Shedding Season Causes Fur to Fly

All that hair’s got to go somewhere. This time of year, the fur is likely flying in your home.

Vacuum manufacturer Dyson says shedding can occur all year round, but it’s typically worse in spring, summer and fall. That’s because an animal’s fur undergoes a reaction as it’s exposed to increasing amounts of daylight. Dyson says fall’s shorter days trigger the same effect.

All that extra fur and dander could have you sneezing, but you can help your pet curb excess fur loss with a healthy diet and regular grooming, according to our friends at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).®

Shedding is normal, but the ASPCA warns that excessive or spotty hair loss could be a sign of illness. Excessive shedding could be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

• Allergies
• Ringworm
• Infection
• Fleas or parasites
• Hormonal imbalance, such as hyperthyroidism
• Stress
• Pregnancy
• Sunburn
• Kidney, liver, thyroid or adrenal disease
• Self-induced trauma due to licking
• Cancer
• Immune disorder
• Contact with caustic substances

Pet parents should consult their veterinarian if their dog or cat exhibits any of the following:

• Skin irritation, including redness, bumps, rashes or scabs
• Open sores
• Bald spots
• Dull, dry hair that pulls out easily
• Scratching
• Constant foot licking or face rubbing

Visit the ASPCA for more information about shedding in dogs and cats.

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ASPCA Happenings

Photo Friday: Longtime Customer

“I have had ASPCA Pet Health Insurance for three years, and I recommend it to any pet parent. Whenever I call ASPCA Pet Health Insurance on any matter, the representatives are always courteous, friendly and professional. They have been amazing to work with!”

—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

One of our customers says she never thought her puppy might have an affinity for underwear. Imagine her surprise when she saw Balboa grab a pair from an open hamper!

As our customer tried to stop Balboa, the dog scarfed down the underwear.

The dog’s momentary indiscretion quickly turned scary, when our customer says Balboa began looking ill. At that point, our customer took poor Balboa to an emergency veterinary clinic, where veterinary staff induced vomiting.

In all, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance reimbursed her $136 for Balboa’s medical crisis.

After throwing up the offending unmentionable, Balboa’s now fine. The same probably can’t be said for the underwear.

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Customer Stories

Photo Friday: Stray Kitten Settles into Healthy Future with Family

“My cat just happened to be at the right place at the right time. As a stray kitten, she found her way to my employer’s family and after one look, we all knew she was meant for me. After I adopted her, I got ASPCA Pet Health Insurance so I could take care of her if she ever gets sick. With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, I’m thankful to have the chance to secure a healthy future for my kitty! She is so sweet.”

—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 their six years or so, my cats have moved at least four times, all while the snow was flying. According to the US Census Bureau, most movers save themselves a little trouble by moving in the spring and summer. But whenever the move happens, the change can be stressful for pets.

Moving company websites are a great source of advice if you’re planning to box up your belongings. Here are some tips:

• Visit the veterinarian before you go, and be sure to collect copies of your pet’s medical records. To find a veterinarian in your new neighborhood, visit the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Veterinary Locator. With ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you can visit any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada.

• Take pictures of your pet, or consider getting him or her microchipped, in case you become separated during the move.

• Keep your pet in one cleared-out room of your old home while you’re moving your things, and identify one room of your new home to be a temporary sanctuary for your pet. Keep your pet supplies handy, and plan on moving them only after everything else is packed.

• Bring water from home to help ease the adjustment. Bring along enough to last several days. Be sure to take along extra food, too, in case you can’t find a store that carries your pet’s usual brand in your new neighborhood.

• Don’t pack the pet carrier–put it to use. Keep your pet in a carrier as you travel.

Because they’re stressed, your pets might initially behave poorly in their new surroundings. Give them time, and console them with plenty of attention and some of their favorite, familiar toys. They’ll be glad that though their surroundings have changed, their family has not.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

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

An English Bulldog puppy waves displays his American spirit. Have a fun and safe Fourth of July with your pet!

With the long holiday weekend almost here, you probably are already planning your picnics, parties, parades and fireworks. For your pets, though, the heat and commotion might not be cause for celebration.

Our friends at the Amercian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) have some tips to ensure both pet parents and their dogs and cats can have fun this Fourth of July:

Watch your pet’s diet

The steaks are on the grill, and the chips and guacamole are laid out on the picnic table. As much as your dog may beg, even a taste of people food could cause an upset tummy. In fact, some foods, such as avocados, chocolate, onions and grapes, can be toxic for animals.

Beware summer toxins

Many summertime essentials are pet no-nos. Matches, sunscreen, insect repellent, lighter fluid, glow jewelry, citronella candles and oil products should be used around pets only with careful supervision.

Keep pets away from fireworks

Provide a safe, quiet area for your pets during this weekend’s Independence Day fireworks displays, and never use fireworks around animals. Not only does the noise scare most pets, but mishaps can result in serious burns. Even unlit fireworks can be dangerous to pets because many types contain toxic substances and heavy metals.

While fireworks displays are no fun for pets, other outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming and picnicking can be fun for the entire family. If you and your pet are outside this weekend, be sure to snap some pictures and send them along! Email us!

Happy Fourth of July!


ASPCA Happenings


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.