pets at the vet's office

World Veterinary Day is this Saturday, April 27, and we'd like to thank veterinarians for all their hard work. Unfortunately, veterinary visits have been declining during tougher economic times, and not all pets are getting the care they need. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the vet and your pet.

1. Avoid putting off a call or visit.
Veterinarians report seeing pets when they're three days sicker these days.+ That waiting time can make a pet's condition more difficult to treat.

2. Don't rely on "Dr. Google."
The Internet can be useful, but it shouldn't be a substitute for your vet. An exam by a doctor who knows your pet's history can mean more accurate treatment and a better prognosis.

3. Have a backup plan.
Know where to go in case your pet gets hurt or sick after regular clinic hours. Our Veterinary Locator tool can help you find emergency clinics in your area.

Remember, your plan covers visits to any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada, including emergency clinics as well as specialists.


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pet parents

dog breath

Our dogs have some of the biggest, happiest grins we’ve ever seen, but sometimes their breath just about knocks us off our feet! Dental care may help prevent “doggy breath” and this article in DogTime features advice from the American Animal Hospital Association on how to care for your dog’s teeth.

Also, did you know that annual dental cleanings are covered by the Advanced Wellness option available with select ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans? Learn more.

Why do you care enough? Share your story.

Honoring National Pet Health Insurance Month, NAPHIA’s “Why do you Care Enough?” story contest asks entrants to share their story about why they wish they had pet insurance or why they’re a pet insurance policyholder. One lucky winner will be awarded an Apple® iPad 2®, in addition to NAPHIA making a $250 donation to the pet charity of the winner’s choosing.

Second and third place prizes will also be awarded. Learn more about the contest and submit your entry here

NAPHIA is an independent organization that brings together respected pet insurance companies and pet health professionals to help advance the pet insurance industry. The Hartville Group, which provides ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, is a founding member of NAPHIA and one of the oldest and largest pet insurance providers in the United States.

Pet Pomeranian with Cushing's Disease

“Mandy, our precious Pomeranian, was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease, an adrenal disorder, in July 2009. She is doing well with the excellent care of her veterinarian and with financial assistance from my ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan for her medications and lab work. Mandy has been covered by ASPCA Pet Health Insurance since 2005 and is a joy to have. We appreciate all the kind, caring help we have received from this insurance agency.”

– Claire T., Blackwell, OK


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!

Dog Paws Nail Care Tips

Is your pet ready for a manicure?

The ASPCA® recommends that dogs have their nails trimmed when their nails are long enough to touch the ground, and cats should get a clipping every couple of weeks.

If you cut your pet’s nails at home, go slow and be careful not to cut the quick, which is the pink area that contains blood vessels and nerves.

For dogs, the best time for their nail-trimming session is when they’re tired from vigorous exercise. For cats, try it when they’re relaxed and sleepy.

If you’re shy about clipping, visit your veterinarian or a professional groomer.

Read more nail tips for cats and advice for dogs from our friends at the ASPCA.

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pet parents

orange cat

“Never in a million years did I think I would need insurance for my 7-year-old cat. Russ had signs of a urinary tract infection so I took him to the veterinarian and they found he had a urinary blockage. Russ went in for surgery and has since made a full recovery. My vet told me if I had hesitated for even a day in getting him treatment Russ wouldn’t have made it.  It was so easy to make the decision to get him care because I knew I would be reimbursed a percentage of the costs with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. The customer service representatives were very helpful through the whole process, and my check arrived 14 days after I submitted the claim. It’s such a relief to know I can get Russ the help he needs and not be late on my actual bills!”

— Stephanie E., Twin Falls, ID

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!

Cat at the veterinarian

Are you looking for a veterinarian for your feline friend? The article, “6 Tips for Choosing the Right Veterinarian for Your Cat,” from Catster offers some good advice about what to look for in a veterinarian for your cat.

You can also check out our Veterinary Locator to find some veterinary practices in your area.

Remember, with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you’re free to visit any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada—even emergency clinics and specialists.

Black and White Cat with red collar

If you've moved, gotten a new pet, or have a pet that needs specialized treatment, you may need to find a veterinarian. These tips can help:

-Make an office visit. Visit the practice without your pet to see if it's clean, modern, and well-organized

-Talk to the veterinarian. Ask questions and make sure you can communicate well with the veterinarian and staff.

-Check on training. Find out about the veterinarian's training and if the practice is accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

Our online veterinary locator can help you get started by locating practices in your area. You can also get more tips on finding a veterinarian for dogs or for cats at the ASPCA®'s website. And remember, you can use any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada with our plans.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

What do you do if your pet has acute anxiety or a compulsive behavior? Troubled animals like Frisbee, a mixed breed dog who started spinning wildly 10 to 12 times a day, or Dakota, the Springer Spaniel who grew increasingly aggressive, both benefited from Prozac, according to a report on ABC News.

Mood stabilizing and anti-anxiety drugs typically reserved for humans are being prescribed by veterinarians more often to treat pets with behavioral issues. ABC News reports pet parents spent $7 billion on Prozac and Zoloft last year – up 35% in the past four years.

In some instances, diet or lifestyle changes alone can do the trick. But in Frisbee’s case, her pet parents say it’s the only thing that’s really helped.

If your pet has a behavioral issue, talk to your veterinarian about possible treatments. In most states, our Level 3 and 4 plans can cover a consultation as well as medication to treat behavioral conditions. You can see the options available for your pet with a free quote. (Note that behavioral coverage is not yet available in all states.)

For more information, watch the full report “Prozac for Puppy? More American Pets are Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs” online at ABC News.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Pet Health Tip - Is your pet overweight?

It's the holiday season and that mean all sorts of goodies to eat! While you may be focused on your weight, don't forget about your pet. Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet’s weight, but you should be able to feel the backbone and ribs without pressing. Your pet should also have a distinct “waist” between the back of the rib cage and hips viewed from the top. If you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian.

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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, a 7-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.