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Trupanion's Blog is dedicated to help educate people with pet insurance and pet health information, but more importantly, to have fun!

Protecting Cats & Dogs in Hot Cars: A Veterinarian’s Perspective

Dogs in Hot CarsOn July 24, a new law goes into effect in Washington to protect pets from some of the dangers of being left unattended in a vehicle—whether that be excessive heat or cold, or lack of ventilation or water. Under the new law, police officers will have the authority to rescue dogs and cats from unattended vehicles and will not be liable for damages caused.

The conversation about leaving cats and dogs in hot cars is especially prevalent now, with record-breaking summer temperatures and the dangers of heat stroke in dogs on our minds.

Expert Testimony: Leaving Dogs in Hot Cars

Dr. Steve Weinrauch, Trupanion’s Chief Veterinary Officer, shared a few thoughts with us about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars, and the benefit of this new law. Here is what he had to say:

“Almost every summer I unfortunately have to react to the heat stroke of a family pet who was left in a car. In spite of the best emergency care, these cases often lead to tragedy. Nobody thinks that it could be their family until it’s too late.

Bottom line— if you wouldn’t be comfortable in a parked car with the windows cracked, neither would your pet. Leave your pet at home.

In my experience, most people understand the consequences of leaving a dog in a car on a 90 degree day. It’s the 70 to 80 degree days that catch people off guard.

For example, a few years back, on an 80-degree partly sunny day I was called by a local business manager who asked that I check on a service dog in a car in front of her business. By the time the dog was removed from the car, his core temperature was 112. The normal range is between 99 and 102.5. Four hours and $5,000 later, the dog’s systems completely shut down and she died in the specialty hospital. I’m hoping that by discussing this now, someone can avoid the grief later.

If we are talking about what to do about heat stroke, it’s often already too late. The best ways to prepare for these cases are to avoid the situation and to get medical insurance for your dog or cat before something happens.”

States That Say No to Keeping Pets in Hot Cars

Prior to Washington, just 17 states have passed laws protecting dogs from being trapped in hot cars, and only 15 allow law enforcement to enter a vehicle. These states include the following:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

If you do see a pet left in an unsafe vehicle, there are a number of things you can do, like contacting the owner or law enforcement and staying with the pet until help arrives. If you live in one of the U.S. states listed above, keep an eye out for unlucky pets trapped in hot cars this summer, and help keep our furry companions safe.

Click here for more tips on how to keep your pet safe in the summer months. For more information on medical insurance for your dog or cat, visit our pet insurance page and get a quick quote!

Foxtails: How to Keep Your Pet Safe

foxtails in dogsIt’s peak season for foxtails on the western coast of the United States and Canada, and every pet owner should be aware of their harmful effects on pet health. These seeds are barbed—like fish hooks—and can latch on to your cat or dog’s fur. Once embedded in the fur, foxtails can move into your pet’s skin, nose or ears, leading to serious infections. With some terrible luck, foxtails can impact sensitive organs and even be fatal.

A Little Lemon Gets All the Care She Needs

A Little Lemon Gets All the Care She Needs“Chai is our little lemon dog. We rescued her from a shelter at 4 months. Working in a specialty hospital, I saw so much heartache, especially relating to lack of funds. I couldn’t have that for my “fur babies.” I also had the inside scoop on which company took care of their clients the best, having seen the hassles owners suffered with different insurance companies. I have fought with numerous other insurance companies for many clients. I never once had to fight with Trupanion. Trupanion was not only the best choice, it was the greatest choice we ever made. It feels like they are in it for the same reasons we are: not money, but animal care.

Chai has had a retained deciduous canine removed, she’s urinary incontinent, and she has allergies. Trupanion has taken care of her diagnostics, medications, and procedures so we can focus on her happiness. Her most recent incident involved her running under our deck and creating a 4-inch laceration along her side. Her bill for the repair was $1,000. Trupanion covered 90% after our deductible. All 4 of our animals have coverage with Trupanion and whenever people ask for a recommendation I only ever have one answer. Don’t take chances with unreliable companies. Animals get hurt and get sick just like we do. Make sure your finances are your last worries when you face an emergency. Thanks Trupanion, from all of us.”

July 2015 Trupanion Giveaway: #SummerPaws

SummerPawsGiveaway (July 20-24): #SummerPaws

Summer time is such a fun time to be a pet owner. Whether you are spending time at the beach, in the park, exploring the city, or just hanging in the backyard, we want to see your pet having fun in the sun!

To enter, post a new photo with a caption telling us how you and your pet enjoy the summer and be sure to use #SummerPaws. All entries, limit one per person, will be put into a random shuffle. One randomly selected winner will receive a bag of Zuke’s dog treats. Entries accepted until 12pm PST on Friday, July 24, 2015. Winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, July 24, 2015.

