November 2011

As Thanksgiving and the winter holidays approach, there's few better topics than food! We all love to eat around the holidays, but what's a good diet for your pet? And what holiday foods should your pet avoid? We've got some tips to make sure your pet is getting a safe and healthy diet.

Nutrition & Your Pet  

Essential H20

Did you know that water is the number one nutrient for your pet—even more important than protein? Water makes up 60% to 70% of an adult pet's body weight. Although your pet gets some hydration from wet and even dry food, make sure there's always plenty of fresh water in reach.

Two a Day

You should talk to your veterinarian about how often and what kinds of food to feed your pet, but the ASPCA® suggests most pets get two square meals a day. Offering portioned servings at specific times, rather than letting your pet graze freely, can help prevent weight gain.

Holiday No-no's

Holiday cookies are a tasty treat for us, but they can harm your pet, especially if they have chocolate, raisins, or nuts in them. You should also avoid feeding your pet fatty or spicy foods, which can cause tummy upset. And never offer real bones, since they can splinter and hurt your pet.

If your pet does gobble something down she shouldn't, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can help at 1-888-426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may apply, 80% of which is covered by your plan.

Learn more about pet nutrition, including special considerations for young and senior pets at our blog. The ASPCA also has lots of information about harmful foods and feeding tips in the Pet Care section of their website.

Pet Tip

Is your pet overweight?

Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet's weight, but you should be able to feel the backbone and ribs without pressing. Your pet should also have a distinct "waist" between the back of the rib cage and hips viewed from the top. If you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian.

Boarding Your Pet

The holidays can be a time for travelling to visit with family and friends, but it's not always possible or practical to bring your pet with you. If you're considering boarding your pet, here are a few tips to help.

  • Be sure to visit and carefully inspect any potential boarding facilities, even if you have a good reference.

  • Ask them about diet provisions, exercise routines, affiliations with veterinarians, and staff qualifications.

  • Check references from other clients and consider asking local veterinarians about the facility's reputation.

If you bring your pet along on your travels, remember you can use any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada with our plans. This way, you can be covered even if your pet needs care on the road. View your plan for details.

Pet Speak: A Customer’s Story*  

My cat Micah became listless, wouldn't eat, and was vomiting. The veterinarian did an X-ray and ultrasound, but they were inconclusive. He put Micah on antibiotics and steroids. My poor boy also had to have IV fluids because he was dehydrated.

It took a while, but now Micah's back to his old self. He takes a steroid pill daily (we fight every morning about this!) and is doing well. The bill was about $1,600, so thank goodness I have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance! With the holidays, money is especially tight, and the reimbursement check was a huge help.

— Sarah L., Raleigh, NC

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.

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