Disaster Planning with Your Pet in Mind

Calamity can strike at any time. Whether it is a flood, tornado, blizzard or heat wave, it is important to keep our pets in mind when making disaster preparedness plans. Our friends at the ASPCA® offer some great advice on how to prepare for a disaster.

It is especially important to keep in mind these top tips:

•   Plan Ahead for Evacuation - Know your exits and keep emergency kits and leashes handy.
•   Find a Safe Haven- Research pet-friendly shelters or emergency animal shelters in your area ahead of time.
•   Update Identification- Be sure to include your telephone number and any urgent medical needs on your pet’s ID tag.

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pet parents

photo of a puppy named Tasha

“I noticed my puppy, Tasha, eat something off the lawn. When I approached, I saw see she was eating lawn mushrooms, which can be very poisonous to dogs. I took Tasha to the emergency clinic, and she received treatment for the poison. This incident just goes to show that in a second, your plans can change and turn into a costly emergency. Luckily, I bought Tasha an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan as soon as I adopted her so this costly emergency visit was covered. I suggest ASPCA Pet Health Insurance to everyone!”

-Katie L., New Milford, CT

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Customer Stories

Gizmo the Welsh Collie sits on a bale of hay

“My dog began bleeding from the nose during the night and I had to rush her to the emergency clinic to save her life. The cost of the emergency treatment was high, but Gizmo's ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan paid a large chunk of the cost. It is very reassuring to know that no matter what time of day my pet needs emergency care, my ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan can help defray the costs.”

- Jodi P., Dallas, TX


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

Jack Russell dog

"Our Jack Russell woke us up crying loudly in our living room. It scared us, and we knew something was wrong. We found Tammy lying in a pool of urine and blood, and we knew she was in trouble. We decided to take her to a pet emergency hospital for help. We knew the bill could be expensive, and we wondered how we where going to afford it.

A bell rang in my head that we were OK because we have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. A big weight was taken off our shoulders and our thoughts could now be focused on Tammy's health, not finances. Today Tammy is fine, and our family will have a Christmas because we had pet insurance. Thanks, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance."

-Brian S., Hoboken, NJ


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Customer Stories

chocolate labradoodle on a yellow background

“We would have spent a small fortune on our puppy Koby if we had not taken the advice of our veterinarian and purchased pet insurance. We are very happy with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and the security of knowing that he is covered for the unexpected, such as when he was stung by a bee and had to go to the hospital. Pet insurance is definitely worth the money.”

- Lana C., Oakland, CA


Pet 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

Pet Speak: Sunday Night Emergency Requires Surgery and Hospital Stay

“One night, I noticed my beloved little Norwegian Forest Cat, Paul, was cowering and in pain.  It was a Sunday night so we found a veterinarian in the next town who would see him immediately. He discovered Paul had a kidney stone and was in serious trouble although we had brought him to the veterinarian in time.  Paul needed surgery as well as a hospital stay.  Thank heavens we had ASPCA Pet Health Insurance because our plan paid most of the bill.  Paul is home and we are all happy!”

— Joanie C., Broadview Heights, OH

Share your story!

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Customer Stories

In Case of Emergency: Tips for National Poison Prevention Week

It’s National Poison Prevention Week, so it’s a great time to take steps to protect your pet in case of an emergency. 

In the event that your pet ingests a hazardous substance, you may notice symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, trouble breathing, or seizures.

Here are some pointers to follow if your pet is ill:

•  Stay calm, and don’t try to induce vomiting on your own. It may not be necessary, and you could risk injuring yourself or your pet.

•  Get help by calling your veterinarian or the ASPCA®’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at 1-888-426-4435. The APCC may charge a $65 consultation fee, 80% of which is covered by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.

•  Have information ready, like your pet’s age, breed, what they were exposed to, when it happened, and any container or packaging information.

Also, a pet first-aid kit can come in handy for following treatment instructions from your veterinarian or the APCC.1

It should include hydrogen peroxide with 3% USP to induce vomiting, a large syringe to administer it, saline eye solution and artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing, and a mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid to wash contaminated fur.

But remember never to treat your pets without consulting a veterinarian first.

To get more tips and information on pet poison prevention, visit the APCC online. 

1 This blog entry is not intended to provide advice on individual pet health or behavioral matters or to substitute for consultation with a veterinary doctor.

