July 2011

Does your pet have a quirky behavior—like drinking from the faucet or digging at your carpet? Here are explanations of some curious pet activities. By the way, if you're ever concerned about something your pet does, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Why Does My Pet Do That?  

Face or Clothes Licking

Many cats like to shower their pet parents with rough-tongued kisses, sometimes purring and kneading them too. This behavior, which some experts link to being weaned or orphaned too early, may give cats comfort during times of stress, illness, or boredom—or it might simply be their way of relaxing.

Digging Dirt

Lots of dogs love to dig in the dirt or even on rugs and furniture. This urge may have been passed down from foxes and wolves who dig dens to protect pups from predators and extreme temperatures. In addition to making comfy sleeping spots, dogs dig to bury items, to hunt ground animals, or just to amuse themselves.

Faucet Sipping

Some cats prefer water straight from the tap over water in their bowls. That's not surprising considering it’s bound to be fresher. This behavior may have evolved from wild cat ancestors. For them, moving water could be a healthier choice, since it’s less likely to contain contaminants than stagnant water.

Chewing Around

Why do dogs like to put things in their mouths? Puppies chew to explore and relieve teething pain, while older dogs often gnaw to strengthen jaws and clean teeth. Unfortunately, chewing can also be destructive and harmful if an object is ingested. Talk to your veterinarian if chewing is a problem in your home.

Keep in mind that if summer shenanigans land your pet at the veterinarian’s office, we can help you afford treatments and medications. Visit the Member Center to see your coverage details.

Want to know why cats bump heads or dogs jump up to say hello? Read about more quirky pet behaviors at our blog. You can also find advice on behavior issues for cats and for dogs at the ASPCA®’s website.

Pet Tips

Summer Dog Walking

During the hot days of summer, it may be best to choose a shady route or limit long walks with your dog to early mornings or late evenings when the sun isn’t too strong. Bring plenty of water for both of you, and remember asphalt can get hot. Be careful your dog's paws don't get burned.

Keeping Kitty Cool

Even indoor kitties can get dehydrated in the hot summer months. Make sure your cat always has fresh water at his or her disposal. You may want to drop in a few ice cubes to keep it cold. If you notice signs of overheating, like excessive panting, drooling, or lethargy, call your veterinarian.

Summer Pet Grooming

Grooming does more than keep your pet looking good, it can also help keep them happy and healthy during the hot summer months.

Brush Away

Brushing is important in the summer and all year round for dogs and cats. It gets rid of loose hairs, removes skin flakes, and stimulates circulation. It's also a good time to check for fleas, ticks, and skin problems.

Cool Haircut

A short summer haircut can help keep your dog cool and prevent overheating. Avoid shaving to the skin, so your dog will have some sun protection. For cats, extra summer brushing can help prevent heat related issues.

Bath Time

The ASPCA® recommends that dogs get a bath about every three months, but your pup may need more baths in the summer, especially after outdoor fun. Cats are well-equipped to clean themselves, but may need an occasional washing.

Get more tips on bathing your cat or grooming your dog at the ASPCA’s website.

Our Blog  

Summer Photo Fun

We’re looking for photos of our furry friends enjoying the “dog days” of summer. Send us a photo of your pet and it could be featured on our blog over Labor Day weekend.

Send us a photo or visit our blog.

Pet Speak: A Customer’s Story*  

This past summer, my 16-month-old Maltipoo, Robbie, was enjoying the backyard with his brother. They love to run and chase each other. That evening, I noticed Robbie hardly ate. Later that night, he grew listless and started vomiting, so I rushed him to the veterinarian in the morning.

It turned out Robbie had swallowed a rock, and needed surgery to remove it. The surgery cost over a thousand dollars, but ASPCA Pet Health Insurance covered most of it. I’m so thankful that Robbie's surgery was successful and that I had your pet insurance coverage!

— Lauren B., Newport, R.I.

Share your story!

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.

This is not a complete description of all coverage terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations. Your plan will have a full description of the scope and limitations of coverage. All plans may not be available in all states. Rates and coverage subject to change. Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by Petsmarketing Insurance.com, Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of the Hartville Group, Inc. The Hartville Group, Inc. is a licensed strategic partner of the ASPCA. In exchange for use of the ASPCA ® trademarks, the ASPCA is paid a royalty fee of up to 10% of the purchase price, with a minimum of $1.95 million to be recognized over at least three years.

© 2011, The Hartville Group, Inc. ASPCA Logo, Copyright 2011, ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.