which can get scratched and damaged.
  • 24. Encourage your furry friend to stay off forbidden furniture by setting up a cozy pet bed nearby.
  • 25. Cover the couches and chairs your pet likes to snooze on with a throw or removable slipcover you can put in the wash.

Also, don’t forget to download our free pet-proofing guide. Some of the biggest dangers to your pet are common, everyday things.

If your pet does have a mishap, such as falling through a window screen or ingesting cleaning products, are they covered? Get a free, personalized quote!

Thursday November 12, 2015

5 Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Pets


It’s a great time of year to celebrate with family members—and that includes those of the four-legged variety. Here are some tips to help make sure your celebrations are safe for your pet.

1. Check your decorations.

It’s fun to decorate for the holidays, but try to make them as safe as possible. For instance, if you’re hanging lights, tape down any wires that might be tripped over or chewed on and use battery powered candles rather than the real thing.

2. Offer pet safe food.

Your pet can join the feast, but be sure you only offer pet safe foods. Mashed sweet potato or skinless turkey meat are good choices. Browse this blog for some yummy pet recipe ideas!

3. Watch those bones.

Never give your pet real turkey or chicken bones. Your pet could choke on them or they could splinter apart and injure your pet’s mouth.

4. Keep chocolate out of paw’s reach.

This goes for chocolate bars and candies as well as desserts that contain cocoa, like brownies or chocolate cake. Keep in mind that goodies sweetened with Xylitol can also be harmful to pets. 

5. Set up a peaceful retreat.

If the festivities are at your house, give your pet a cozy place to get away and rest. Put a favorite blanket in a room with some water and a few toys so your pet will be comfortable there.

It can also be a good idea to have your pet stay in that room while groups of guests are coming or going. Pets can get stepped on during the commotion or scoot out the door unexpectedly.

Pin our Thanksgiving Safety Tips infographic to Pinterest for easy reference!

Thanksgiving day pet safety tips

Monday November 2, 2015

Top 4 Tips to Train Your Dog

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It’s important to train your dog to respond to basic commands and behave appropriately, but it can take some time and effort. These tips can help you get there with less frustration for both you and your dog.

1. Use Praise and Rewards

Relying on praise and rewards rather than reprimands can make dog training more effective and enjoyable. Just remember to go easy on the treats. They can be high in calories and cause your dog to gain weight.

2. Be Consistent

Promote learning and avoid confusion by being consistent. For instance, make sure everyone in the household agrees to the rules, such as whether or not the dog is allowed on the living room couch. Also, make sure you use the same commands. If you use “off” and your spouse uses “down,” you could end up with one confused pup.

3. Take Baby Steps

Training a dog can take time. Be patient and follow your dog’s ability and pace. Some dogs learn quickly while others need more repetition and practice. If you or your dog start getting frustrated during a training session, take a break and try again later.

4. Seek Help

If you need assistance or don’t have the time to train your dog yourself, there are a couple dog training options you can consider:

  • Group Sessions – Training in a small group is a great way to teach basic skills and socialize young puppies. It an also be less expensive than one-on-one training.
  • Private Lessons – Personalized training can be particularly helpful if your dog has a specific issue. A private trainer can focus solely on your dog and customize the training plan based on his or her needs.

Ask your veterinarian about the best training option for your dog and dog trainer recommendations.

Keep in mind, even the best-behaved pets can get into mischief. Is your pet covered?

Monday October 12, 2015

Healthy Benefits of Pumpkin for Pets

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Many are celebrating the healthy upgrade a few major coffee shops recently made by adding real pumpkin to their fall-themed drinks. But, us humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a little pumpkin in our diets!

A serving of cooked, fresh or pre-prepared pumpkin can provide a number of nutritional benefits for pets. Unlike a leftover Halloween pumpkin that is often in a state of decay and harboring bacteria or mold. The latter form of pumpkin can cause a toxic effect if ingested by your dog or cat.

