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 Agency, Inc. 

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


ASPCA Happenings | Hartville Group News & Info

Because cats love to lie and sleep next to windows, pet parents who open their windows in the summer should make sure all window screens are secure.

In our August newsletter and a recent blog post, we offered some advice to avoid heatstroke and keep your pet healthy during the “dog days” of summer. Here are some more tips to help you and your pet enjoy the rest of the summer safely.

Prevent High-Rise Syndrome

In the warmer months, the ASPCA reports an increase in animals who get hurt after falling out of windows or escaping through open doors. You can help prevent what’s known as “High-Rise Syndrome” by keeping unscreened windows and doors closed, and making sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.

Keep Summer Poisons Out of Reach

Summer products like insecticides, sunscreen, pool and spa chemicals, and citronella candles should all be kept safely away from your pet. If your pet is exposed to poison, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may apply, but 80% is covered by our plans.

Watch for Summer Dangers

There are plenty of other potential summer dangers you can look out for. For instance, be sure to keep an eye on your pet around pools, even if you think he or she is a good swimmer. Pets can also be scared or injured by fireworks, so leave your pet home if you know they’ll be set off at a party or festival.

If your pet does get hurt or sick in the last stretch of summer, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance can help you cover the costs of treatment. Get a quote to learn more now, or if you’re a customer, you can view your plan online.


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Hartville Group News & Info

Cool Pet Tips for Hot Summer Days

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

The end of summer can bring some hot and sultry days, so we’ve put together some tips to keep your pet healthy when the temperature rises.

1. Keep your pet cool and hydrated.
Dogs and cats can suffer from heatstroke and dehydration just like you, so do your best to keep your pet cool and hydrated in high temperatures. For instance, make sure your pet always has plenty of fresh water and leave an air conditioner or fan on if your pet is home alone.

Look out for signs of overheating, like difficulty breathing, weakness, or stupor.  Also, watch for symptoms of dehydration, like sunken eyes, lethargy, or appetite loss. If you notice any problems, call your veterinarian.
2. Exercise your furry friend.
Don’t let summer heat stop you from giving your pet needed exercise. Sedentary pets can put on weight and get bored or frustrated. You can still walk or play outside, but consider limiting outdoor time to mornings or evenings when it’s cooler. You can also play fun indoor games, like chase or fetch.

3. Visit the veterinarian.
Have you taken your pet to the veterinarian this year? The ASPCA recommends an annual visit in the spring or early summer, but it’s not too late. Checkups can help detect health issues early. Also, ask your veterinarian about preventing heartworm, which can be passed to dogs and cats by infected mosquitoes.

Keep in mind that Levels 3 and 4 of our plans cover wellness care, like an annual exam. Also, treatment for heatstroke or dehydration is covered by all of our plans.

Learn about High-Rise Syndrome and find hot weather tips at the ASPCA's website.

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Hartville Group News & Info

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

Prevent Pet Disease by Vaccinating

Vaccines are recommended to help dogs and cats stay healthy.

In a previous blog post and our June Pet Health Matters newsletter, we discussed the benefits of vaccinating your pet. Here are a few more key points you should know about vaccinations:

When should pets be vaccinated?

Puppies and kittens are often vaccinated starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age and given a series of vaccines in 3-  to 4-week intervals until they’re 16 weeks old. Adult dogs and cats might need to be revaccinated annually or every 3 years. Talk to your veterinarian about when and how often your pet should be vaccinated.

Which vaccines are necessary?

Pet health specialists recommend that all pets receive the core vaccines that protect against easily transmittable diseases found across North America. For dogs, these are distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and rabies. For cats, they are distemper (panleukopenia), feline calicivirus, feline herpes virus type 1 (rhinotracheitis), and rabies. You should also know that the rabies vaccine is required by law in most states.

Are any vaccines are optional?

Depending on factors like age, breed environment and lifestyle, your pet may not need some of the non-core vaccines. You should ask your veterinarian which non-core vaccines are right for your pet. For dogs, there are non-core vaccines for kennel cough, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. For cats, they can include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordatella, Chlamydophila felis, and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Levels 3 and 4 of our pet insurance plans offer coverage for a range of standard and advanced vaccines. To learn more, explore our plans or see the options available for your pet now.

