“We adopted our boys from a cat shelter in Tucson more than a year ago. They probably lived as feral cats for some time before that. Because they had bonded so well together in the shelter, we adopted both of them, which was a good choice as they love to play with each other. The Lynx Point Siamese sometimes acts more like a devoted dog, while the Russian Blue wants to be petted on his own terms. They certainly are welcome family members now, and we try to give them the best care.”

—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

An English Bulldog puppy waves displays his American spirit. Have a fun and safe Fourth of July with your pet!

With the long holiday weekend almost here, you probably are already planning your picnics, parties, parades and fireworks. For your pets, though, the heat and commotion might not be cause for celebration.

Our friends at the Amercian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) have some tips to ensure both pet parents and their dogs and cats can have fun this Fourth of July:

Watch your pet’s diet

The steaks are on the grill, and the chips and guacamole are laid out on the picnic table. As much as your dog may beg, even a taste of people food could cause an upset tummy. In fact, some foods, such as avocados, chocolate, onions and grapes, can be toxic for animals.

Beware summer toxins

Many summertime essentials are pet no-nos. Matches, sunscreen, insect repellent, lighter fluid, glow jewelry, citronella candles and oil products should be used around pets only with careful supervision.

Keep pets away from fireworks

Provide a safe, quiet area for your pets during this weekend’s Independence Day fireworks displays, and never use fireworks around animals. Not only does the noise scare most pets, but mishaps can result in serious burns. Even unlit fireworks can be dangerous to pets because many types contain toxic substances and heavy metals.

While fireworks displays are no fun for pets, other outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming and picnicking can be fun for the entire family. If you and your pet are outside this weekend, be sure to snap some pictures and send them along! Email us!

Happy Fourth of July!


ASPCA Happenings

The flight is booked, the suitcases are packed and visions of fun in the sun are close to becoming a reality. But what happens if pets who stay behind get sick right before—and during—a vacation? Here is a story about a family who found themselves in this tough spot, and how they got through it.

Scott M. and his wife, Shelly, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa,* were looking forward to a trip to sunny Colorado to celebrate a friend’s wedding. Luckily, the couple had a caring neighbor who agreed to watch their two big dogs—Nancy and Ben—while they were away.

The day before leaving, Nancy started to throw up, so her pet parents took her to the vet for antibiotics. Even though Nancy was doing better, leaving while knowing their dog wasn’t 100 percent healthy left the couple feeling anxious.

Once in Colorado, the dogs' pet parents called to find out that not only was Nancy feeling worse, but Ben had also started to throw up. The neighbor was worried about them getting dehydrated as neither could keep down food or water. With both dogs sick—and hundreds of miles away—Shelly and Scott felt helpless. They told their neighbor to take the dogs to the vet and do whatever it would take to make Nancy and Ben feel better. 

“It was so nice to have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance because we knew it was going to be expensive. When you are away from home and can't get back, it gave me a sense of calmness to know that my dogs were being taken care of,” Shelly told us. “You can't put a price tag on your pet, but medical care for them can get expensive.” 

Knowing they had the support of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance—as well as an extremely supportive neighbor—during this difficult circumstance, they were able to enjoy their friend’s wedding and return home with a lively greeting from two healthy pups.

Have a story to share? Email me!

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Customer Stories

Friendship is priceless, but your next buddy could be free, if you’re planning to adopt an adult shelter cat in the next few days.

In conjunction with Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, our friends at the ASPCA,® along with Fresh Step litter, are encouraging shelters to conduct fee-waived adoptions for adult cats.

“On average, it costs shelters $13 a day to care for a cat," Emily Weiss, a researcher for the ASPCA, said in a recent statement. "Often times, adoption fees don't even offset those costs. By offering fee-waived adoptions for adult cats, shelters can often increase the cost for kittens and direct new cat parents to their gift or retail shop where they can purchase essential supplies for their new family member. Shelters benefit from that revenue, and new cat owners have extra money to spend on their cat. And, ultimately, the cat has a loving home. It’s a win-win for all.”

The promotion comes at a time when shelters are often flooded with kittens. Most kitties are born between March and November.

With so many cats in shelters, your new best friend might already be waiting for you. If you plan on adopting a cat, the ASPCA has tips to ease the transition. Your new cat’s needs include:


The essentials include a litter box, the litter your new cat is used to using, food and water dishes, the food your cat is used to eating, toys and a scratching post. An identification tag or microchip can help your cat return home if he or she is ever lost.

Routine and a space to relax

Give your new friend space to find his or her way in your family. Your new cat may need seven to 14 days before he or she is feeling at home.

Safe surroundings

Cleaning supplies, medications and even plants can be toxic to animals. Check out the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center for a list of some substances to avoid.

Veterinary care

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help new pet parents afford wellness visits for their new friends. Explore our coverage or get a free quote!

To find your local shelter, visit the ASPCA’s shelter database. For a list a shelters participating in the fee-waiver program, visit Fresh Step’s Facebook page.



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ASPCA Happenings

Photo Friday: Pet Insurance Helped through Difficult Diagnosis

“Our 6-year-old Maltese suddenly started shaking, so we rushed him to the veterinarian. After numerous tests, our veterinarian diagnosed him with Cushing's disease. Today, we’re able to regulate his condition with medication.

