One dog unwrapped some trouble when she found corn cobs in a bag in the kitchen of her pet parents’ home in New England.

Ruined husks littering the dog’s bed gave her pet parent, Nancy K.,* all the clues she needed when she discovered her dog in severe pain one Sunday afternoon. Nancy took the dog to an emergency clinic, where the Greyhound was treated for her corn binge.

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance reimbursed the dog’s pet parents more than $260 for this accidental ingestion, and luckily the dog was OK.

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

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Customer Stories

Cool Pet Tips for Hot Summer Days

All that hair’s got to go somewhere. This time of year, the fur is likely flying in your home.

The end of summer can bring some hot and sultry days, so we’ve put together some tips to keep your pet healthy when the temperature rises.

1. Keep your pet cool and hydrated.
Dogs and cats can suffer from heatstroke and dehydration just like you, so do your best to keep your pet cool and hydrated in high temperatures. For instance, make sure your pet always has plenty of fresh water and leave an air conditioner or fan on if your pet is home alone.

Look out for signs of overheating, like difficulty breathing, weakness, or stupor.  Also, watch for symptoms of dehydration, like sunken eyes, lethargy, or appetite loss. If you notice any problems, call your veterinarian.
2. Exercise your furry friend.
Don’t let summer heat stop you from giving your pet needed exercise. Sedentary pets can put on weight and get bored or frustrated. You can still walk or play outside, but consider limiting outdoor time to mornings or evenings when it’s cooler. You can also play fun indoor games, like chase or fetch.

3. Visit the veterinarian.
Have you taken your pet to the veterinarian this year? The ASPCA recommends an annual visit in the spring or early summer, but it’s not too late. Checkups can help detect health issues early. Also, ask your veterinarian about preventing heartworm, which can be passed to dogs and cats by infected mosquitoes.

Keep in mind that Levels 3 and 4 of our plans cover wellness care, like an annual exam. Also, treatment for heatstroke or dehydration is covered by all of our plans.

Learn about High-Rise Syndrome and find hot weather tips at the ASPCA's website.

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Hartville Group News & Info

Shedding Season Causes Fur to Fly

All that hair’s got to go somewhere. This time of year, the fur is likely flying in your home.

Vacuum manufacturer Dyson says shedding can occur all year round, but it’s typically worse in spring, summer and fall. That’s because an animal’s fur undergoes a reaction as it’s exposed to increasing amounts of daylight. Dyson says fall’s shorter days trigger the same effect.

All that extra fur and dander could have you sneezing, but you can help your pet curb excess fur loss with a healthy diet and regular grooming, according to our friends at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).®

Shedding is normal, but the ASPCA warns that excessive or spotty hair loss could be a sign of illness. Excessive shedding could be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

• Allergies
• Ringworm
• Infection
• Fleas or parasites
• Hormonal imbalance, such as hyperthyroidism
• Stress
• Pregnancy
• Sunburn
• Kidney, liver, thyroid or adrenal disease
• Self-induced trauma due to licking
• Cancer
• Immune disorder
• Contact with caustic substances

Pet parents should consult their veterinarian if their dog or cat exhibits any of the following:

• Skin irritation, including redness, bumps, rashes or scabs
• Open sores
• Bald spots
• Dull, dry hair that pulls out easily
• Scratching
• Constant foot licking or face rubbing

Visit the ASPCA for more information about shedding in dogs and cats.

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ASPCA Happenings

Photo Friday: Longtime Customer

“I have had ASPCA Pet Health Insurance for three years, and I recommend it to any pet parent. Whenever I call ASPCA Pet Health Insurance on any matter, the representatives are always courteous, friendly and professional. They have been amazing to work with!”

—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

One of our customers says she never thought her puppy might have an affinity for underwear. Imagine her surprise when she saw Balboa grab a pair from an open hamper!

As our customer tried to stop Balboa, the dog scarfed down the underwear.

The dog’s momentary indiscretion quickly turned scary, when our customer says Balboa began looking ill. At that point, our customer took poor Balboa to an emergency veterinary clinic, where veterinary staff induced vomiting.

In all, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance reimbursed her $136 for Balboa’s medical crisis.

After throwing up the offending unmentionable, Balboa’s now fine. The same probably can’t be said for the underwear.

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Customer Stories

Photo Friday: Stray Kitten Settles into Healthy Future with Family

“My cat just happened to be at the right place at the right time. As a stray kitten, she found her way to my employer’s family and after one look, we all knew she was meant for me. After I adopted her, I got ASPCA Pet Health Insurance so I could take care of her if she ever gets sick. With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, I’m thankful to have the chance to secure a healthy future for my kitty! She is so sweet.”

