This can be a very rough time of year for allergies, not only in pet owners, but also for pets! If your pet suffers from itching, biting, scratching, runny eyes or nose this time of year why not take advantage of our 20% discount off of allergy testing. Knowing what is causing your pet’s allergies, will make all the difference the treatment.
Attention all dogs!
Now that those nasty ticks are out in full force, it’s time for a little prevention and detection.
This month only we are offering a 10% discount on the Lyme test to detect Lyme disease in your dog as well as 10% off the Lyme vaccine to prevent Lyme disease should they get bitten by an infected tick.
Anne & Jeff have been reimbursed over $25,000 to date from Trupanion.
This dog story shares how Beau has been helped with his long-term illnesses (Lupus and Diabetes) and how his little sister, Bella, was assisted in her time of need.
Here are some preparedness tips to consider when caring for your pets in the hot weather:
Never leave pets in a car, even with the windows down. The inside of a car can reach temperatures in excess of 150 degrees in a matter of minutes. This is even when it is only 70 degrees outside. Your car is an oven and will literally cook your pet. Take them with you.
If possible, pets should be kept indoors during excessive heat. Keep the ac on – it can also get extremely hot inside your home or apartment. Too hot for your pet while you go to work. Never turn the AC off while you go to work, put it on 78-80 if you have to but never turn it completely off.
If keeping a pet outside, make sure that pets have adequate shelter from the sun and plenty of fresh water at all times. Do not leave your pet tied outside or on a run as they may get tangled and then be unable to get to a shady spot. It is never a good idea to tie your pets outdoors in any weather but just in case anyone is even thinking about it.
Plan outside activities with your pets during the cooler parts of the day: early morning and evening. Limit the outside activity of your pets during the heat of the day.
During hot weather sidewalks, pavement and beach sand radiate excessive amounts of heat and can be too hot for the pads of your pet’s paws. Consider that if it is too hot for you to walk barefoot, it is too hot for your pet as well. When you are running with your pet remember that you are wearing sneakers so check the sidewalk with your bare feet. If it is hot for you, it is too hot to run your pet on it. Leave him/her home and enjoy your run. Then, take them to a nice grassy area when it is cooler and play fetch for a few minutes to exercise them instead.
Take extra precautions in hot weather for dogs that are elderly, overweight or snub-nosed. Boxer, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Lhasas, Shih Tzus, Peekaneses, etc, have a hard enough time breathing on a good day! They really cannot handle the extra stress.
Always have a disaster plan in place for you, your family and your pets. That is, in case of a natural or other disaster, where are you going to take your pet? where are you going to meet the rest of your family? what are you going to take with you? is your pet microchipped so if you are separated, you are certain to be reunited?
Remember, WHEN YOU GO, THEY GO. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM. If you are told to evacuate, take your pets with you. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. This is extremely important as first responders will save lives, any life, at a considerable risk to themselves. You owe it to these remarkable modern day heroes to always take your pet with you or arrange for shelter ahead of time.
Do not take your pets to the beach! Salt water is dangerous when drunk, so you should always bring fresh water for your pet and offer it often any way, but like any other place in the hot summer, the beach is too hot for your pet. Take them during the cool part of the day, if you must, and always bring plenty of water for them to drink.
Learn how to take your dogs temperature rectally…You see your vet do it all the time. Ask them to show you, if you have any concerns. All you need is a thermometer (the ones that beep are best) and some KY lubricating gel. Mark the thermometer with your pet’s name so no human inadvertently sticks it in their mouth by mistake (Don’t be so grossed out…I bet you get plenty of doggy kisses!!). Take your pet’s temperature so that you know what is normal. Anything above 104 is abnormal any time. Heat stroke temperatures are often above 106.
What to do if you suspect your pet may have heat stroke
The signs of heat stroke are:
- body temperature above 104
- listlessness, stumbling, seizures
- dry gums, blue tongue
- difficulty breathing, short shallow breaths
- collapse, comatose, inability to be awaken.
If you see any of these signs:
1) Take your pet’s temperature
2) Dampen the entire dog with cold but not ice cold water. Dampen towels and lay over dog to keep them wet and place fan over dog to enhance cooling. Do not immerse your dog in water.
3) Poor alcohol in between all toes front and back on the under surface of the paws. This allow cooling by evaporation which is the only way the animals can loose heat from their bodies.
4) Continue to measure temperature and discontinue all cooling efforts once temperature reaches 103. Over cooling and too fast cooling (icing) can lead to their own set of issues which is why it is important to know where you started and where you are at. Your vet will want to know this as well.
