small dog with a green chew toy

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

Tags: , ,

pet parents

Jack Russell Terrier on a walk

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my dog want to eat gross stuff when he’s on a walk?

A: To us, garbage lying on the ground is nasty. To your pet, it’s a tasty investigation. There’s a whole mess of reasons why this might occur. If your pet is overly anxious, bored or just plain curious, a piece of trash might appear to be a snack. Another reason might have to do with a lack of nutrients, primarily vitamin B1. Learn more about coprophagia (eating feces) and pica (eating things that aren't food) from our friends at the ASPCA®.

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.

Tags: , , , , ,

pet parents

Scottish Terrier sitting on deck

“Roddy, my 13-year-old Scottish Terrier, has played on the beach since he was a puppy. He especially loves to chase soccer balls with children. One day a group of men were playing bocce and, having no idea that bocce balls are extremely heavy, Roddy swooped in, grabbed one and took off down the beach. In doing so, he broke a big molar. The broken tooth was removed under general anesthesia by breaking it into pieces and surgically removing them. Roddy came through the procedure fine, but the veterinary bills were in the hundreds of dollars. Roddy’s ordeal was a lot less painful for me with his ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan covering most of the bill!” –Brooke R., Gloucester, MA

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

Tags: , , , ,

pet parents

black and white cat

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."

Tags: , , , ,

pet parents

Pit Bull with a purple chew bone

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

Tags: , ,

pet parents

Happy Anniversary to the ASPCA!

Our friends at the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) this month are celebrating 148 years of fighting animal cruelty and promoting animal welfare. As the oldest animal welfare organization in North America, the ASPCA has been a champion of animals across the country, beginning in 1866 in New York City.

All of us at the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program want to recognize the important work our friends at the ASPCA do every day. Join us by adding your name to our anniversary e-card

Learn more about the history of the ASPCA® here. Also read more about our relationship with the ASPCA®. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is brought to you by the Hartville Group, one of the oldest and largest pet insurance providers in the US and the only strategic partner for pet insurance with the ASPCA®.

Tags: ,

pet parents

Black and white Boston Terrier

“I am so thankful for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. They were so wonderful through the time I had my previous dog, Betsy, and that is why I now have a plan for my Boston Terrier, Tiara. I greatly appreciated the sympathy card and condolence call following Betsy’s passing. It helped calm me when I was so upset.” –Jamie P., Wilmington, DE

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

Tags: , ,

pet parents

Cocker Spaniel 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."

Tags: , , , ,

pet parents

Golden Retriever mix with a big smile

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

Tags: , ,

pet parents

happy dog with tongue out

Dogs and cats rely heavily on nonverbal signals to communicate their moods and needs. Their facial expressions, ear position, tail position and movement, as well as their overall body stance convey their feelings. It’s important to understand what a dog or cat is trying to tell you so you can best respect their needs. 

To understand your pet’s nonverbal cues, it’s important to take all of these components into consideration together. After all, one cue can convey different meanings when it’s paired with different nonverbal expressions. For example, dogs wag their tails when they’re feeling aggressive and also when they’re feeling friendly. Cats purr to indicate that they’re nervous and also to tell us that they’re content.

What are some easy ways to read a pet’s mood?

Generally speaking, the position and movement of a pet’s ears and tail are the easiest details to observe from a safe distance. These clues, along with body stance, provide the most information about the pet’s mood. Of course, some types of tails are more expressive than others! For instance, a Black Lab’s long, straight tail moves differently than a Pug’s shorter, curly tail.

Here are some common signs of a friendly, approachable dog:

   • Relaxed face, possibly slow panting
   • Corners of the mouth slightly turned up (smiling)
   • Relaxed body position
   • Tail wagging from side-to-side or in a circular motion
   • Standing: a neutral, happy stance (relaxed with weight evenly balanced) or a play bow stance (front end down, rear end up)
   • Sitting or lying down: one paw folded and tucked under

Here are some common signs of a friendly cat:

   • Eyes half-closed, blinking leisurely with narrowed pupils
   • Ears positioned slightly to a side and forward
   • Tail mostly still    
   • Paws kneading
   • Purring
   • Standing: tail straight up or curled forward at tip, possibly twitching side-to-side

Learn more about dog and cat body language 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.

 

Tags: , , ,

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.