“Thank you for enrolling my dog with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. I decided to get pet insurance because the costs of emergency care can be frightening. Hopefully I will never need to use it, but it gives me comfort knowing we have it just in case.”

—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

All through the year, we get flooded with emails and letters from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance pet parents who tell us about times when their pets suffered sudden illnesses or unexpected accidents. Even in the midst of worrisome situations, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance was there to help with part of the veterinary bills.

As we ring in the New Year together, let’s take a look back at a few of the top stories we received in 2010. They’re a touching reminder of the loving bond between pet parents and their pets, and we’re so glad we could be there to protect the furry members of these families.

Because Accidents Happen
“My Bullmastiff, Beatrice, is very inquisitive so I was careful to remove all potential hazards from the house–or so I thought! But one day I came home to find the living room covered with pillow stuffing. Beatrice had demolished three throw pillows. She started vomiting, and I rushed her to the veterinarian who recommended X-rays. I knew it would be costly, but I went ahead anyway. Luckily, Beatrice didn’t have an obstruction, only a belly full of stuffing that passed without surgery. I submitted a claim, and it was promptly covered. Truly, anytime I’ve had to file a claim, it was a breeze. Your staff is very caring, and getting ASPCA Pet Health insurance was one of the best doggie decisions I made.”
—Sara S., Henderson, Nev.

A Helping Hand when Illness Strikes
“We have a lively 3-year-old Calico cat named Tess, who has been covered since we brought her home from a local shelter. One day she got very sick, so we took her to the veterinarian. Over the next few weeks, Tess had more tests and X-rays than we could count, but we wanted to do whatever the veterinarian recommended so we could help her. I’ll admit that each time we entered the veterinarian’s office, I said a silent ‘thank you’ that we had your insurance. Tess is now her energetic self again, and we’re so grateful to our veterinarians and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!”
—Elizabeth O., Fisherville, Va.

Keeping Pets in Good Health
“Our Westie, Dorothy, hasn’t had any major medical problems, but ASPCA Pet Health Insurance has been extremely helpful with the costs of her check-ups, special visits to the veterinarian for infections, sprains, and itching as well as needed medications.  You make it very easy to file a claim, and replies are prompt and clearly explained. We also feel that Dorothy is not simply a numbered client, but someone whose health you’re genuinely interested in. We’re certainly glad we chose ASPCA Pet Health Insurance.”
—Bob K., Flint, Mich.

In Case of Emergency
“I have an adopted cat named Licorice who’s almost 9. I knew I had to protect her after she ingested a piece of material from a chair, and I had to pay for an expensive surgery to remove it. I’m glad I signed her up because just six months later, she swallowed a small bolt that came off a cat scratcher. I had to bring her to the emergency animal clinic late at night for yet another surgery. Then she suffered from an infection after I took her home. All of this added up to almost $3,000. If it hadn’t been for your insurance paying a portion of my bills, I don’t know how I would’ve cared for Licorice. But she’s happy and healthy today thanks to the emergency veterinarians and ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!”
—Allison P., Philadelphia, Pa.

Do you have a recent story to share? Email me!


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Customer Stories

Pet Insurance Blog - Dog Photo

The holidays are a welcome time to relax, but unfortunately it’s not always free of those unexpected pet illnesses. Last year, Erika T. of Jefferson City, Mo.* spent a tense New Year’s Day at the emergency animal hospital when her dog, Karma, began to vomit blood.

For about a month prior, Karma was getting sick a few times a week though he still was happy and active as ever.

“I figured Karma’s sickness was from too many table scraps or the new kibble he was eating,” Erika said. “But that morning, I knew something else had to be wrong, so I rushed him to the animal hospital.”

At the hospital, the veterinarian did an ultrasound and blood test on Karma. Thankfully, the results came back normal. The veterinarian advised Erika to feed Karma a bland diet and monitor him closely, as he likely had the flu.

While Erika was relieved that her dog was OK, she now had an expensive veterinary bill on the first day of the New Year. But we were able to help with some of the costs for this unexpected emergency.

Erika told us: “Thank you, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, for a stress-free claims process and prompt reimbursements!”

As New Year’s rolls around again, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday!

Do you have a story to share? Email me!

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Customer Stories


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.