Why should you share pumpkin with your pet? Here are 5 reasons:

1. Fiber

The sense of fullness promoted by fiber can assist in weight loss for an overweight pet since it reduces the urge to consume larger amounts of food. The increase in stool bulk as a result of increased dietary fiber can also help with feline constipation and colitis (a.k.a. large bowel diarrhea often caused by ingesting something one should not).

2. Potassium

One cup of cooked pumpkin can provide more potassium than a banana, which is great for active pets since electrolytes are essential for muscle recovery following activity.

3. Vitamin C

A serving a day may help keep the veterinarian away! This is due to the antioxidant and immune system supporting effects resulting from a diet rich in vitamin C.

4. Carotenoids

Beta-carotene is a type of carotenoid that is found to be quite bountiful in a serving of pumpkin. Food-based beta-carotene has been found by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to yield a greater anticancer effect than supplement based forms.

5. Moisture

Pumpkin is composed of 90% water, and it can help improve a pet’s hydration levels and reduce heat in the body whether it's added to a meal or supplied as a snack. 

If you’re looking for a fun way to incorporate pumpkin into your pet’s diet, try this festive fall snack:

Pumpkin Dog Biscuit


• 1 c. plain pumpkin puree
• 1/2 c. peanut butter
• 2 c. rice flour
• 1 t. cinnamon
• 2 eggs 


Combine ingredients into a dough. Roll out onto a flat surface. Use a cookie cutter (a Halloween one if you have it!) to cut out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes then let cool.

Did you know our plans cover everything from toxic ingestions to general upset tummies? Get your free quote today!

Reminder: Treats such as these should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Also, stomach upset may occur in pets who do not tolerate dietary changes well.

Monday October 5, 2015

Quirky Pet Behaviors Explained

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If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my pet do that?” we may have the answer. Here are explanations for quirky pet behaviors that might have you shaking your head.

Clothes or Face Licking

Lots of cats like to shower their pet parents with rough-tongued kisses while they purr and knead their laps. Some experts believe this behavior is linked to being weaned or orphaned too early in life. It may also be comforting when cats are stressed, sick or bored—or it might just be their way of relaxing.

Dirt Digging

Plenty of dogs love to dig into dirt, rugs and even furniture. The urge to dig may have been passed down from wolves and foxes who scoop out dens to protect their pups from extreme temperatures and wild predators. Dogs also dig to bury special treasures, hunt ground animals or entertain themselves. Who doesn’t love a good hole? 

Faucet Sipping

Does your cat prefer to put his or her furry face right under the faucet, rather than drink from a water bowl? This behavior may have evolved from your cat’s wild ancestors. For them, moving water was a safer and healthier choice than stagnant water, which could contain contaminants.

Chewing Around

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. Puppies use their teeth and mouths to explore the world and relieve teething pain. Older dogs gnaw to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing can have its bad side if it’s destructive or causes a dog to choke or swallow something harmful. Offer your dog safe chew toys to help curtail the problem.  

Bumping Heads

Cats head butt their pet parents to show affection. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, I love you!” and showing possession. Cats have glands in their face and foreheads that secrete pheromones, which have a very subtle scent. By leaving leave their pheromones behind, they let other cats know you’re taken.

Round and Round

It can be dizzying to watch, but some dogs just can’t seem to stop spinning around in tight circles chasing their tails. This is a compulsive behavior, like pacing or fly snapping, and may be a response to stress, frustration or boredom. These behaviors can also indicate a health issue, so consult with your veterinarian if your dog keeps going round and round. 

Up All Night

Does your cat like to sleep all day and play all night? Our housecats are domesticated creatures, but they can still get the urge to romp at night like their ancestors. It’s easier for wild cats to hunt and prowl at night when the light is low and more critters are out and about.

If your cat wakes you up during the night, try wearing your frisky feline out before bedtime with an energetic interactive game. You can also offer your cat a meal or snack before bed to avoid being roused by a hungry kitty.


Dogs like to greet one another by sniffing each other’s faces. When a dog jumps up on you, he or she is trying to give you the same canine greeting. You just happen to be taller and harder to reach. 

