Some pets don't care what's on, but others lap it up. There are even movies just for pets and a DogTV channel. Whether TV is good or bad for pets hasn't been proven, but some believe it may be useful to:
• Lessen separation anxiety. The lights and noises from the TV may provide a distressed pet with some comfort and help them adjust to being home alone.
• Fight boredom. Shelter and indoor pets who can't get outside may benefit from a little tube time to keep them entertained.
• Reduce bad behavior. Because it can decrease boredom and anxiety, TV time may keep your pet out of trouble while you're out of the house.
So does your pet watch TV? Share about your furry couch potato on our Facebook poll – and don't forget to like us while you're there!
Cats and dogs have been on the big and small screens since the early days. June 19 is National Pets in Film Day, which was created to promote compassion for animals. So what better time to talk about pets and movies? Grab your popcorn and read on!
Lassie's a Lad
Although Lassie was a girl in the TV series and movies, this heroic pup was actually played by a boy named Pal. Male collies tend to have thicker coats, which look better on camera.
Mr. Bigglesworth's Breed
In the Austin Powers movies, Dr. Evil's famous feline Mr. Bigglesworth was a Sphynx cat. The Sphynx is considered a hairless breed and is known to love cuddling for warmth.
The touching film Marley and Me covers 14 years in the life of the title dog. To make the film, the director used yellow labs at different ages to play him – 22 in all!
Follow @ASPCAPetIns on Twitter for more fun film pet trivia.
One of the best ways to help an allergy-prone pet is to try to prevent exposure to allergens. Here are some pointers to make your pet’s environment a little healthier:
• If the pollen count is high, keep your pet inside or limit time outside.
• Wipe off your pet’s paws after going outdoors to remove pollen.
• Put plush toys in the freezer occasionally to help kill off dust mites.
• Wash your pet’s bedding regularly with a gentle fragrance-free detergent.
• Dust and vacuum frequently, especially in your pet’s favorite spots.
Be sure to visit your veterinarian to identify the source of your pet’s allergies and get specific treatment advice. Visit our blog for more tips on what to do if your pet has allergies.
If you're sneezing and wheezing around your pet, you don't have to give up your furry friend. The ASPCA has some suggestions to help:
• Keep your pet out of your bedroom. That way, you'll be free of allergens for a good chunk of time while you sleep.
• Eliminate household fabrics. Rugs and drapes can collect allergens, so remove them if possible or clean them regularly.
• Dust and vacuum often. Wipe down shelves, and vacuum with a HEPA filter or a disposable electrostatic bag frequently.
Get more tips for dealing with pet allergies at the ASPCA's website.
"I love exploring the outdoors, and my dog Sophie goes everywhere with me. I had a feeling that giving her freedom to explore might increase her chances of injury or sickness. Signing up for ASPCA Pet Health Insurance was the best thing I've ever done. Multiple times we've needed your service to help cover veterinary costs. Sophie is naturally healthy, but as I anticipated, her high energy and accidental encounters have meant a few costly trips to the vet. I am very grateful for the reimbursements!"
— Anna H., Santa Cruz, CA
Before you open up your windows to let in that lovely spring breeze, make sure your screens are secure. Your pet could push them open and get hurt or lost.
Be careful to keep potentially poisonous products out of your pet's reach as you do your spring cleaning chores and store them safely when you're done.
If you're sprucing up your garden, remember that fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides can harm your pet. Read the directions and follow warnings closely.
If your pet ingests something poisonous, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center can help at 1-888-426-4435.
You can find more spring safety tips on our blog.
In our April newsletter, we offered some spring pet safety tips, including securing window screens and storing gardening products safely. Here are a few more to help keep your pet from harm this season.
Doing some spring updates to your house? Be sure to keep potentially harmful paints and chemicals out of reach of your pet. Also, don’t leave tools where your pet could step on them, and clean up small objects, like nails or screws, which could be swallowed.
It’s the time of year when fleas and ticks can become more problematic. Talk to your veterinarian about a safe preventive program to keep those pesky bugs from bothering your pet. If you’ve been outside, check your pet for ticks before you come back in the house.
Pets can have spring allergies too! If you notice your pet sniffling and sneezing or breaking out in any kind of rash, contact your veterinarian. And remember never to give your pet any allergy medications without consulting your veterinarian first.
If your pet does get hurt or sick this spring, our plans can help cover the costs of treatment. Get a free quote to learn more. If you’re already a customer, you can see what’s covered by your plan online at the Member Center.
March 18 to 24 is National Poison Prevention Week. Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:
• Be aware of harmful foods like avocados, raisins, chocolate, and coffee.
• Store human medications safely — not on low night tables or counters.
• Make sure toxic plants like tulips, lilies, and azaleas are out of reach.
If your pet ingests something poisonous, the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) can help at 1-888-426-4435. A $65 consulting fee may apply, but a portion of that charge is covered by your plan.
Learn more about the APCC and get a free pet safety pack at the ASPCA's website.
Do you need to check the status of a claim or update your contact or billing information? The ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Member Center can help! Sign into our Member Center to do it conveniently online.
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.