white maltese puppy dog with orange fruit

If you’re looking for a healthy new treat to share with your dog, look no further than fruits!

As with any treat, be sure to consult your veterinarian first and also double-check that the type of fruit you are looking to give your pup isn’t potentially toxic. This article from DogChannel.com provides some good tips and a list of 13 dog-friendly fruits and melons.

Additionally, be sure to check out a list of harmful foods on the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance website. And, if your pet has a poison emergency, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can help at 1-888-426-4435. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans cover calls to the Animal Poison Control Center.

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Melt Away Stress with your Cat or Dog

As a pet parent, you know how much love and joy pets bring into our homes, but did you know they can also improve your health?

Over the years, studies have found that pets can boost our health in measurable ways.+  Here are  a few more reasons to shower your pet with love around Valentine’s Day and throughout the year.

Stress Relievers
Nothing melts away the stress of the day like a warm snuggle from your pet. But it may be more than psychological relief. Research has revealed that pets can help lower blood pressure and anxiety levels.

Heart Helpers
Pets can have positive effects on our hearts. Studies have reported better survival rates for heart attack patients with pets and improved heart rate variability, which is an indicator of heart health.

Mental Boosters
Our furry pals may also combat depression. In studies, pet-assisted therapy helped reduce depression in chemotherapy patients, and pets reduced stress for people caring for loved ones with dementia.

Read more about the health benefits of pets when it comes to allergies, fitness, and autism at our blog.

+Sources: K. Arhant-Sudhir, R. Arhant-Sudhir, K. Sudhir, Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 2011; C. Westgarth, BMC Veterinary Research, 2007; M. Orlandi, Anticancer Research, 2007; S. Lupien, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2010



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Lots of people resolve to get in shape in the New Year, but let’s not forget our furry companions! Not only do they need exercise, they can make fun workout buddies too. We’ve got some ideas to burn calories with your pet plus some indoor games to beat the winter blues.

Shape Up with Your Pet
Before you start, you may want to consult with your veterinarian or schedule a routine exam, especially if your pet hasn’t been very active. If you have our Level 3 or 4 plan, a yearly check-up is covered.

Get Fit with Fido
The snow may be falling outside, but there are still plenty of ways to exercise inside with your dog. Get your heart rates up by running around the house together using a toy or ball as motivation. For an upper body work out, try an energetic game of tug-of-war.

Aerobicize with Kitty
Interactive games can get you and your cat moving. Try attaching a string to your belt loop and encourage your cat to chase you from room to room. To work your arms, tie a cat toy securely to a ruler and move it up and down for your cat to jump at.

Be careful your pet doesn’t chew apart and swallow any toys or strings after you’re done. But remember, if an accident does happen, we can help you manage the veterinary bills.

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Did you resolve to get more exercise in 2012? Don’t forget your pet! Regular physical activity can help you and your pet slim down, but that’s not all. It can build muscle and bone, increase circulation, aid digestion, improve sleep, and even boost your moods.

Before starting a new exercise routine for your pet, you may want to consult with your
veterinarian or schedule a check-up. If you have our Level 3 or 4 plan, a yearly exam is

Here are some suggestions to burn calories with your furry friend:

For dogs…
It may be chilly this month, but you can still bundle up and enjoy a brisk walk or run with your dog, or take a hike in the woods where trees can protect you from the wind. Be careful of slippery ice and snow, and brush your pup off when you get home to help avoid frostbite.

If you have trouble getting your dog to go outside when it’s cold, these tips from the ASPCA might help.

For cats…
The ASPCA doesn’t recommend letting your kitty outside in the winter, but there are plenty of ways to exercise together indoors. Pretty much any interactive toy will get your cat jumping around – just be sure to join in the fun and get your heart rating going as well.

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Pet Photo Blog

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some different ways to “go green” for healthier pets and a cleaner environment.

•  Quench your pet’s thirst with filtered tap water rather than bottled water. If you do use a bottle, recycle it.

•  Use biodegradable bags instead of plastic ones as doggie pooper scoopers. For cats, choose earth-friendly litters and avoid brands with mined minerals.

•  Go with environmentally safe pet shampoos and grooming products when you can.

•  Cut back in simple ways, like walking to the park instead of driving or cleaning up with rags instead of paper products.

•  Try your hand at making your own healthy pet treats and store them in a reusable container.

•  Buy large size pet supplies, so you’ll make fewer trips to the store and have less packaging to throw away.

Also, if you’re signed up for our “Go Paperless” option, you’re helping the environment by getting your plan and available communications online rather than by mail.

If you haven’t signed up for paperless, you can do so anytime at the Member Center.

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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.