Our tails would wag if you liked us on Facebook where we have lots more to say on pet matters – from ways to keep your pet safe and healthy to fun stories and photos. Check out our team "going orange" last month to celebrate the ASPCA's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month!

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ASPCA Happenings

April brings along some interesting pet events:

• National Pet ID week, April 15 to 21 – Does your pet have an ID tag? A tag could be a lifesaver if your furry friend gets lost.
• National Pet First Aid Month – Brush up on your first aid knowledge so you know what to do in case your pet has an accident.
• National Hairball Awareness Day, April 27 – Give your cat or dog a good grooming in honor of this (cough) interesting holiday.

April is also Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month in honor of the ASPCA®'s founding in 1866. Find out how you can "Go Orange for Animals" at the ASPCA's website.

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ASPCA Happenings

Hartville Group’s Half-Marathon Team Raises $15,550 for the ASPCA

One of the nation’s leading pet insurance providers, the Hartville Group, Inc., together with its subsidiary Petsmarketing Insurance.com Agency, Inc., organized a team to participate in the 2011 Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half-Marathon on October 30 with Team ASPCA, raising $15,550 for the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®).

To read more about Team ASPCA and how the Hartville Group is furthering ASPCA's mission, click here.

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ASPCA Happenings

Make Halloween less spooky with these safety tips

Help make sure Halloween isn’t a scary time for your pet by keeping these tips in mind.

 Candy – Treats are everywhere this time of year, and many can be toxic to pets. Keep bowls of candy out of reach.
• Costumes – Don’t dress your pet up if he or she dislikes it. If your pet doesn’t mind, be sure the costume is comfortable and safe.
• Candles – Avoid using candles as decorations or in jack-o-lanterns. Pets can knock them over, get burned, or start a fire.
 Collar – Be careful your pet doesn’t get out when you open the door, but if he or she does, a collar with ID tag and/or microchip can be very helpful.

Read more Halloween safety tips at the ASPCA’s website.

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ASPCA Happenings | Hartville Group News & Info

Rockin’ and Running with Team ASPCA

Less than 20 days to go until race day!

We’re ready to run on Oct. 30 with Team ASPCA in the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon! The ASPCA has set a $1 million fundraising goal for this event, and we’re committed to running our hearts out to help them reach it.

Our team includes Lisa Hockensmith, Cassandra King, Ryan Smith, Matt Stanford, Mike Kalman and Jesse Harris. They'll be making the trip from our Canton, Ohio, headquarters to Los Angeles for the race.

As many of you know, our company, the Hartville Group. Inc., is the ASPCA's only strategic relationship for pet insurance. Our ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program is administered by our subsidiary Petsmarketing Insurance.com Agency, Inc. 

See how you can join in the fun at our team site here.

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ASPCA Happenings | Hartville Group News & Info

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

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!

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ASPCA Happenings

Friendship is priceless, but your next buddy could be free, if you’re planning to adopt an adult shelter cat in the next few days.

In conjunction with Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, our friends at the ASPCA,® along with Fresh Step litter, are encouraging shelters to conduct fee-waived adoptions for adult cats.

“On average, it costs shelters $13 a day to care for a cat," Emily Weiss, a researcher for the ASPCA, said in a recent statement. "Often times, adoption fees don't even offset those costs. By offering fee-waived adoptions for adult cats, shelters can often increase the cost for kittens and direct new cat parents to their gift or retail shop where they can purchase essential supplies for their new family member. Shelters benefit from that revenue, and new cat owners have extra money to spend on their cat. And, ultimately, the cat has a loving home. It’s a win-win for all.”

The promotion comes at a time when shelters are often flooded with kittens. Most kitties are born between March and November.

With so many cats in shelters, your new best friend might already be waiting for you. If you plan on adopting a cat, the ASPCA has tips to ease the transition. Your new cat’s needs include:

Supplies

The essentials include a litter box, the litter your new cat is used to using, food and water dishes, the food your cat is used to eating, toys and a scratching post. An identification tag or microchip can help your cat return home if he or she is ever lost.

Routine and a space to relax

Give your new friend space to find his or her way in your family. Your new cat may need seven to 14 days before he or she is feeling at home.

Safe surroundings

Cleaning supplies, medications and even plants can be toxic to animals. Check out the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center for a list of some substances to avoid.

Veterinary care

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help new pet parents afford wellness visits for their new friends. Explore our coverage or get a free quote!

To find your local shelter, visit the ASPCA’s shelter database. For a list a shelters participating in the fee-waiver program, visit Fresh Step’s Facebook page.

 

 

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ASPCA Happenings

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

Help Animal Flood Victims

In the wake of historic flooding and storms that have devastated the Southeast, the ASPCA® is asking for help to continue its efforts to save displaced animals. Our friends at the ASPCA have established a special fundraising campaign to support this lifesaving work that spans nine states.

Tim Rickey, senior director of field investigations and response for the ASPCA, said the flooding and tornadoes that have ravaged the Southeast are the worst he’s ever seen. Tens of thousands of animals have been affected along with residents, Mr. Rickey said.

“We see entire communities flooded. Animals are stranded on dog houses, in trees and other small patches of dry space,” Mr. Rickey said. “For many of these victims, rescue is their only hope for survival.”

ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres said the ASPCA has focused its work in Pemiscot County, Mo., and Shelby County, Tenn., at the request of local authorities and animal welfare groups. The ASPCA has assisted other communities with sheltering needs, transporting displaced animals to temporary shelters, conducting field assessments and offering supplies such as pet food to residents. Staff and ASPCA volunteers had helped nearly 6,600 animals as of May 23. Through one Memphis, Tenn., warehouse, workers assisted more than 3,000 animals and provided supplies to 12 communities in six states.

The ASPCA has established a dedicated contribution area to help support this effort.

The ASPCA also is carrying out plans to move animals who were in shelters before the storms to make room for others displaced by the disaster. So far, 46 dogs from shelters in eastern Arkansas and 70 dogs from Georgia and South Carolina have moved to shelters in New York and New Jersey.

“The ASPCA’s Animal Relocation Initiative moves animals from areas of oversupply to areas where there are few, if any, similar pets available in shelters for adoption,” Mr. Sayres said. “In this case, moving shelter animals out of the weather-affected areas increases local organizations’ abilities to rescue or shelter animals until they are reunited with their families.”

Mr. Sayres says the ASPCA is committed to continuing to help the communities in need.

“Our responders’ tireless work, expert care and unyielding commitment to the protection of animals are playing an integral role in the relief efforts in the Southeast,” Mr. Sayres said. “Disasters of this scale can cause widespread, unpredictable devastation, but our staff has stepped forward and seized the opportunity to help these communities both prepare for and respond to the needs of the thousands of animals affected. We will continue to do everything we can to help these communities as long as we’re needed.”

Click here or on the image below to help with the ASPCA‘s relief efforts.

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ASPCA Happenings

WELCOME,
PET PARENTS!

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.