While some cat and dog behaviors can be quite amusing, others can be cause for concern. Here are four you shouldn’t ignore:
1. Excessive belching– Your pet might suffer a burping spell after drinking too quickly, but a lot of belching can be a sign of acid reflux.
2. Obsessive licking– Constant licking may be due to a simple skin irritation, but left untreated it can lead to sores and infections.
3. Compulsive pacing– Pets sometimes pace or circle when getting ready to sleep, but done obsessively, it can indicate anxiety.
4. Litter box issues– Going outside the box could be your cat’s way of telling you it needs cleaning. However, it can also point to a bladder problem.
Behaviors like these can result in stress for the whole household. That’s why we include coverage for behavioral issues with plan Levels 3 and 4. Get a quote to see your plan options.
And, be sure to consult with your veterinarian if your pet has these or any other concerning behaviors.
A bite of chocolate may make our day, but it can mean trouble for our pets. Learn more about the danger chocolate poses to your pet in this handy, printable infographic.
Click here for a printable PDF!
(click to enlarge)
Enrolling your dog in daycare is a fantastic way to keep him from getting lonely or bored when you’re away from home. For large dogs living in small homes, daycare facilities are often a great way to ensure that dogs release their energy in healthy, non-destructive ways.
That said, not every dog is a good fit for daycare situations and every daycare facility is unique., It's worth looking at daycare facilities, if you have a playful, well-behaved dog who enjoys socializing at dog parks. Since there is no one-size-fits-all answer, be patient as you evaluate the options for your individual dog.
Finding the Right Fit
How do you know if your dog would do well in doggie daycare? Generally speaking, a daycare situation might be a good fit if your dog behaves well at dog parks and enjoys playing with other dogs. Of course, not all dogs are social, and not all social dogs are comfortable in every social situation. Personality plays a big part.
Ideal candidates for doggie daycare are:
• Spayed or neutered
Dogs who are not usually well suited for daycare situations are:
• Possessive about toys or food
• Constant barkers
• Herders who are too pushy
• Anxious when separated from owner
• Fearful, tense or anxious around other dogs
Learn more about doggie daycare and alternatives 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.
The holidays bring family, friends and full bellies all around! As you’re celebrating this wonderful time of year, don’t forget to take some extra safety measures to make sure your pet has a healthy and happy holiday, too.
• No Bones About It
The aftermath of a delicious holiday meal leaves many bones. Don’t give in to your dog’s begging or let your cat’s curiosity cause trouble. A ham or turkey bone can splinter and damage your pet’s mouth or get stuck in the throat or stomach. If you want to include your pet in the feast, offer safe foods like bits of cooked turkey or plain mashed potato. Learn more
• Our Door Is Always Open
With holiday guests coming and going, your door may be open more often and longer than usual. For an adventurous dog or speedy cat, this can be the perfect opportunity to flee. You may not even notice your fur ball sneak by. To prevent an unwanted escape, put your pet in a quiet room while family and friends flood the foyer. Learn more
• Keep Your Paws Off The Decor
Decorations are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. But keep on eye on your pet around those lights and baubles, particularly breakable ornaments, exposed electrical cords and lit candles. You should also be aware of holiday plants (like holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and pine needles) that can make your pet sick, if nibbled on. Learn more
Remember, if your pet has a poison emergency, the ASPCA® Animal Poison Control Center can help at 1-888-426-4435. They’re available 24/7, including holidays! For more safety tips, check out our website.
If you are planning a trip with your pet north across the border, AAA has some tips to help make your crossing a bit smoother.
Also, don’t forget you can visit any licensed veterinarian in Canada as well as in the US with your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan!
Learn important holiday safety tips for your pet and get 3 chances to win at our Howliday Safety Twitter Party. The party will be held on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 8-9 pm EST. Use the hashtag #PetSafety to join the conversation and play our trivia contest.
Tips for joining a Twitter party:
• Sign up for a Twitter account
• Follow the party hosts. For the Howliday Safety party, make sure you’re following ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and our co-host, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
• Twitter parties are easiest to follow if you’re using a dashboard like TweetChat, Tweetdeck, or Tweetgrid.
• Use the party hashtag (#PetSafety) in every tweet to be a part of the conversation.
No purchase necessary. See official rules here.
Technology can make our lives easier, but electrical cords can be a hazard to our pets. Check out these tips to keep your pets from chewing something they shouldn’t.
Here are some more safety tips from the folks at Dogtime:
• Protect wiring with tough plastic cable covers, aluminum foil tape or double-sided tape.
• When not using them, place electronics well out of a pet’s reach.
• Use a tough protective cover on outlets.
• Never place gadgets near your coffee cup or other liquids.
Vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables can be a healthy way to supplement your pet’s regular canned or dry food diet. Just make sure they’re pet-safe, and always consult your vet before introducing new foods.
Having a pet in the family is a personal choice, of course, but children can benefit from pets in many ways. In addition to being lots of fun, pets can also:
• Provide a source of emotional and physical comfort
• Help boost a child's confidence and self-esteem
• Support a connection to nature and a respect for living things
• Promote exercise with walks outside or interactive games
• Teach responsibility, especially to older kids who can help care for a pet
Browse the ASPCA® Kids and Pets Interaction Guide on the ASPCA's website for more information.
Are you adding a furry friend to the family? Maybe you've met your human love match and need to combine pet households. It can take time and patience, but even cats and dogs have been known to live happily ever after. Here a few tips to help:
Dog + Dog: Keep initial interactions short and supervised. Watch for signs of aggression and separate them if you sense trouble. Praise and reward them when they get along well.
Cat + Cat: Take a staged approach and keep them in separate rooms at first. Once they get used to hearing and smelling each other, let them spend time together under your supervision.
Cat + Dog: Make the introduction as stress-free as possible. For instance, consider keeping an energetic dog on a leash. Let the cat set the pace, and never force interaction.
Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist for advice on your specific situation. You can also find more suggestions from our friends at the ASPCA® on bringing together dogs and dogs, cats and cats or cats and dogs.