"A year before this incident, I had purchased ASPCA Pet Health Insurance after I saw a brochure for it in my veterinarian’s office. I’m so thankful I did! It cost us thousands of dollars to save his life. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance relieved the financial impact this diagnosis had on us, and we still have our dog with us. 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

In the News: Grandpets Become Objects of Indulgence

Some lucky dogs can enjoy pampering from not only their pet parents, but also from doting pet grandparents who are more than willing to lavish them with attention.

My grandmother would resist the characterization, but she’s grown into the role of a doting, indulgent matriarch—to my dad’s dog.

A Christmas stocking full of biscuits still hangs from the banister in the living room, and chew toys occupy the tight space beneath a sewing cabinet. A bowl of water sits on the kitchen floor, always filled fresh upon the dog’s arrival.

Clearly, Frankie is her ordained granddog.

Turns out, the label is fairly common, according to story from CNN about “grandpuppies.”

“For years, we didn't have any grandchildren and my daughter's dog, Mr. Moose, was all we had,” 63-year-old Eileen Williams told CNN, which reported that older folks are increasingly spoiling their children’s dogs.

For Abilene (Texas) Reporter News columnist Sharon Randall, the bond between grandpet and grandmother is easy to explain. Like many doting grandmothers, she’s eager to share the love.

“I can show you lots of pictures, if you like,” Ms. Randall writes. “Did I mention they’re the smartest cats and dogs ever born? And get this: I won't ever have to help pay their way to college.”

According to a Newsweek story, “Spoiled granddogs,” the trend is big business. Online retailer CafePress.com, for instance, offers more than 55,000 granddog-related items, from T-shirts and decals to mugs and dog clothes.

Items available online allow the human members of dogs’ extended families to state, “I [heart] my granddog,” and, “My granddog leaves pawprints on my heart.” One site sells a decal boasting, “Granddogs are better than grandchildren.”

One self-acknowledged pup-grandmother offers her reason.

“Sure, you can spoil a grandchild, but you can spoil a granddog more,” Barbara Holbrook told Newsweek.

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Lenny and Squiggy, two strays who were rescued by a veterinarian and his wife, recover after receiving their last treatment for heartworm disease.

Lenny and Squiggy chill out in the “beach bungalow” of Gentle Care Animal Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., where the two strays received treatment for heartworm..

Lenny and Squiggy look right at home at their new forever home after they were rescued from a life of scrounging for scraps on Grand Turk Island.

Scavenging dogs at an island resort captivated the imagination of a North Carolina veterinarian who returned home with two unusual mementoes.

Dr. Darren Holman and his wife were introduced to potcakes— stray dogs named after their habit of foraging scraps of food caked in cooking pots–while vacationing in Grand Turk, the capital island of the Caribbean’s Turks and Caicos.

“Dr. Holman and his wife noticed two potcakes in particular who continuously congregated at the doorstep of their vacation house,” said Julie Papp, Hospital Manager at Gentle Care Animal Hospital, where Dr. Holman is the head veterinarian. “It didn’t take long before they fell in love with the dogs and made arrangements to fly them back to the states for medical testing and treatment for heartworm disease.”

At the hospital, the friendly pups—named Lenny and Squiggy—quickly became a popular fixture hanging out in their “beach bungalow,” an area the staff created to replicate their former home. 

While the long heartworm treatment was arduous, today the dogs are happy and healthy.

“They are doing great,” Ms. Papp told us. “Lenny and Squiggy are living happily together in their forever home, which is actually with two of our hospital’s employees!”

For more information on Gentle Care Animal Hospital in Raleigh, visit http://www.petrepair.com/

To share a story about your veterinary practice, email us!

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Veterinary Clinic Spotlight

For Summer Fun, Head Outside!

Now is a great time to take your furry friend—including your cat—for a stroll!

Here are some tips from our friends at the ASPCA® to make your time together even more enjoyable.

Walking Your Cat

Walking a cat with a leash may sound silly if you’ve never done it before, but most cats can be trained to do it. Make sure you use a harness designed for felines, and take some time to get your cat used to it first. For instance, leave the harness and leash by your kitty’s food bowl or favorite napping spot for a day or two.

Walking Your Dog

If your canine pulls to chase after wildlife, you might try avoiding walks at dusk and dawn when other critters are more likely to be out. You can also try walking at a quick pace, so your dog will have less of a chance to pick up interesting scents and stop to check them out.

For more tips about walking cats or dogs, visit the ASPCA’s website.


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ASPCA Happenings

Cat Photo: Black & White Love Bug

“I recently adopted a 12-year-old cat who is so sweet and cuddly. He just wants to be loved!”

—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

Time flies, especially if you’re living in dog years.

A time-lapse video showing a German Shepherd’s transition from puppyhood to his first birthday has garnered more than 3 million views on YouTube and made him a star.
A comment by one viewer pretty much sums up the 45-second clip:

“Cute video, awesome dog!”

Be sure to check out Dunder’s other home movies on YouTube, including “Dunder Cleaning Up His Toys” and “3.5 Month-Old Dunder Thinks He’s a Teddy Bear.” Too cute!

Got any videos of your pets you’d like to share? Email me!

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines


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.