August 2011

The end of summer can bring some hot and sultry days, so we've put together some important tips to help keep your pet healthy when the temperature rises. You'll also find a few creative ways to entertain your pet as well as advice that can help in case of a medical emergency.

Cool Pet Tips for Hot Summer Days  

1. Keep your pet cool and hydrated.

Dogs and cats can suffer from heatstroke and dehydration just like you, so do your best to keep your pet cool and hydrated in high temperatures. For instance, make sure your pet always has plenty of fresh water and leave an air conditioner or fan on if your pet is home alone.

Look out for signs of overheating, like difficulty breathing, weakness, or stupor. Also, watch for symptoms of dehydration, like sunken eyes, lethargy, or appetite loss. If you notice any problems, call your veterinarian.

2. Exercise your furry friend.

Don't let summer heat stop you from giving your pet needed exercise. Sedentary pets can put on weight and get bored or frustrated. You can still walk or play outside, but consider limiting outdoor time to mornings or evenings when it's cooler. You can also play fun indoor games, like chase or fetch.

3. Visit the veterinarian.

Have you taken your pet to the veterinarian this year? The ASPCA recommends an annual visit in the spring or early summer, but it's not too late. Check-ups can help detect health issues early. Also, ask your veterinarian about preventing heartworm, which can be passed to dogs and cats by infected mosquitoes.

Keep in mind that Levels 3 and 4 of our plans cover wellness care, like an annual exam. Also, treatment for heatstroke or dehydration is covered by all of our plans.

Learn about High-Rise Syndrome and other potential summer pet dangers at our blog, or check out the ASPCA's hot weather tips at their website.

Activities Ideas

Fun Summer Games

Enjoy some fun with your pet with these summertime games.

Have a Treasure Hunt

Hide pet treats in the backyard or around your house, and let your pet run around and find them with your help.

Pop Some Bubbles

Blow bubbles for your cat or dog to chase and pop. You can even buy bubble soap made for pets that smells like chicken or bacon!

Bob for Toys

Drop some pet toys in a kiddie pool, and let your pet knock them around. Just make sure you're around to supervise.

Emergency Advice

Do you know what to do if your pet suffers a medical emergency, like heatstroke, poisoning, or choking? Here are a few pointers to help you be better prepared.

  • Store the number of a local emergency clinic in your phone. If you don't know one, you can search online with our Veterinary Locator.

  • Also, add the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline — 1-888-426-4435 — so you can call quickly in an emergency. There may be a $65 consultation fee, but 80% is covered by your plan.

  • In case of emergency, stay calm and don't try to treat your pet without seeking professional advice. And be careful handling a traumatized pet.

Remember, you can use any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada with our plans, including emergency care doctors and specialists. Look for information on veterinary specialists in next month's newsletter.

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*  

You truly never know what might happen when you have a pet. My dog Belle never had a single health problem, but then one day, she got a blank look in her eyes and started jumping up and down like a pogo stick. I took her to an emergency hospital, and $1,200 later, a spinal tap and CT scan showed that she was having seizures.

With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, I was able to say "yes" without thinking twice about the cost of these expensive procedures. The bill was much easier to swallow with your help, and there was no way I was going to forego treatment for my little girl!

— Lisa L., Chapel Hill, N.C.

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, 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.