Hey Girl smiling in the office

A picture is worth a thousand words already, so why add more?

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pet parents

Common Skin Problems in Dogs

A dog’s healthy skin is a great indication of his overall health, and it is important to visit your veterinarian at the first sign of any abnormality. Keep an eye out for excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking, as they may be signs of a skin problem.

Common causes of skin irritations for dogs include:

Fleas
Ringworm
Parasites, such as ear mites and lice
Seasonal allergies
Food allergies
Bacterial or yeast infections
Sarcoptic mange
Grooming products
Stress or boredom
Metabolic or hormonal problems
Seasonal changes

Our friends at the ASPCA® have some great information about allergies, mange and hot spots.

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pet parents

Two Cats Triumph Over Cancer

“My sister’s beloved dog was hit by a car. My sister recounted how she carried her dog, wounded and bleeding to the veterinarian’s office. It was a horrible experience, but she was grateful to have had pet insurance to help with the bills.

That made me pause and realize that my two cats weren’t insured. I shopped around and compared plans offered by a couple providers. I decided to buy an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan that covered accidents and illnesses. My plan also has coverage for chronic conditions.

Four months later, I took one of my cats to the vet for a checkup. I pointed out a small bump I’d felt on the tip of her tail. I was surprised by the doctor’s concern. It was biopsied, and I was stunned to hear it was cancer.

Our vet amputated a part of my cat’s tail, and now, years later, she’s in good health. My other cat also had a cancerous growth removed, and she’s doing well also.

I’m grateful that I didn’t have to worry about unexpected veterinary bills at these stressful times.” –Jenny C., Fayetteville, NC

We'd love to hear if we've helped your pet. Share your story and it may be featured on our blog.


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pet parents

dog lying atop a sofa in a sweater

Friday's Furry Friend is a weekly feature that showcases pet photos we receive from our customers and Facebook fans. Email us a photo of your pet with the subject, "My Furry Friend."

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pet parents

Cloud sticking his tongue out
A picture is worth a thousand words already, so why add more?

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pet parents

How to Tell Your Pet’s in Pain

It’s often hard to tell pets may be in pain since they can’t tell us. For many pet parents, a cat or dog’s discomfort can be hard to spot—unless there are visible indicators like limping or bleeding.

Our friends at the ASPCA® have some examples of common pain indicators:

• Lack of normal behaviors, like grooming or eating
• Loud vocalizations, hiding or abnormal posturing
• Change in reaction to touch
• High heart rate or temperature change

If your pet is in pain or if you are unsure about a behavior change, contact your veterinarian. You can learn more about recognizing an animal’s pain here.

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pet parents

Grover is Covered, Just in Case

“I live on a limited income and have coverage for Grover just in case something happens with his health. ASPCA Pet Healthy Insurance has been easy to use, and it came in handy when Grover had to have a gingival mass removed a few years ago.

I adopted Grover shortly after I lost another Sheltie to cancer. Grover needed a new home because his owner had become quite ill and could no longer care for him. Shelties get very attached to their owners, so Grover had a hard time adjusting to the change. When I saw his lonely and hurt face, I got down on my knees and talked to him like a person, explaining what happened and that I would be taking him to his new forever home.” –Cheryl K., Doylestown, PA

We'd love to hear if we've helped your pet. Share your story and it may be featured on our blog.

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pet parents

Dog asking to go outside

Friday's Furry Friend is a weekly feature that showcases pet photos we receive from our customers and Facebook fans. Email us a photo of your pet with the subject, "My Furry Friend."

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pet parents

Angel napping under a desk

A picture is worth a thousand words already, so why add more?

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pet parents

How to Make Homemade Cat Toys

If you’ve ever lived with cats, you probably know how much fun they can have with a paper bag. Here is a list of some of the other common household items that make excellent cat toys.

•   Plastic Eggs- Fill them with unpopped popcorn kernels, peppercorns, dry beans, grains of dry rice or coins. These are great for visually impaired cats, and all cats love the sounds.
•   Empty Cardboard Rolls- Pull treats or toys through the opening or place them inside the roll. Your cat will have fun chasing the rolls or swatting at the toys inside. 
•   Crinkled Tin Foil- Crumple up a sheet of tin foil to provide an interesting change in texture and sound from a cat’s usual ball toys.
•   Rope/Cable/Tubing- To make string-like toys that are safe for unattended play, use materials that are thick and short, such as mountain climbing rope, bicycle break cables (with caps on the ends) and flexible plastic tubing. 
•   Drinking Straws- Look for straws in colors that contrast your flooring. Brightly colored straws are very popular with kittens!
•   Driftwood/Firewood- Both are excellent, natural scratcher options that can last for decades. 
•   Corks- Corks are loads of fun to chase, and they also absorb scents. Store them in a bag of catnip for a few weeks to make them an even more enticing toy.
•   Tissue Boxes- Place toys or treats in side to make these recyclable options irresistible to curious cats. Most pet supply stores carry studier, ready-made holey boxes.
•   Finger Puppets- These toys are especially fun when filled with catnip and sewn shut. Be sure the puppets don’t have loosely attached beads, buttons or other baubles. Also, painted features should only contain non-toxic paint or fabric dye.
•   Wrist Watches- Offer your cat your old, broken watch before throwing it out. Cats love them because your scent is on the band.
•   Pom-Pom Balls- It is important to select balls that are too large to be a choking hazard. You can store pom-pom balls in catnip for an extra treat.

What other toys have your cats found around the house? Share with us in the comments or on Facebook!

Find more ideas about homemade cat toys 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.


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pet parents

WELCOME,
PET PARENTS!

As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, a 7-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.