Caring for Each Other

"My Golden Retriever began her life as a diamond in the rough. She started as a lonely shelter dog and blossomed into a well-trained professional assistance dog. Her story is inspiring! ASPCA Pet Health Insurance allows me to care for my furry daughter, best friend and diabetes alert dog in the way she deserves to be treated. We now take care of each other, and with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, I don’t have to worry about whether I can afford my dog’s care. That’s a huge relief to both of us. I recommend ASPCA Pet Health Insurance to everyone, and I would never be without it again!"

—Submitted by: An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Pet Parent*

Photo Friday is a weekly column that showcases photos we receive from loving ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers of their pets. If you want to see your pet featured, please email me!

 

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Customer Stories

The Kitty Clinic in Clinton Township, Mich.

The Kitty Clinic in Clinton Township, Mich., caters to cats.

Cat gets comfortable

Mindy gets comfortable as the clinic's "receptionist."

Clinic kitty Cricket greets all clients

Clinic kitty Cricket greets all clients who walk through the door.

 Cat hangs out in the back of the clinic.

RuPaul hangs out in the back of the clinic.

“With dogs, you can muzzle them if they get aggressive, but with cats, you need three or four people in the room to control this tiny thing,” says Dr. Tina Ruiz, a veterinarian at The Kitty Clinic, a veterinary hospital in Clinton Township, Mich. “Cats are not dogs, especially when it comes to handling them.”

Dr. Ruiz, who went to veterinary school knowing she wanted to work exclusively with felines, understands the benefits of providing medical and surgical care exclusively to kitty patients.

“Veterinary medicine has become extremely advanced, and cats are a unique species with different diseases than other animals,” Dr. Ruiz said. “Because we treat so many cats every day, we regularly see the same diseases. This allows us to diagnose our pet patients faster.”

Gaining Popularity
More cat-only veterinary practices have been opening their doors in the past few years to not only provide tailored medical attention to felines, but also to create a calming experience for patients and pet parents.
 
Cats can get very tense around dogs and other animals in a traditional veterinary office. This may result in a stressful—and unproductive—appointment.

“One of the benefits of a cat-only clinic is that our office is very calming,” Dr. Ruiz said. “There are no barking dogs here, just our sweet office kitties.”

The Kitty Clinic also accepts a lot of cat patients that are turned away by other veterinary practices because they were too aggressive.

“Even though cats are little, they can get so angry,” Dr. Ruiz said. “We still love them though.”

Fighting Misconceptions
The challenge of handling aggressive cats isn’t nearly as difficult for The Kitty Clinic as making sure cats get the veterinary care they need.

Although felines are increasingly popular as household pets and now outnumber dogs in the US by more than 10 million, according to the CATalyst Council, fewer cat parents take their felines to the veterinarian.

According to a recent study, one-third of pet parents haven’t taken their cat to the veterinarian within the past year because of “feline resistance.” That’s really a nice way of saying it’s because the cats just don’t like it.

In a bad economy, that outlook is impacting cat-only veterinary practices.

“Before the recession, the veterinary industry was moving in the direction of encouraging more practices to be cat only,” Dr. Ruiz said. “However, this is not the case anymore. Cat-only clinics have definitely been hurt the most.”

But despite the challenges, Dr. Ruiz expresses a true passion for what she does.

“At the end of the day, my favorite part is seeing the loving relationship between cats and their owners who visit our hospital,” Dr. Ruiz said. “We treat every kitty that comes in here like family.”

Learn more about The Kitty Clinic.

Do you love your veterinarian? Tell us why!

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Veterinary Clinic Spotlight

Photo Friday: New Friends

“Our beloved Boxer has had several health problems, and we’re thankful that ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has been there to help cover the costs. She’s a member of our family, and we work with our wonderful veterinarian to try to keep her healthy. She is such a trooper at the veterinarian's office, and everybody there loves her. Our Boxer also got a new friend last year, a Boston Terrier, and we added her to our ASPCA Pet Health Insurance coverage right away so that when she has those inevitable bumps and scrapes, she'll also be covered.”

—Submitted by: An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Pet Parent*

Photo Friday is a weekly column that showcases photos we receive from loving ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers of their pets. If you want to see your pet featured, please email me!

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Customer Stories

Making Outside Walks a Walk in the Park

With spring upon us, you and your dog can bond over a stroll through the park.

With the warmer weather, you and your dog are probably eager to get outside. Depending on where you walk, you may encounter other people and animals, along with wildlife.

For your dog’s safety, our friends at the ASPCA® offer the following tips to help you better enjoy your time in the great outdoors:

•  Don’t let your dog leave home without being up-to-date on vaccinations. You never know what critters you might meet on the trail.

•  Retractable leashes are great on some walks, but keep an eye out for potential hazards. The leashes can get tangled on trees and bushes, and they’re hard for someone moving quickly—like a jogger or bicyclist—to see.

•  Carry water and drinking containers for both you and your dog. Dogs love streams and creeks, but so do microscopic beasties that can cause illness. Water from home is best for your pooch.

•  Teach your dog to leave passersby alone. To avoid potential conflicts, train your dog to come to you for treats when other walkers or nature lovers approach.