If you’re a customer and have questions, you can view your plan at the Member Center or contact our Customer Satisfaction team at 1-866-204-6764.


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Hartville Group News & Info

The Hartville Group, Inc., and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) have renewed their strategic partnership for pet insurance, continuing the strong collaboration between the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare and one of the largest and oldest pet health insurance providers in the U.S.

Initially established in 2006, the strategic partnership paved the way for Hartville to develop and launch ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, a leading U.S. pet health insurance program. In addition to promoting humane standards set by the ASPCA, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance furthers the ASPCA’s mission by helping pet parents afford quality veterinary care so their pets can live longer, healthier lives. The ASPCA chose Hartville for this partnership because of its commitment to pet health and humane coverage philosophy.

Read the full announcement here.  

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Hartville Group News & Info

Pet parents can help their dogs and cats stay healthy by vaccinating them against illness.

Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your pet healthy and safe from various diseases. You should consult with your veterinarian about vaccinating your particular pet, but here are some important points to keep in mind.

Why should you vaccinate your pet?

Vaccinations contain agents that resemble disease-causing microorganisms. They mildly stimulate your pet’s immunity system, so it can more easily recognize and fight off diseases in the future. In addition to providing valuable protection for your pet, vaccines help humans by controlling the spread of dangerous diseases, like rabies, that can be transmitted to people.

Do vaccines have side effects?

It’s important to remember that vaccines don’t cause the diseases they’re designed to prevent. However, they can cause minor reactions such as fever, lethargy or soreness at the injection site. In less common cases, pets may experience more serious problems like immune response disorders. Ask your veterinarian about potential issues when you vaccinate your pet.

Does our pet insurance cover vaccines?

Yes! Vaccines are included under our wellness care coverage offered with Levels 3 and 4 of our pet insurance. Our routine wellness care option covers vaccines for coronavirus, canine or feline distemper, and rabies. Our more advanced option covers these vaccines as well as those for Lyme disease, Bordatella, feline leukemia, and feline infectious peritonitis.

Be sure to check back later in the week as we continue our discussion on vaccinations.

In the meantime, you can also find more information about vaccinations for dogs or for cats in the Pet Care section of the ASPCA’s website.

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Hartville Group News & Info

A Pet Parent Asks:
Which level would cover the Lyme vaccine for my dog?

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Answers:
Level 4 will cover your dog’s Lyme vaccine.

This level is our most comprehensive option, providing coverage for accidents and illnesses, plus deluxe wellness care. Other wellness care benefits include bordetella (kennel cough) vaccines, feline infectious peritonitis vaccine, feline leukemia vaccine and test, flea and heartworm medication and an annual dental cleaning.

Learn more about all of our levels here!

Pet Parent Q&A is a regular column that answers customer questions in an effort to educate others. This is not a forum to receive responses to specific inquiries. Please call Customer Service at 1-866-204-6764 or email for immediate assistance.

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Hartville Group News & Info

A Pet Parent Asks: 
Three months ago, we sadly had to put our dog to sleep. However, at that time, we did not realize that euthanasia could be covered by our insurance. I just discovered this when I was getting in touch to have him removed from our coverage. Is it still possible to get reimbursed?

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Answers:
Please accept my condolences. I know there are few things in life more difficult than losing a pet.

We understand that when something happens to a pet, your first thoughts are about caring for your pet and your family instead of filling out insurance forms. Therefore, all customers have 180 days from the date of service to file a claim. For an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance claim form, click here.

Also, all of our plans allow for end of life coverage. Please refer to your individual policy for specifics.
You can submit the completed form to us by mail, fax or email (you’ll find the contact information on the claim form). You also must submit a copy of the invoice from your veterinarian, but your veterinarian does not need to sign the form.

Call us if you have more questions at 1-866-204-6764.

Pet Parent Q&A is a regular column that answers customer questions in an effort to educate others. This is not a forum to receive responses to specific inquiries. Please call Customer Service at 1-866-204-6764 or email for immediate assistance.


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Hartville Group News & Info


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.