You can train your dog to stop jumping by waiting to greet your excited friend until all four paws are on the floor. Wait patiently until your dog complies, and then offer plenty of praise and a treat when he or she gets it right. Get more dog training tips.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s quirky behavior, be sure to talk to your veterinarian or a certified animal behaviorist. Behavioral issues can be covered with an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. See your options now.

Monday September 21, 2015

3 Banana-tastic Dog Treats

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Bananas are a great source of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, biotin and copper, in addition to being low in sodium and cholesterol. Any of these three recipes will have your pet drooling for more of this highly nutritious berry.

PB & Banana Dog Cookies

A sweet pairing of potassium and protein.


• 1 very ripe banana
• 2 T. creamy peanut butter
• ¾ c. oat flour
• 1 egg


1. Preheat oven to 350˚.

2. Mash banana in a bowl using a fork.

3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

4. Drop onto a greased cookie sheet

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

6. Cool completely before serving.

Banana & Carrot Crispies

Fruits and veggies all rolled into one.


• 1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
• 2 very ripe bananas
• ½ c. grated carrots
• 2 T. plain yogurt
• 4 eggs


1. Preheat oven to 350˚.

2. Mash banana in a bowl using a fork.

3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

4. Roll out and cut with cookie cutter.

5. Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 20 minutes.

7. Cool completely before serving

Banana Pupkin Biscuits

Your pup will go bananas for these treats!


• 2 very ripe bananas
• 1-15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
• 1 ½ c. oat flour
• 1 t. baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350˚.

2. Mash banana in a bowl using a fork.

3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.

4. Roll out and cut with cookie cutter.

5. Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

7. Cool completely before serving

Reminder: Treats such as these should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Also, stomach upset may occur in pets who do not tolerate dietary changes well.

Monday August 17, 2015

3 Simple Homemade Cat Treat Recipes

Get your cat’s motor running with these easy-to-make homemade cat treat recipes. They’re made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Tasty Tuna Crackers

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What cat doesn’t go wild for tuna? Whip up these crackers and give your feline a special treat.


• 6 oz. undrained tuna

• 1 c. cornmeal

• 1 c. flour

• 1/3 c. water


Mix ingredients together. Roll into 1/4-inch pieces. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350° for 20 minutes. Cool and let your cat dig in!

Chicken Rollovers

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Your cat will get the protein they crave, and you’ll sniff the benefits of breath-freshening parsley.


• 1/2 c. ground chicken

• 1/3 c. oat flour

• 1 T. parsley, minced


Stir ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Spray a non-stick baking sheet. Roll ingredients into ½-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes, and let cool before serving.

Cheesy Cat Treats

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Calling all feline cheese connoisseurs! These cheesy delights will make your cat come running.


• ¾ c. shredded cheddar cheese

• ¾ c. whole-wheat flour

• ¼ c. plain yogurt

• ¼ c. cornmeal

• 5 T. grated Parmesan cheese


Combine ingredients into a dough. Roll it out to about 1/4 inch. Cut into one-inch pieces and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350° for about 25 minutes.

Looking for other healthy cat snack ideas? You can try offering your cat these safe fruits and veggies.

Reminder: Treats such as these should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Also, stomach upset may occur in pets who do not tolerate dietary changes well.

Friday August 14, 2015

Get the Facts on Behavioral Conditions and Coverage

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Just like people, pets can get stressed out when their routines change. It’s not always easy for our four-legged friends to adjust to a new home, the arrival of a noisy baby, or shifting schedules during back-to-school time.

Pet’s who are anxious can start showing unwanted or compulsive behaviors such as:

 • Destructive chewing
 • Excessive licking
 • Harmful scratching
 • Nonstop barking
 • Pacing back and forth
 • Spinning in circles
 • Tail chasing
 • Going outside the litter box

What should you do?

If your pet has a behavioral condition, set up an appointment with your veterinarian. The doctor can check to see if there are any underlying medical or physical issues, like an allergy, parasite, or infection, which might be causing the behavior.

