Dog tangled in ribbon

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.

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pet parents

Winter is a magical time of year. There’s nothing like cozying up by the fire with your cat or taking your dog on a wild romp through the snow. 

If you’ve captured such a precious moment in a photograph, submit it to our Winter Wonderland Sweepstakes for your chance to WIN.

One lucky entrant will win cozy winter gear. To enter, like us on Facebook and fill out our short entry form

Prize (value $28.78) courtesy of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program. Sweepstakes ends Dec. 29, 2013. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.  See official rules

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pet parents

This photo ornament is easy to make and a thoughtful gift. It's also a fun way to display your pet's photo!

✓ Cut a photo of the pet into a 4-inch diameter circle.
✓ Roll up and place inside a 4-inch glass ball ornament.
✓ Use a Q-tip to adjust it. Add glitter for a snowy look.
✓ Replace the top and add ribbon to hang it.

Remember to keep ribbon and ornaments out of paws reach. For more tips on holiday hazards, see our pet safety guide.

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pet parents

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 TweetChatTweetdeck, or Tweetgrid.
• Use the party hashtag (#PetSafety) in every tweet to be a part of the conversation.

No purchase necessary. See official rules here.

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pet parents

We have so much to be thankful for this time of year… warm nuzzles on cold mornings, four-legged dance routines when we walk in the door—and all of our Facebook fans!

To show our thanks, we’ll be giving away a great messenger bag this month. To enter the sweepstakes, like us on Facebook and fill out our short entry form.

Prize (value $29.99) courtesy of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program. Sweepstakes ends Nov. 26, 2013. No purchase necessary. See official rules

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pet parents

dog sitting next to suit case and umbrella

In our November Customer Newsletter, we addressed some issues that can come up when you bring your pet along on holiday visits. But what if you can’t decide whether to take your pet or not? Here are a few factors to consider. 

Your pet: If your pet is the type that acts out when you’re away, consider bringing your furry friend with you. If your pet doesn’t adjust easily to or behave well in new environments, it may be best to leave him or her behind with a pet sitter.

Your host: Make sure your host is OK with a fuzzy guest. Ask if anyone has allergies or is uncomfortable around dogs or cats, and see if there’s anything you can do to help those situations. Also, find out if there are any other pets in the home, and determine the best way to make introductions.

And let’s not forget you: If you’ll be nervous leaving your pet in the care of others, you may want your pal as a travel companion. On the flip side, if taking your pet will heighten your anxiety, leaving him or her with a friend, a pet sitter or at a kennel may be best.

Whatever you decide, remember to take a moment during the hectic holiday season to appreciate the bond you share together. Happy holidays!

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pet parents

lost dog

In honor of National Animal Safety and Prevention Month, we offered pointers for dealing with a found pet in our October Pet Matters newsletter. But what if you’ve gotten the pet safely into your home or at a shelter, but the pet parents can’t be found?

Here are a few suggestions to get the word out:

• Paper the town. Hang up flyers at nearby businesses, like grocery stores and pharmacies. Be sure to ask permission from the owners first. 

• Cast a social net. Post a photo and description of the pet on Facebook and Twitter, and ask your friends to spread the word. 

• Place an ad. Put an ad in your local print or online newspapers. Some publications may run the ad at no cost to you.

If you still can’t find the pet parents and are interested in keeping the pet, talk to your local shelter or humane association for information on the laws and process in your area.

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pet parents

join the pet costume party


It is one of our favorite times of the year—our All Howls’ Eve Costume Party on the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Facebook page!

We’d love for you to submit a photo of your pets  in their cute Halloween best and join the fun. Photos will be featured on our Facebook page and on a board on the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Pinterest page.

Here’s to plenty of treats and fun tricks this season!

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pet parents

kid holding a cat

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.

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pet parents

pet health insurance month

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) organizes National Pet Health Insurance Month every September. 

It is a good time to reflect on how important it is to protect our family pets. We’re reminded every day of the special place pets hold in our lives, and it’s our mission to help you care for their health. 

That is why we are asking pet parents like you to enter our Unbreakable Bond Sweepstakes on Facebook for a chance to win a unique gift basket for your dog or cat!

To enter, like us on Facebook and fill out our short entry form.

Prize (value $49.95) courtesy of the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program. Sweepstakes ends Sept. 29, 2013. No purchase necessary. See official rules.

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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.