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Trupanion Blog

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

The Dos and Donts of Housetraining a New Puppy


Few things are as exciting as a new puppy. They are sweet, lovable, and so darn cute! Puppies are just like babies, and with each comes a whole new set of responsibilities; you have to teach them how to communicate their needs, interact with other people and animals, and how to take care of their business in the proper spot. Starting to housetrain a puppy can feel overwhelming, and there is so much information out there, but these simple housetraining do’s and don’ts will get you started on the right path.

Alleviating Stress


Rocket’s Story

“There are no words to express my gratitude to Trupanion for being there for my dog Rocket and me. ‘Your Pet is Family.’

I adopted Rocket when he was one year old. I went with an insurance company that paid for wellness checks and annual exams. As Rocket got older he had bilateral elbow surgery. He also had two episodes of bloat. I was not happy with the reimbursement I was getting from the insurance company.

One day when I was at Natick Animal Clinic, they recommended Trupanion. I immediately enrolled him. I chose the most comprehensive coverage Trupanion offered. I promised him I would provide him with whatever medical care he needed. Every person who decides to adopt or buy a pet needs to take into consideration medical costs over a lifetime. Rocket developed right hind end lameness. The hind end lameness got worse and he started having episodes of both sudden and intermittent collapse. An MRI was performed and showed points on his vertebrae that were causing his symptoms. He underwent a dorsal laminectomy for a spinal compression. He recovered from that but his sudden and intermittent collapses continued.

I received the catastrophic confirmation that Rocket had a meningioma on the brain stem. This was inoperable and now I had to decide whether to do radiation. I could not bear the thought of not doing everything possible for him.

Trupanion is covering his very expensive medications and constant supportive care. Since 2012, Trupanion has paid out over $27,000 and that figure grows weekly.

Trupanion alleviated the stress of his situation. I know many people that have had to make that unbearable decision to let their beloved pets go because they could not afford the care.

When calling Trupanion, every single representative has been supportive, caring, helpful and sincere.”

How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth


Our pet’s dental health is just as important as our own and although it may not seem like it now, teaching your pet to brush their teeth is a lot easier than you think! With just a few simple steps you can help keep your pet’s breath fresh, teeth clean, and body healthy.

Tips to brush your pet’s teeth

  1. Get a soft bristled toothbrush or finger brush and some pet-safe toothpaste. Not sure which brush or toothpaste is best for your pet? Ask your veterinarian for some suggestions at your next visit!
  2. Slowly introduce your pet to the toothbrush. Allow them to lick some soft food or pet toothpaste off the brush and give them plenty of praise.
  3. Brush just a few teeth to start. Once they become comfortable with the brush, gently lift their lip and brush some of the toothpaste on their front teeth and give them plenty of praise.
  4. Slowly move further back in their mouth with each daily brush until you are able to get to all of their teeth. Continue to offer plenty of praise each time! If you have trouble getting to their back teeth, as your veterinarian for tips on how to position yourself and angle the brush.
  5. Keep up the routine! A daily routine will help the toothbrush become a regular part of your pet’s life and will help their health in the long run!

With just a few minutes every day, your pet may even enjoy the toothbrush! For additional tips on brushing your pets teeth, visit our Pet Dental Care page.

What you should know about the Wet n’ Wild Portuguese Water Dog


1.Portuguese Water Dogs are a highly intelligent breed

This breed is rated as one of the smartest and oldest breeds in existence. In fact, they may be smarter than the average owner! The Portuguese Water Dog needs its body and brain worked on a daily basis or it will get into mischief! Find them jobs to do around the house or in the water.

2.They have comic personalities

Because of their intelligence, the Portuguese Water Dog is known for creating mischief if not challenged by their owners. They are food motivated, quick learners and will easily figure out what makes their owners laugh!

3.The Portuguese Water Dog is a very old breed and lived and worked closely with Fishermen

This breed thinks they are human! They will sit in chairs in the waiting room at your vet – not the floor for a PWD! They have lived and worked for so many hundreds of years with Fishermen and their families that the PWD believes they are human!

4.They are non-shedding athletic dogs

Although they lose hair daily like us, the PWD does not have an undercoat. This makes the breed attractive to folks with allergies. But this is also a very powerful and athletic dog.

5.Breed Health Concerns

Like many purebred dog breeds, the Portuguese Water Dog has multiple health issues. Through commitment to the breed the PWDCA breeders with researchers have developed many DNA tests to help breeders produce healthy puppies. Currently the PWDCA Club recommends testing for Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Storage Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, The Improper Coat, and OFA hip, eyes and elbow certifications. Additional health concerns are IBD, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Disease, Hermangiosarcoma, Hypothyroidism, Allergies and Hip Dysplasia.

More Facts About Portuguese Water Dogs

If you do not like a dog that is demanding of attention, prefers to be on its back two legs, likes to lick, jump and wants to be with its people 24/7 this is not the breed for you!

  • AKC Breed Group: Working Group
  • Height: Females: 17”-21” with 19” as ideal; Males: 20”-23” with 22” as ideal.
  • Weight: Females: 35-50 pounds; Males: 42-60 pounds
  • Life Span: 8 to 15 years

About the Author: This article was written by Karen Kirby Ash an AKC Breeder of Merit who has owner handled her own dogs to the Top Twenty (and Top Ten) in breed. Her dogs are featured on Animal Planet Dogs 101: The Portuguese Water Dog as well as in AKC advertisements promoting purebred dogs. Dedicated to the health and welfare of her breed Karen is in the Top Ten Owner Handlers in PWDs competing in breed, water, agility, obedience, and rally. She also volunteers for her National and Regional PWD clubs. Her breeding goals are to produce healthy, well-structured and socialized puppies for water work, conformation, performance and family companionship.

For the Veterinarians: Six New Years Resolutions to Improve your Veterinary Hospital in 2016

Veterinary Hospital LineupIt’s still January, it’s not too late to set New Year’s resolutions.

We uncovered some interesting data about client churn in veterinary hospitals. We analyzed data from 45 veterinary hospitals across Canada and the United States that saw over 650,000 unique pets, over a 10 year time span. The goal of the research was to gain insight into the behavior of clients at veterinary hospitals.