5) Take pet to the vet immediately and preferably while you are doing all the above, start moving the pet to the car and drive to the nearest local emergency hospital as heat stroke can lead to organ damage. These pets need iv fluid support, intensive monitoring and testing until they are stable.
I hope this information will help you prevent this from ever happening to your pet. It is an aweful experience for you as well as life threatening to your pet.
Enjoy the summer!!!!
We now offer Kitten and Puppy plans (<1yr of age), Basic Adult Cat and Dog Plans(up to 10 yrs), Young adult Cat and Dog Plans(1-5 years), Middle Age cat and Dog Plans(5-9 yrs), Basic Senior cat and Dog Plans (9-13yrs), Comprehensive Senior Cat and Dog Plans and Comprehensive(9-13yrs), Geriatric Cat and Dog plans (13-14+ years).
You can enroll your pet on line by clicking on the logo on the home page or the link highlighted below and following the step by step instructions. You should look at the services included in each plan and call us if you have any questions or call Partners in Wellness customer support if you have any questions regarding payments.
The age guidelines on each of the plans are just guidelines. The more expensive the plan gets, the more screening diagnostics are performed, the more free visits your pet gets and the higher discount you get on products and services.
If you do not want to pay monthly on your card and prefer to pay up front, you may do so at a substantial further discount. All plans, except the Basic Adult dog and cat plans can be purchased directly from us at the time of your visit. Simply pick the plan you want to enroll your pet in, figure out what it will cost you per year to enroll plus the monthly fee and then call us. We will be happy to let you know what the plan would cost if purchased up front. The idea is to help you budget for the best care for your pet. However, if you don’t need to budget it or don’t want to, we will accommodate that also!
Remember, there is a one time $50 enrollment fee per pet to cover the initial set up and administrative costs of financing and securely procuring credit card payments through Partners in Wellness. If your pet stays on the plan or rolls onto another plan the following year you will not need to pay this fee again. If however, the plan is allowed to lapse, then a new enrollment fee will be charged. Partners in Wellness will notify you well in advance of your plan’s expiration and give you plenty of opportunity to re-enroll your pet.
I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Not a day goes by when a pet owner doesn’t ask me, “Should I get pet health insurance for Rover?” or “Do you think veterinary pet insurance is worth it?” or “Will dog health insurance help now that he was diagnosed with…” The veterinary profession is torn about pet insurance. I hope I can answer some of your questions and provide resources to help you decide if pet health insurance is for you. Please feel free to comment on your experiences that you feel would be helpful to others looking to protect their loved companion and make decisions along these lines. I welcome any questions also.
When a veterinarian or physician recommends a treatment or diagnostic plan, it should be because he/she feels there is benefit from the such and cares enough about you and your pet to offer it. Your veterinarian/physician should not offer treatment or with hold treatment recommendations based only on what an insurance company or you will pay. Unfortunately, this is what often happens in the medical profession at no fault of the MD’s.
Insurance companies are big business. They do not know or care about you or your pet. They work on the basis of maximizing profits. At this time, pet health insurance does not involve third party payments which means you pay your vet bill in full and then submit the invoice with the diagnosis to the insurance company for reimbursement. The profession is worried that as insurance becomes more popular, the same that has happened in the medical profession will happen in the veterinary field and it isn’t all good.
What is pet health insurance?
None the less, there are definite benefits to pet health insurance. Let us start by defining what it really is.
Pet health insurance is a type of indemnity insurance, that is a risk sharing of sorts. If your pet is super healthy, you pay the premiums and you never see the money again. However, if your pet has an accident and requires $5000 of surgery, the pet insurance company could pay up to 90% of that after whatever your deductible is.
Pet health insurance is more like dental insurance in that you will end up paying more than just a copay, as with most medical insurance, but a great deal less than if you didn’t have it at all. Or like car insurance. If you are a safe driver, how much do you pay your insurance company each year that you are unlikely to redeem? Beside the fact that you can’t register an uninsured car, would you really risk being without car insurance?
Could pet health insurance save you money? Yes, it could but you should not think of it that way but rather as a way to ease the blow of a big, sudden and unexpected financial obligation.
WHO SHOULD GET PET HEALTH INSURANCE?
If your pet ran out in the middle of the street and got hit by a car right now, would you be able to take out your credit card at the emergency room and put down a 50% deposit of $2000-3000 and pay the rest of the invoice 2-3 days later? If not, would you be ok with having your pet euthanized right there and then even though your pet could be saved and live out its full life if treated? These are hard questions, huh? Moreover, you are making these types of decision in a highly charged, emotional situation when you are not at your logical best.