Once these are ruled out, your veterinarian can recommend ways to help stop the behavior. It might be as simple as giving your pet time to adjust to the new situation or medication to reduce anxiety. Increasing the amount of mental and physical stimulation you’re pet is getting can also be helpful.

Can behavioral issues be covered?

Behavioral conditions can be harmful to pets and disruptive to families. That’s why we include behavioral coverage with Level 3. It can reimburse you for consultations, exams, lab testing, and medications to diagnose and treat these conditions—and help get your pet back to his or her happy-go-lucky self!


Monday August 10, 2015

3 Simple Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

These healthy and easy-to-make homemade dog treats are a great alternative to the store-bought kind, which can be packed with fat and sugar. They’re sure to make your dog’s tail wag!

PB&Y[ogurt] Balls

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Any dog who loves peanut butter will live for these tasty, protein-rich and easy-to-make treats. 


• 2 c. flour

• 2 T. peanut butter

• 12 oz. plain yogurt 
(with no artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to dogs) 


Combine ingredients and let set for five minutes. Form small balls and place in a muffin pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. After they cool off, let your dog dig in.

Pumpkin Nibbles

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The high fiber content found in pumpkin can help promote good digestive regularity in dogs.


• 1 lb, lean ground turkey

• 1/2 c. pumpkin puree

• 1/4 c. parsley, minced


Cover baking sheet baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and roll ingredients into 1-inch balls. Place on baking sheet and indent with thumb. Bake at 350° 15 minutes, and let cool before serving.

Carrot and Apple Treats

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Carrots and apples are packed with healthy vitamins and make delicious homemade dog treats.


• 1 c. whole-wheat flour

• 1 c. grated carrots

• 1 egg

• 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce


Mix it all together, and roll dough into small balls. Press down gently to make treats about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes. Let them cool, and let your pup have at ‘em!

You can also offer your dog these safe fruits and veggies as a healthy snack.

Reminder: Treats such as these should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Also, stomach upset may occur in pets who do not tolerate dietary changes well.

Monday August 3, 2015

Birthday Recipes Fit for Fido and Fluffy

Even the most pampered pet deserves an extra-special treat on their birthday, and these treats will have your four-legged friends dancing in circles for more—our office pets can attest!

DOGust Cake

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The universal birthday for shelter and rescued dogs is celebrated on August 1, a.k.a. DOGust.



• 1 c. whole-wheat flour

• 1 t. baking soda

• 1/4 c. peanut butter

• 1/4 c. plain applesauce

• 1 t. vanilla

• 1/3 c. honey

• 1 egg


• 1 c. peanut butter

• 1 T. honey


• 1/2 c. carrot shavings

• 1 apple, sliced


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together flour and baking soda, and mix in remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into greased 9-inch cake. Bake for 40 minutes and let cool. Combine frosting components and spread atop cake with butter knife or spatula. Decorate with carrot shavings and apple slices before serving.

Kitty Kupcakes

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Never to be overlooked, these cupcakes will have your feline friends purring loudly for more.



• 1 can tuna, drain water

• 1/4 c. shredded cheese

• 1/4 c. oat flour

• 1 egg


• 1/2 c. plain mashed potatoes


• Handful of favorite treats


Preheat oven to 350°. Break up tuna with a fork, and mix together cake ingredients. Fill 2-3 cups of a greased muffin tin with mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool. Spread mashed potatoes atop each cupcake, and decorate with treats.

Looking for healthy snack ideas you can share with your pet regularly? Check out these safe fruits and veggies.

Reminder: Treats such as these should not make up more than 10% of a pet’s caloric intake. Also, stomach upset may occur in pets who do not tolerate dietary changes well.


Monday July 27, 2015

Keeping Cool with Pets

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Summer is starting to sizzle, but the rising temperature doesn’t have to get in the way of you and your pet having fun in the sun! Here are some fun ideas to beat the heat and important tips to keep everyone safe.

