dog in fall leaves

The arrival of fall brings cooler weather and changing foliage, along with its own set of potential pet dangers. From rodent poisons to toxic mushrooms, we have some great tips to keep your furry pal safe this season.

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pet parents


black and white cat meowing

Ever wonder what your cat is trying to tell you with purrs, meows, hisses and whines?  Our friends at the ASPCA® can help! They delve into the meaning of different cat sounds and what our feline friends are trying to communicate. 

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pet parents

More Pet Parents Taking a Walk Down the Aisle with Their Dogs

Dogs are increasingly playing a more formal role in their pet parents’ “puptials” this wedding season.

Dog parenting, like marriage, is a lifelong commitment.

For some pet parents, no wedding plan would be complete without taking the dog for a walk down the aisle, too. The Wall Street Journal reports that more pet parents are incorporating their best friends into the bow- and meow-vows they make with their life partners.

“They are family,” said Sarah Royer, who, along with fiancé Jonas Koester, is the pet parent to two mixed breed Poodles. “They have to be in the wedding.”

A number of websites advertise all the accessories couples might need to outfit their pooch for the big day, including ring pillows and rhinestone collars. Compared to formal wear for humans, gowns and tuxedos for dogs are relatively inexpensive, with prices starting at about $20.

Colleen Paige of Los Angeles is one of several animal trainers who advertise wedding preparation services online. Her $2,500 charge typically includes training, as well as pet sitting and pet cleanup on the big day. Ms. Paige’s cost goes up for events involving more than one pet or particularly frisky pets.

Wedding planner Nora Sheils, owner of Bridal Bliss in Oregon, concedes that pets can sometimes be a disruption. At one ceremony, she said, a client’s Schnauzer took a chomp out of a wedding guest’s ear. “We had to call an ambulance,” Ms. Sheils said.

Though pets aren’t welcome in all venues, nondenominational minister Annemarie Juhlian of Seattle told Modern Dog they can make someone’s perfect day even better.

“I know children and dogs are considered wild cards at weddings,” Ms. Juhlian said. “But I’m all for it. Dogs seem to have a wonderful calming effect on everyone’s wedding nerves. If they are well trained, they never upstage the bride. When they walk down the aisle, they are usually so pleased to see their favorite people standing waiting for them, their wagging tail and doggie smile simply adds to the joy of the occasion. I’d like to see more dogs in weddings because they make so many people happy.”

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Because cats love to lie and sleep next to windows, pet parents who open their windows in the summer should make sure all window screens are secure.

In our August newsletter and a recent blog post, we offered some advice to avoid heatstroke and keep your pet healthy during the “dog days” of summer. Here are some more tips to help you and your pet enjoy the rest of the summer safely.

Prevent High-Rise Syndrome

In the warmer months, the ASPCA reports an increase in animals who get hurt after falling out of windows or escaping through open doors. You can help prevent what’s known as “High-Rise Syndrome” by keeping unscreened windows and doors closed, and making sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.

Keep Summer Poisons Out of Reach

Summer products like insecticides, sunscreen, pool and spa chemicals, and citronella candles should all be kept safely away from your pet. If your pet is exposed to poison, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may apply, but 80% is covered by our plans.

Watch for Summer Dangers

There are plenty of other potential summer dangers you can look out for. For instance, be sure to keep an eye on your pet around pools, even if you think he or she is a good swimmer. Pets can also be scared or injured by fireworks, so leave your pet home if you know they’ll be set off at a party or festival.

If your pet does get hurt or sick in the last stretch of summer, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help you cover the costs of treatment. Get a quote to learn more now, or if you’re a customer, you can view your plan online.


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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.