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

Making Outside Walks a Walk in the Park

With spring upon us, you and your dog can bond over a stroll through the park.

With the warmer weather, you and your dog are probably eager to get outside. Depending on where you walk, you may encounter other people and animals, along with wildlife.

For your dog’s safety, our friends at the ASPCA® offer the following tips to help you better enjoy your time in the great outdoors:

•  Don’t let your dog leave home without being up-to-date on vaccinations. You never know what critters you might meet on the trail.

•  Retractable leashes are great on some walks, but keep an eye out for potential hazards. The leashes can get tangled on trees and bushes, and they’re hard for someone moving quickly—like a jogger or bicyclist—to see.

•  Carry water and drinking containers for both you and your dog. Dogs love streams and creeks, but so do microscopic beasties that can cause illness. Water from home is best for your pooch.

•  Teach your dog to leave passersby alone. To avoid potential conflicts, train your dog to come to you for treats when other walkers or nature lovers approach.

•  Clean up after yourself and your dog. As the old saying goes, “Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.” And paw prints, of course!

No matter where you walk, you’ll want to protect your best friend by making sure your current contact information can be located, either on an ID or through information on a microchip. Should your dog slip through the leash, you’ll increase your chances of being reunited with your best friend.

Also, before you hit the road, make sure your dog knows, at minimum, four commands: sit/stay, heel, leave it and come. These commands can help you avoid an encounter with wildlife or substances that could make your dog sick.

With vigilance and good training, a romp in the woods can be walk in the park for you and your dog!

For more information on dog walking etiquette, visit the ASPCA’s guide to urban dog walking, as well as its guide to hikes.

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ASPCA Happenings

This stroll was far from leisurely for this customer and his dog.

A 4-year-old Labrador retriever was on a walk with his pet parent when he was suddenly attacked by a swarm of bees.

He was stung more than 30 times while rolling on the ground, trying to get them off. The dog suffered an allergic reaction, which can be fatal.

Luckily, he was rushed to the veterinarian where he got injections to combat the reaction.

Have you recently submitted an interesting ASPCA Pet Health Insurance claim? Tell us about it!

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Customer Stories

Pet Blog - Dog Photo

Even though the weather outside might be frightful, it’s still important to take your dog outdoors for fresh air and exercise. To help, the ASPCA® experts provide guidelines for pet parents to follow that will keep their dog’s skin and paws in tip-top shape during walks this winter. 

Before the Walk:
• Dress your dog in a sweater to help retain body heat and protect his or her skin from the cold.
• Trim your pooch’s hair to keep ice, salt or chemicals from clinging to it and drying onto the skin.
• If your dog doesn’t like to wear booties, rub petroleum jelly on the bottom of your pet’s feet to protect them from irritation.

During the Walk:
• Keep your dog on grass or snow and avoid salty, slippery sidewalks.
• Carry a towel with you to wipe off your pet’s paws, if needed.
• Remember, if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s probably too cold for your furry best friend. Try short, frequent walks instead of one long walk.

After the Walk:
• Wash and towel dry your dog’s feet to remove any salt or chemicals. Don’t forget to clean in between your dog’s toes!
• Brush your pet’s hair to stimulate overall blood circulation.
• Make sure your pooch has plenty of water to drink, which will keep his or her skin hydrated.

For more suggestions, read ASPCA’s Top Ten Winter Skin & Paw Care Tips or Cold Weather Tips.

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pet parents

Pet Insurance Customer Photo

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


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.