•  Clean up after yourself and your dog. As the old saying goes, “Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.” And paw prints, of course!

No matter where you walk, you’ll want to protect your best friend by making sure your current contact information can be located, either on an ID or through information on a microchip. Should your dog slip through the leash, you’ll increase your chances of being reunited with your best friend.

Also, before you hit the road, make sure your dog knows, at minimum, four commands: sit/stay, heel, leave it and come. These commands can help you avoid an encounter with wildlife or substances that could make your dog sick.

With vigilance and good training, a romp in the woods can be walk in the park for you and your dog!

For more information on dog walking etiquette, visit the ASPCA’s guide to urban dog walking, as well as its guide to hikes.

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ASPCA Happenings

In the News: Is Your Dog Smarter than a Fifth-Grader?

Take advantage of your dog’s native intelligence by teaching him or her a new trick. It will be a bonding experience for both of you.

For one professor who has studied dog intelligence, it all adds up: Man’s best friend must know math.

Professor Stanley Coren, who teaches psychology at the University of British Columbia, makes that argument in a blog post, “Do Dogs Know Mathematics?” in Psychology Today.

According to Mr. Coren, dogs exhibit many basic math skills. No, they probably aren’t going to do your kids’ algebra homework, but they can be taught to pick out objects by size and judge which of several groups of items has more members.

Have you ever broken your dog’s treat into several pieces and given your dog only one or two? My family has a dog who isn’t fooled by that human trick. She knows when she hasn’t gotten the whole treat, and she howls until she gets what she wants. As soon as that last bit of biscuit is relinquished, she’s on her way.

Mr. Coren argues that sort of behavior demonstrates thinking abilities that are on par with an infant’s. In fact, it shows dogs might understand basic addition and subtraction, as well as the concepts of more and less.

If you’re interested in testing your dog’s limits, you might enjoy trying to teach him or her a new trick. Check out the ASPCA’s article, “Enriching Your Dog’s Life,” to help get you started. Your dog’s skills might even surprise you! And if she can do algebra, let us know. 

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Photo Friday: Tortoiseshell Rescued from Winter Elements

“Two winters ago, we discovered a large tortoiseshell cat eating rabbit food that we put out on our porch. One day, after seeing her with a cardboard masking tape ring around her neck, we brought her into our home. She was so cold. Her eyes were watering and her long hair was matted with evergreen thorns. We cut the cardboard ring off and trimmed her hair to make her comfortable. Then we took her to the veterinarian and, thankfully, she was healthy. The veterinarian had to shave her fur to get rid of all of the thorns, so she wore a sweater until her hair grew back. Today, she’s a happy, healthy 9-year-old girl! We love having her as part of our family.”

—Submitted by: An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Pet Parent*

Photo Friday is a weekly column that showcases photos we receive from loving ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers of their pets. If you want to see your pet featured, please email me!

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Customer Stories

Hartville Group Celebrates Go Orange Month

Last Friday, employees dressed up in orange to support the ASPCA®’s “Go Orange for Animals” month, which builds awareness for the ASPCA’s mission of preventing animal cruelty. This year also marks a special milestone as the ASPCA celebrates 145 years of being the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. Stay tuned for ideas later this month about how you can join in on the fun with our friends at the ASPCA!

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Hartville Group News & Info

This stroll was far from leisurely for this customer and his dog.

A 4-year-old Labrador retriever was on a walk with his pet parent when he was suddenly attacked by a swarm of bees.

He was stung more than 30 times while rolling on the ground, trying to get them off. The dog suffered an allergic reaction, which can be fatal.

Luckily, he was rushed to the veterinarian where he got injections to combat the reaction.

Have you recently submitted an interesting ASPCA Pet Health Insurance claim? Tell us about it!

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Customer Stories

A Pet Parent Asks:
Are multiple injuries from a single event considered one incident? For example, a dog suffers an accident that causes a broken bone, cuts needing stitches and surgery. Would I be reimbursed up to one incident limit for all these injuries? Or would each injury have its own incident limit?

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Answers:
Good question!

Multiple injuries that are related to one incident share one incident limit.

For this particular scenario, you would be reimbursed up to the covered amounts on all three components of this one accident—the broken bone, cuts needing stitches and surgery—up to your maximum incident benefit.

Pet Parent Q&A is a regular column that answers customer questions in an effort to educate others. This is not a forum to receive responses to specific inquiries. Please call Customer Service at 1-866-204-6764 or email cservice@aspcapetinsurance.com for immediate assistance.

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Hartville Group News & Info

Photo Friday: Dog Loves His Kitty Cat Bed

“This is my 2-year-old Jack Russell mix. We adopted him when he was 5 months old after he’d been hit by a car and his back legs were still healing. He also got very ill a few days after coming home. Once he got better, we enrolled him in ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. We’ve been very pleased with the coverage and level of service. Today, he’s a healthy and strong boy! He loves sleeping in the sun in his ‘kitty cat bed.’ Thank you, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!”

—Submitted by: An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Pet Parent*

Photo Friday is a weekly column that showcases photos we receive from loving ASPCA Pet Health Insurance customers of their pets. If you want to see your pet featured, please email me!

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Customer Stories

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, an 8-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.