How to enter:

  1. Snap a photo of your pet and post it to Twitter, Instagram, or the Trupanion Facebook wall with a caption telling us how your pet enjoys the sun. Include the hashtag #SummerPaws and tag @trupanion
  2. Alternate entry: if you do not use social media (or if your account is “private”), please email your entry to socialmedia@trupanion.com

Disclaimer: No purchase necessary. Entry method via e-mail. Giveaways are open to residents of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Limit: 1 entry per user. Duplicate entries will not be counted. Trupanion employees are excluded from this drawing. All winners will be contacted via e-mail. Winners are selected randomly via Random.org. Chances of winning are based on participation. By entering the contest you are agreeing that Trupanion can use all or a portion of your entry in any company materials, including but not limited to company website and blog. For a winners list for any giveaway, please contact us by emailing socialmedia@trupanion.com. Your privacy is important to us. Please review Trupanion’s Privacy Policy. © 2015 Trupanion. All rights reserved.

Hypoallergenic Cats: 6 Known Breeds

Hypoallergenic cat breeds are a great option for people suffering from dander allergies. These cats produce fewer allergens than others, which can reduce or eliminate allergic reactions for many people.

Hypoallergenic Cats That are Purrfect For You

Below are a few of the most recommended breeds for allergy-prone cat parents.

Siberian

An agile and playful cat – devoted, personable, and fascinated with water.

Siberian: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user titkov

Siberian cats have been documented in Russia for hundreds of years, commonly mentioned in fairy tales and children’s books. It wasn’t until 1990 that the breed arrived in the United States, after the Cold War. Siberians are models of strength, balance, power, and alertness.

Siberian: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user altemark

These fearless and easy going cats have a loving nature, but aren’t tremendously demanding of attention. The Siberian matures slowly, sometimes not reaching full physical development until around 5 years old.

They are independent, affectionate, and docile cats. They love jumping and being in high places, which makes them an excellent playmate and source of entertainment. Siberians need daily play sessions that stimulate their natural desire to hunt and explore.

Balinese

An affectionate family cat – alert, loyal, and powerful.

Balinese: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user Titkov

The Balinese breed was developed in the 1950’s – a cross between the Siamese breed with a spontaneous genetic mutation for a long haired coat. The beauty and grace of the breed was thought to be similar of Balinese dancers, and so came the breed name “Balinese.”

These cats are highly intelligent, playful, and energetic. They are known to be extremely vocal, requiring the company of other pets and people. Despite their long hair, they shed little and require little grooming.

Javanese

Javanese: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user titkov

A vocal and playful cat – active, intelligent, and muscular.

The Javanese cat is an Oriental, crossed with the Balinese and the Colorpoint Shorthair – developed in the 1950’s.

These cats are very curious and enjoy playing games or perching in high places. The Javanese breed is very vocal, they may meow and growl to communicate often. Visit our website and learn more about the Javanese breed here.

Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user pjlewis

A social and energetic companion – intelligent, playful, and affectionate.

The first Cornish Rex was discovered in Cornwall, England in 1950. This breed has a slender body, large ears, and a curly coat – known as the greyhound of the cat world. Although they look fragile, they are actually quite sturdy and athletic. They may remain playful as a kitten throughout adulthood, with the ability to easily learn tricks.

The Cornish Rex is well suited to indoor living, and don’t tolerate temperature extremes very well due to their short coat. They can also become chilled easily in cold weather. This breed should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Devon Rex

Devon: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user astique

Highly intelligent and eager to please – active, curious, and playful.

Devon Rexes are known for their short, wavy coat. They have low set ears, large eyes, a short nose, and a wedge shaped face.

These are intelligent and playful cats – known to have qualities more associated with dogs. They remain playful like a kitten well into adulthood, requiring a lot of playtime and attention. Devon Rexes are very people-oriented and eager to please.

Sphynx

Sphynx: Hypoallergenic Cat BreedPhoto via Flickr user totte71

A highly intelligent cat – curious, intelligent, and mischievous.

The Sphynx is recognized as a Canadian breed, first occurring as a natural mutation in a litter of Domestic Shorthaired cats. The breed was further developed by crossing with the Devon Rex. The Sphynx is a highly active and affectionate companion, often described as part cat, part dog, and part monkey.

This is a loyal, friendly, and talkative cat. The Sphynx has an extroverted personality, enjoys entertaining and will often be the first to greet anyone who enters their home. If not given enough attention, the Sphynx breed is known to become mischievous.

sssPhoto via Flickr user sunfox

The Sphynx lacks a fur coat but does have a sparse covering of downy fur, mainly found on their ears, face, tail, and feet. This breed should be kept indoors because they are highly sensitive to the cold and are easily sun burnt.

Visit Trupanion’s online breed guide for more information on these hypoallergenic cats and to learn about other breeds. Each breed can be at risk for a number of health issues, learn more about getting coverage for your feline friend.