February 2012

The Health Benefits of Pets

As a pet parent, you know how much love and joy pets bring into our homes, but did you know they can also improve your health? We've got more on that plus tooth brushing tips for Pet Dental Health Month.

Over the years, studies have found that pets can boost our health in measurable ways.+ Here are a few more reasons to shower your pet with love around Valentine's Day and throughout the year.

Stress Relievers

Nothing melts away the stress of a day like a warm snuggle from your pet. But it may be more than psychological relief. Research has revealed that pets can help lower blood pressure and anxiety levels.

Heart Helpers

Pets can have positive effects on our hearts. Studies have reported better survival rates for heart attack patients with pets and improved heart rate variability, which is an indicator of heart health.

Mental Boosters

Our furry pals may also combat depression. In studies, pet-assisted therapy helped reduce depression in chemotherapy patients, and pets reduced stress for people caring for loved ones with dementia.

Pet Speak: A Customer's Story*

"We adopted Russell from a rescue organization. With our love and devotion, he's overcome his fears, and settled in as part of our family. That being said, I realized he should be treated as family and have pet insurance.

I've had to pay large veterinary fees in the past, but when you love an animal, that's just what you do. With Russell, I knew it would be better to protect him and have the security of knowing the insurance will be there when we need it."

— Susan M., Memphis, TN

Tooth Brushing Tips

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so it's a great time to check your pet's teeth and gums:

  • Smell your pet's breath to make sure it doesn't smell foul or offensive.

  • Gently push back your pet's lips and look over teeth and gums for obvious issues.

  • Be on the lookout for difficulty chewing or excessive pawing at the mouth.

If you have any concerns, call your veterinarian. You should also schedule a yearly dental cleaning. If you have Level 3 or 4, it's covered.

Learn more about dental health for cats or for dogs at the ASPCA®'s website.

Member Center

Want to check the status of a claim? Update your contact or billing information? Sign into our Member Center to do it conveniently online.

Furry Match Makers

If you're looking for love or just a new friend, maybe your pet can help. Whether you're out walking your dog or buying cat treats at the store, pets can break the ice and reveal common interests.

Spread the Love

Encourage your friends to give their beloved pets the gift of protection for Valentine's Day. Tell a friend.

Share Your Story

Have an experience you'd like to share about your pet's health? We'd love to hear it and may feature it in our newsletter.
Share it now.

+Sources: K. Arhant-Sudhir, R. Arhant-Sudhir, K. Sudhir, Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 2011; C. Westgarth, BMC Veterinary Research, 2007; M. Orlandi, Anticancer Research, 2007; S. Lupien, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2010

Conditions discussed in this e-newsletter are not necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Please review your individual policy for specifics by visiting the Member Center online at www.aspcapetinsurance.com or call our customer service line at 1-866-204-6764.

This newsletter is not intended to provide advice on individual pet health or behavioral matters or to substitute for consultation with a veterinary doctor.

*While the above testimonial may include examples of recent claim payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.