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

“We adopted our boys from a cat shelter in Tucson more than a year ago. They probably lived as feral cats for some time before that. Because they had bonded so well together in the shelter, we adopted both of them, which was a good choice as they love to play with each other. The Lynx Point Siamese sometimes acts more like a devoted dog, while the Russian Blue wants to be petted on his own terms. They certainly are welcome family members now, and we try to give them the best care.”

—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

The flight is booked, the suitcases are packed and visions of fun in the sun are close to becoming a reality. But what happens if pets who stay behind get sick right before—and during—a vacation? Here is a story about a family who found themselves in this tough spot, and how they got through it.

Scott M. and his wife, Shelly, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa,* were looking forward to a trip to sunny Colorado to celebrate a friend’s wedding. Luckily, the couple had a caring neighbor who agreed to watch their two big dogs—Nancy and Ben—while they were away.

The day before leaving, Nancy started to throw up, so her pet parents took her to the vet for antibiotics. Even though Nancy was doing better, leaving while knowing their dog wasn’t 100 percent healthy left the couple feeling anxious.

Once in Colorado, the dogs' pet parents called to find out that not only was Nancy feeling worse, but Ben had also started to throw up. The neighbor was worried about them getting dehydrated as neither could keep down food or water. With both dogs sick—and hundreds of miles away—Shelly and Scott felt helpless. They told their neighbor to take the dogs to the vet and do whatever it would take to make Nancy and Ben feel better. 

“It was so nice to have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance because we knew it was going to be expensive. When you are away from home and can't get back, it gave me a sense of calmness to know that my dogs were being taken care of,” Shelly told us. “You can't put a price tag on your pet, but medical care for them can get expensive.” 

Knowing they had the support of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance—as well as an extremely supportive neighbor—during this difficult circumstance, they were able to enjoy their friend’s wedding and return home with a lively greeting from two healthy pups.

Have a story to share? Email me!

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Customer Stories

Photo Friday: Pet Insurance Helped through Difficult Diagnosis

“Our 6-year-old Maltese suddenly started shaking, so we rushed him to the veterinarian. After numerous tests, our veterinarian diagnosed him with Cushing's disease. Today, we’re able to regulate his condition with medication.

"A year before this incident, I had purchased ASPCA Pet Health Insurance after I saw a brochure for it in my veterinarian’s office. I’m so thankful I did! It cost us thousands of dollars to save his life. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance relieved the financial impact this diagnosis had on us, and we still have our dog with us. Thank you, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!”

—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 the News: Grandpets Become Objects of Indulgence

Some lucky dogs can enjoy pampering from not only their pet parents, but also from doting pet grandparents who are more than willing to lavish them with attention.

My grandmother would resist the characterization, but she’s grown into the role of a doting, indulgent matriarch—to my dad’s dog.

A Christmas stocking full of biscuits still hangs from the banister in the living room, and chew toys occupy the tight space beneath a sewing cabinet. A bowl of water sits on the kitchen floor, always filled fresh upon the dog’s arrival.

Clearly, Frankie is her ordained granddog.

Turns out, the label is fairly common, according to story from CNN about “grandpuppies.”

“For years, we didn't have any grandchildren and my daughter's dog, Mr. Moose, was all we had,” 63-year-old Eileen Williams told CNN, which reported that older folks are increasingly spoiling their children’s dogs.

For Abilene (Texas) Reporter News columnist Sharon Randall, the bond between grandpet and grandmother is easy to explain. Like many doting grandmothers, she’s eager to share the love.

“I can show you lots of pictures, if you like,” Ms. Randall writes. “Did I mention they’re the smartest cats and dogs ever born? And get this: I won't ever have to help pay their way to college.”

According to a Newsweek story, “Spoiled granddogs,” the trend is big business. Online retailer, for instance, offers more than 55,000 granddog-related items, from T-shirts and decals to mugs and dog clothes.

Items available online allow the human members of dogs’ extended families to state, “I [heart] my granddog,” and, “My granddog leaves pawprints on my heart.” One site sells a decal boasting, “Granddogs are better than grandchildren.”

One self-acknowledged pup-grandmother offers her reason.

“Sure, you can spoil a grandchild, but you can spoil a granddog more,” Barbara Holbrook told Newsweek.

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For Summer Fun, Head Outside!

Now is a great time to take your furry friend—including your cat—for a stroll!

Here are some tips from our friends at the ASPCA® to make your time together even more enjoyable.

Walking Your Cat

Walking a cat with a leash may sound silly if you’ve never done it before, but most cats can be trained to do it. Make sure you use a harness designed for felines, and take some time to get your cat used to it first. For instance, leave the harness and leash by your kitty’s food bowl or favorite napping spot for a day or two.

Walking Your Dog

If your canine pulls to chase after wildlife, you might try avoiding walks at dusk and dawn when other critters are more likely to be out. You can also try walking at a quick pace, so your dog will have less of a chance to pick up interesting scents and stop to check them out.

For more tips about walking cats or dogs, visit the ASPCA’s website.


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ASPCA Happenings

Cat Photo: Black & White Love Bug

“I recently adopted a 12-year-old cat who is so sweet and cuddly. He just wants to be loved!”

—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

Time flies, especially if you’re living in dog years.

A time-lapse video showing a German Shepherd’s transition from puppyhood to his first birthday has garnered more than 3 million views on YouTube and made him a star.
A comment by one viewer pretty much sums up the 45-second clip:

“Cute video, awesome dog!”

Be sure to check out Dunder’s other home movies on YouTube, including “Dunder Cleaning Up His Toys” and “3.5 Month-Old Dunder Thinks He’s a Teddy Bear.” Too cute!

Got any videos of your pets you’d like to share? Email me!

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines


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.