—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 their six years or so, my cats have moved at least four times, all while the snow was flying. According to the US Census Bureau, most movers save themselves a little trouble by moving in the spring and summer. But whenever the move happens, the change can be stressful for pets.

Moving company websites are a great source of advice if you’re planning to box up your belongings. Here are some tips:

• Visit the veterinarian before you go, and be sure to collect copies of your pet’s medical records. To find a veterinarian in your new neighborhood, visit the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Veterinary Locator. With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you can visit any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada.

• Take pictures of your pet, or consider getting him or her microchipped, in case you become separated during the move.

• Keep your pet in one cleared-out room of your old home while you’re moving your things, and identify one room of your new home to be a temporary sanctuary for your pet. Keep your pet supplies handy, and plan on moving them only after everything else is packed.

• Bring water from home to help ease the adjustment. Bring along enough to last several days. Be sure to take along extra food, too, in case you can’t find a store that carries your pet’s usual brand in your new neighborhood.

• Don’t pack the pet carrier–put it to use. Keep your pet in a carrier as you travel.

Because they’re stressed, your pets might initially behave poorly in their new surroundings. Give them time, and console them with plenty of attention and some of their favorite, familiar toys. They’ll be glad that though their surroundings have changed, their family has not.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Photo Friday: Relieved Pet Parents

“My first Boxer was 4 months old, fragile and malnourished when I adopted her. She was our baby for the next 12 years, but she had many medical problems throughout her life that cost us thousands of dollars. So when we got our new Boxer puppy, the first thing we did was sign up for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. We don't have to worry about how to pay for her visits to the veterinarian since she's covered. We submit our claims online and receive our reimbursement within a few weeks. What a relief!”

—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

More of Our Pets Quirky Behaviors Explained

Life with humans hasn’t eradicated all of our animals’ quirky behaviors. Many behaviors, such as digging, may be rooted in pets’ wild animal ancestry.

Face or Clothes Licking
Many cats like to shower their pet parents with rough-tongued kisses, sometimes purring and kneading them too. This behavior, which some experts link to being weaned or orphaned too early, may give cats comfort during times of stress, illness, or boredom—or it might simply be their way of relaxing.

Digging Dirt
Lots of dogs love to dig in the dirt or even on rugs and furniture. This urge may have been passed down from foxes and wolves that dig dens to protect pups from predators and extreme temperatures.  In addition to making comfy sleeping spots, dogs dig to bury items, to hunt ground animals, or just to amuse themselves.

Faucet Sipping
Some cats prefer water straight from the tap over water in their bowls. That’s not surprising considering it’s bound to be fresher. This behavior may have evolved from wild cat ancestors. For them, moving water could be a healthier choice, since it’s less likely to contain contaminants than stagnant water.

Chewing Around 
Why do dogs like to put things in their mouths? Puppies chew to explore and relieve teething pain, while older dogs often gnaw to strengthen jaws and clean teeth. Unfortunately, chewing can also be destructive and harmful if an object is ingested. Talk to your veterinarian if chewing is a problem in your home.

Keep in mind that if summer shenanigans land your pet at the veterinarian’s office, our pet insurance can help you afford treatments and medications. Learn more by getting a free quote now.
You can find advice on a number of behavior issues for cats and for dogs at the ASPCA®’s website.



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Hartville Group News & Info

Ever Wonder Why Your Pet Does That?

In our July Pet Health Matters newsletter, we'll be talking about some interesting pet behaviors, like cats drinking from faucets and dogs burrowing in the carpet. Here are some quirky pet behaviors explained.

Jumping Up
When dogs meet each other, they like to sniff each other’s faces. That’s why they jump up on you when you come in the door. They’re shorter, but they still want to reach up and give you a canine greeting. To train your dog to stay down, wait to greet him or her until all four paws are on the floor. Give your pup lots of praise when he or she complies.

Head Bumping
Some cats show affection by head butting their pet parents. Bumping heads is their way of saying they love you, and also of showing possession. Cats have glands in their foreheads that secrete pheromones, which have a subtle scent. These pheromones let other cats know that you’re taken.

Tail Chasing
Why do some dogs run around in tight circles chasing their tails? Tail chasing is a compulsive activity, like spinning, pacing, or fly snapping. These behaviors can develop out of nowhere, or in response to anxiety, boredom, or medical issues. If your dog displays a compulsive behavior, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

Nighttime Play
Does it seem like your cat sleeps all day and plays all night? Although cats are domesticated, they may still feel the urge to romp after dark like their feline ancestors. If your cat wakes you at night, try tiring him or her out in the early evening with interactive play. You can also offer your kitty a meal before bed, so you don’t get woken up for food.

You can also find more information and advice on pet behaviors for cats and for dogs at the ASPCA’s website. We'll be running information on other interesting pet behaviors later this week.

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Hartville Group News & Info


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.