If you answered ‘no problem’ to the first question, you do not need (but you may still want) veterinary pet insurance. If you answered, no to the first and yes to the second, you also do not need pet health insurance but just note that even if you did decide to humanely euthanize your pet, your bill is still likely to be in the $500-600 range after the initial critical care and evaluation.
If however, the thought of having to euthanize your family pet due to your inability to handle the financial obligation is a major concern, then you should definitely consider pet insurance. What about regular maintenance care – can pet health insurance help with those costs? Yes, but it may not be worth it. What is definitely worth it, in my opinion, is illness and chronic conditions coverage and companies differ on how they handle these.
In case of wellness, most companies have a schedule for what they will pay for say a physical exam, a rabies shot, a fecal, a heart worm test, etc and offer such care as an add on. Because most insurance companies do not pay for the actual cost, when you do the math, you may end up paying the same or more if you add up your monthly premiums plus what you paid the vet minus what they reimbursed you. Get your last annual check up invoice from yourvet and actually do the math.
My most important piece of advice is DO YOUR RESEARCH. Know exactly what you are buying before you purchase and make sure you ask these very important questions to every insurance company you review.
Some companies do not offer wellness care coverage.
OTHER OPTIONS OR COMBINATIONS
So if not insurance, what? How can you assure that you are ready for what ever happens? Let me put it this way. Are you one of those lucky people who diligently saved for college from the moment your children were born? Good, for the two of you that answered yes, this one is for you. It is called ‘saving’ money. For the rest of you, hang in there, I assure you, it actually can be done!!!!!
This is what I would suggest. You buy a puppy(or kitten, bunny, bird, hamster) and you immediately get a few insurance quotes from two or three of the companies on the chart. They tell you, for example, that it will cost you $18/month for wellness and $35/month for illness and catastrophic insurance. You then immediately open a savings or money market account with $100, link it to your checking account and every month you put $53 into it. When you have enough, may be you can play with cds or other investment vehicles to increase the interest earned, remembering that it needs to stay pretty accessible at all times.
When you incur a vet expense, you pay it with your checking account and then do an on line transfer from your pets account to reimburse yourself. That way you wouldn’t loose $3180 worth of premiums in 5 years if your pet doesn’t need it. And in there lies the catch, the big IF!!!
If at the age of two your puppy swallows a bread knife…it is going to cost a lot more than you have saved. If you have the extra cash or can throw it on a credit card, no problem. Otherwise you need to ask yourself if you are feeling lucky…”Well, are you punk?”
So how about a mixture of the two. Hey, that may not be a bad idea. You start an account with $100 when you buy the pet and put $18/month in it to cover your annual veterinary bills for maintenance and health. You will save $216/year which is not bad and will help. Since the unforeseen does occasionally occur,having illness/accident insurance to supplement this will help give you peace of mind. We at The Family Pet Hospital will soon (by the end of the month if all goes well) be launching our Basic and Comprehensive Wellness Plans which will allow you to pay for wellness services for your pets in easy monthly installments.
And how about adding Care Credit to the mix? If you do, you could pay your bill with Care Credit and you have 6-12months of interest free financing which gives you plenty of time to get your reimbursement check from the insurance and pay it off. AAAHH, all is well that ends well:)
It is absolutely gut wrenching to have to make a difficult euthanasia decision due to finances. Euthanasia is a hard decision in and of itself without adding the extra weight and guilt to it.
Is pet health insurance for you? It takes some soul searching and researching. Like with anything else, you need to do what makes sense for you and your situation but, if you love your pet and want peace of mind, it makes a lot of sense to look at the following pages, contact some insurance companies and ask them some tough questions.
In my professional experience, insured pets are healthier pets and their owners are also more relaxed about their pet’s care and more willing to do the preventative medicine, dentistry and/or surgery that will keep their pets healthier for longer. We are currently recommending Trupanion Insurance to our clients as they seem to pay out the most for each claim and over the lifetime of the pet. However, no insurance company will pay for preexisting conditions. So the time to sign up is NOW. I have been signing 30 day trials for all my patients who get a clean bill of health. If they activate within 24 hours of my signing, they avoidany waiting periods and they are covered for 30 days without obligation. That means if they leave my practice, sign up and the next day swallow a golf ball, the surgery will get 90% covered minus the deductible. If at the end of 30 days they decide not to continue they simply fall off their system, no questions asked. Pretty good way to get people to at least look and learn.