For Dogs

• Freeze chicken or beef broth in an ice cube tray.
• Fill up a plastic kiddie pool just for your pup.
• Cover your pal with a damp towel while they nap.

For Cats

• Give your cat a few ice cubes to bat around the house.
• Fill a hot water bottle with cool water for your cat to lie on.
• Turn on a small fan next to your cat’s favorite place to nap.

For All

• Provide plenty of water and shade away from direct sunlight.
• Limit exercise on hot, humid days to early morning or evening.
• Know the signs of heat-related issues and what to do next.

Additionally, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to check out these pet first-aid basics just in case your pet does get injured or ill and don’t forget to get a free quote!

Monday July 20, 2015

Pet First-Aid Basics

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Nobody wants to get caught off-guard by an emergency. Luckily, we have the information you need to be better prepared for when the unexpected happens.

Set a plan

Ask your vet about an emergency protocol, especially if your clinic isn’t available 24/7.

Be careful

Handle an injured pet with caution. Even the sweetest dog or cat can act out when hurt.

Stay calm

Try to keep your cool, so you can think clearly and avoid upsetting your pet even more.

Make a kit

Have a pet first-aid kit ready. See below for a full list of what you may need according to ASPCApro.

Get insured

Our plans cover injuries, like broken bones, swallowed objects, car accidents and bite wounds.

For more advice on potential dangers, visit 101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet and don’t forget to get a free quote!

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Monday July 6, 2015

Sweating Out the Summer

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Everyday activities can be risky for pets when it's hot out. Since pets can't sweat like people do, they can be more susceptible to heat-related issues.

For instance, we recently saw a claim for an English Bulldog who suffered from heat stroke – just while he was resting in the shade. He was in the hospital for two days, and the veterinary bill was more than $1,200. In another claim, a Black Labrador suffered from heat stroke after joining his pet parent on a jog.

What are the symptoms?

Excessive panting and a bright red tongue can be initial signs of heat stroke. Other symptoms can include restlessness, agitation, drooling and lethargy.

What should you do?

Take your pet out of the heat and into a shady or air-conditioned place. Offer water, and try cooling your pet with a wet towel. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Which pets are at risk?

All pets are at risk – even indoor cats, especially if they don't have access to air conditioning. Some pets may be at higher risk, like those with health issues or dogs with short muzzles. Ask your veterinarian about your pet specifically.

Can you still have fun?

Just because it is hot outside doesn’t mean your pet can’t enjoy the sunny weather. Be sure to keep an eye out for warning signs and make sure to keep plenty of water within paw’s reach. Considering a day at the beach? Check out these tips.

What about road trips?

While traveling, think twice before leaving your pet in a parked car – even if you crack the windows and are gone for just a few minutes. This chart illustrates how fast your vehicle can heat up on a seemingly cool day.


Hopefully, your pet will keep cool this summer. But if your furry friend does have trouble in the heat, our accident coverage can help you manage the costs of care. Get a free quote today!

Monday June 29, 2015

Take the Fear Out of Fireworks

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While many of us ‘ooo’ and ‘aww’ at fireworks displays, who hasn’t jumped at an unexpected boom or bang? Every loud explosion is unexpected and scary for our pets, especially if that pet already has a fear of noises. That’s why it is so important to keep pets at home in an escape-proof room while you enjoy the festivities. 

Sometimes, however, that’s still not enough. Here are some ideas to help keep your pet calm during holiday celebrations.

· Keep comfortable.

Keep your pet safely tucked away in a familiar room or, even better, their crate with the A/C on.

· Get a workout.

Take them for a walk, play fetch, just do any safe activity to tucker them out beforehand.

· Divert attention.

Give your pal a new bone or toy to help distract them from the festivities going on outside.

· Drown it out.

Shut all windows, blinds/curtains and doors, and leave the TV on to help mask the noise.

