Pet Insurance Blog

Saturday March 1, 2014

Pet Poison Safety Twitter Party!

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Learn important poison safety tips for your pet and get 3 chances to win at our Pet Poison Safety Twitter Party. The party will be held on Wednesday, March 26 from 7-8 pm EST. Use the hashtag #PetSafety to join the conversation and play our trivia contest.

Tips for joining a Twitter party:

   • Sign up for a Twitter account 

   • Follow the party hosts. For the Pet Poison Safety party, make sure you’re following ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

   • Twitter parties are easiest to follow if you’re using a dashboard like TweetChat, TweetDeck, or TweetGrid

   • Use the party hashtag (#PetSafety) in every tweet to be a part of the conversation.

No purchase necessary. See official rules.


Monday February 24, 2014

Tips to Help Your Cat Shed Those Pounds

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Has your cat put on a little extra weight during these cold winter months? We’ve found some tips to help you get your kitty back on track.

Your Cat is Not Alone
Nearly 58% of cats are obese, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). When determining whether your pet is overweight, the best way to judge is on a scale at the veterinarian’s office, but you can use points 3 & 4 from our friends at the ASPCA® to assess your pet at home.

Visit Your Veterinarian
Any time your cat is dealing with obesity, consult with a veterinarian first to rule out any medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or other disorders. Your veterinarian can help you gauge your cat’s body condition and create an approved weight loss program for your cat.

Practice Patience
A cat’s diet should not be changed drastically overnight, and you should be sure to follow your veterinarian’s nutrition recommendations. A staged food transition could take approximately two weeks. To help your furry family member adjust and accept his new meal plan, try to spice his chow up by adding ketchup or salmon juice.

Get Moving
Unlike our canine pals, cats aren’t the perfect companions to take along for a morning jog or swim. They’re more of the relaxing type. One great motivator to get your cat moving is to use their mealtime as exercise time. Try walking around the home with their bowl for a few minutes before giving them a portion of the meal. See if you can stretch mealtime out to 20 minutes with this tactic.

As with humans, cats also need some motivation to lose weight. These cat toy ideas from our friends at the ASPCA may be useful to help your cat get and stay active.


Monday February 17, 2014

Q&A: Why does my dog run or bark while sleeping?

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Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my dog run or bark while sleeping?

A: Your dog is probably dreaming, just like a person who walks or talks in their sleep. Dogs experience the same stages of sleep as humans, including rapid eye movement (REM), which is the time when we might move around. Older canines spend more than 10% of their time asleep in the REM stage, while puppies are in dreamland for a more considerable amount of time. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.


Monday January 27, 2014

Is Doggie Daycare Right For Your Dog?

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Enrolling your dog in daycare is a fantastic way to keep him from getting lonely or bored when you’re away from home. For large dogs living in small homes, daycare facilities are often a great way to ensure that dogs release their energy in healthy, non-destructive ways.

That said, not every dog is a good fit for daycare situations and every daycare facility is unique., It's worth looking at daycare facilities, if you have a playful, well-behaved dog who enjoys socializing at dog parks. Since there is no one-size-fits-all answer, be patient as you evaluate the options for your individual dog.

Finding the Right Fit

How do you know if your dog would do well in doggie daycare? Generally speaking, a daycare situation might be a good fit if your dog behaves well at dog parks and enjoys playing with other dogs. Of course, not all dogs are social, and not all social dogs are comfortable in every social situation. Personality plays a big part.

Ideal candidates for doggie daycare are:
  • Healthy
  • Spayed or neutered
  • Vaccinated
  • Well-socialized
  • Energetic

Dogs who are not usually well suited for daycare situations are:
  • Possessive about toys or food
  • Panicky
  • Shy
  • Constant barkers
  • Aggressive
  • Herders who are too pushy
  • Anxious when separated from owner
  • Fearful, tense or anxious around other dogs
  • Under-socialized

Learn more about doggie daycare and alternatives here.

This blog post was written by guest blogger Kari Kells, a professional pet sitter and pet parent to Raggedy Andy, Emma and Rumi. Read more tips and advice from Kari on her blog.


Monday January 20, 2014

Q&A: Why does my dog tip his head when he hears something?

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Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my dog tip his head when he hears something?

A: While incredibly cute, the head tilt may be your dog’s way of trying to hear something more clearly. This position leans one ear forward to better catch the sound. Another theory involves patterned behavior. In other words, it looks cute for a reason. If you tend to lovingly pet your canine after a head tilt, then a sideways look may be a request for affection. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.


Monday January 13, 2014

Q&A: Why does my cat roll around on the ground?

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Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my cat roll around on the ground?

A:  Sometimes cats roll out of excitement or joy, like the way dogs run around when you walk in the door. Other times, they may be seeking attention, and they want to be petted, played with or given a treat. If your cat enjoys catnip toys, it might also be that your frisky feline is feeling intoxicated. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.