Companionship can make all the difference. If you can stay home, try petting your nervous pal from head to tail in a long, slow motion and talk to them in a calming voice. Just like babies, some smaller pets may respond positively to a reassuring swaddling too – but do not try to force them if they are not up for it. A Thundershirt may work well for larger pets or pets left at home alone.

Also, make sure all cats and dogs are wearing proper fitting collars with tags in case they do escape. This goes for all pets, even those with a microchip!

For more information on holiday dangers, check this out.

Don't forget to pin our infographic for easy reference!

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Monday May 25, 2015

Making Friends: Introduction & Socialization Tips

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Are you adding a pet to your home? Maybe you’re moving in with a new roommate, combining households with a spouse or giving your current pet a furry brother or sister. Whatever the reason or combination of pets, these tips can help make the transition less hairy.

Introducing Adult Pets

Dog Meet Dog

When introducing two dogs, keep the initial interactions short and sweet, and never leave the dogs unsupervised. Watch for signs of aggression, like low growling, and separate them at the first sign of trouble. Offer plenty of praise and rewards when they get along well together.

Cat Meet Cat

For two cats, a staged approach is best. Start by keeping them in separate rooms so that they can get used to the sounds and scents each other. Then let them spend time a little time together in the same room, but only under your supervision. You can continue to let them interact more if that works out well.

Cat Meet Dog

With this combination, it’s best to do everything to make the introduction as calm and stress-free as possible for everyone involved, especially the cat. For example, you may want to tire the dog out with a long walk beforehand, and use a leash during the first encounter. Let the cat set the pace, and never force interaction.

It can take time and patience, but even cats and dogs have been known to live happily ever after. If you have any issues or concerns, don't hesitate to talk with your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist who can offer advice on your specific situation.

Socializing Puppies

Adult pets are one thing, but bringing puppies into the home can bring with it a whole new set of adventures. Whether your dog is expecting a litter, you’re bringing home a newborn puppy or you’re fostering puppies for a local shelter, these tips can help you take care of newborn puppies and socialize them as happy members of the family.

Still Nursing

During the first few weeks, new puppies can’t do much more than suckle and sleep, but it’s a good idea to keep visitors to a minimum. Some mother dogs can get aggressive when they feel their little charges are being threatened. Give mom and her pups lots of space and quiet time.

Recently Weaned

When the puppies reach 3 weeks old, they’ll be mobile and alert. This is a great time for them to start getting to know people of different sizes, ages, sexes and ethnicities. Keep these meetings calm at first to avoid overwhelming the puppies. You can expose them to more activity and handling as their comfort level increases.

If the mother dog is still showing aggression during this stage, you should put her in another room when visitors or potential adopters arrive. This will help keep the peace and avoid teaching the new puppies that aggressive behavior, like growling, is acceptable.


Puppies shouldn’t be taken away from their mom and siblings until they’re at least 8 to 10 weeks old, if possible. However, if you’re taking care of an orphan puppy, you’ll need to help your puppy learn about life as a dog.

For instance, puppies in a litter get pushed and stepped on by their siblings, which helps teach them how to deal with frustration. You can help your pup learn these lessons by throwing a few minor bumps in the road, like pulling away the bottle for a moment during feeding.

You can also introduce your puppy to a healthy female dog who may step in and correct your puppy’s manners with a little motherly advice. In addition, you can help socialize your puppy by arranging puppy “play dates” or signing up for a puppy socialization class in your area.

We wish you the best of luck with your growing household and encourage you to keep in mind that you may be eligible for a 10% discount for multiple pets from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance! Get your free quote now.

Tuesday May 12, 2015

What to Expect at Your Pet’s Check-up

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A health problem caught in its early stages is more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success—this is why regular check-ups are so important for our pets!

We know these visits can seem a bit scary, especially to new pet parents and their adopted pals. That's why we've mapped out what you can expect at your pet’s annual exam to help eliminate any unnecessary apprehension.


Your vet will typically start by gathering information from you about your pet. After all, who knows your pet better than you? Specific questions will vary depending on your pet’s age, breed and medical history. If you have any questions about your pet’s health or care, this is a great time to ask.

Physical Exam

Your pet will be examined from whiskers-to-tail. Your vet will check the eyes, ears, skin and fur, paws, joints, teeth and mouth, stomach, heart and lungs. The doctor will be on the look out for any abnormalities or signs of health problems, such as skin conditions, ear infections or weight gain.

Preventative Care

Depending on your pet’s vaccination schedule, your furry friend may need to get a vaccine or booster shot during this visit. Vaccines are one of the best things you can do for your pet’s health since they can protect against serious diseases. Your vet may also have some wellness care recommendations, such as dental care tips, diet adjustments and exercise ideas.

If you have wellness coverage with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, an annual exam and vaccines are covered. See your plan details at the Member Center. If you’re considering wellness coverage, you can learn more by starting a free quote.

Monday May 4, 2015

Moving with Your Pet

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Have you found a new place to call home? Congratulations! Moving can be an adventure, especially if you have pets, but these tips will hopefully make the process a smooth one.


When packing with pets, safety should be a top priority. It is important to keep packing peanuts out of paw’s reach and check boxes for sleeping cats before taping. You should also know which box contains veterinary records in case of an emergency.

Your pet may also need some time to adjust to this big change. Try bringing in moving boxes early and keep your pet in a familiar room that you plan to pack up last. Later on moving day, give your pet some quiet space in a room with a door that shuts or at a friend’s house. Doing this will help to keep your pet calm and avoid any attempted escapes through propped-open doors while the truck is being loaded.


If your pet hasn’t spent much time in crates or cars, gradually acclimate them to their crates in the weeks or months leading up to the big trip. Our friends at the ASPCA® recommend first placing your pet’s food inside an open crate and eventually having them eat their meals in it with the door shut. Also, practice carrying your pets around the house in the crate or taking a short drive.

Dog owners should help their canine pals burn off some energy with a brisk walk around the block or a rousing game of fetch in the backyard before hitting the road. In addition to making for a much calmer ride, this will give your dog a chance to relieve himself one last time too. More tips for traveling with you dog are available here.

Once you’re packed up, use a crate or a harness to keep your pet safe in the car. If your pet is the excitable type, a treat-filled puzzle toy can help provide a distraction.

Settling In

It may be tempting to let your pet loose in your house right away, but this may be overwhelming for them. Take it one room at a time, allowing them to adjust slowly. Try establishing a “home base” that includes their favorite toys, treats, water and food bowls, and litter box for cats. Your cat’s litter box can be slowing moved to a different room if need be.

You should also make it a priority to find a new veterinarian, especially if you have a pet that requires specialized care or is accident-prone. Our Vet Finder can help you locate a licensed veterinarian or ask around—it can be a great way to meet neighbors!

As you prepare for exciting and sometimes overwhelming undertaking, we wish you the best and don’t forget that you can use any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada with our pet insurance. Get your free quote now.

Monday March 9, 2015

Gettin’ Crafty: Upcycled Pet Food Storage Container

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A perfect project for pet parents who want a durable and adorable—not to mention environmentally friendly—place to store their pet’s food! 


•  An empty popcorn tin or small metal trash can with a lid
•  A can of spray paint (any color)
•  A self-adhesive chalkboard label
•  Chalk


  1. Wash, rinse and dry your container.
  2. Turn the container upside-down in well-ventilated area like on the lawn or in an open garage atop a painter’s tarp or old towel.
  3. Spray paint the outside of container and it’s lid, and let it dry.
  4. Adhere chalkboard label to side of the container.
  5. Identify the contents by writing on the label with a piece of chalk.

Personalize your container by decorating the label with different colors of chalk, maybe even adding a cute paw print design, and getting a new food scoop to match your newly revamped container.


Tuesday February 24, 2015

Veg Out with Your Pet


Vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables can be a healthy way to supplement your pet’s regular canned or dry food diet. Just make sure they’re pet-safe, and always consult your vet before introducing new foods.