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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!

Hugo is glad to have pet insurance

10356759_10203065315407779_4853202733494706701_nThe other day, Tric, one of our sales specialists, stopped by my desk to share an awesome story.

Her brother has a chocolate lab named Hugo who he had been meaning to insure, but still hadn’t gotten around to it. Tric frequently reminded her brother that it’s a good idea to insure his dog. One day, she got to the point where she didn’t want to wait anymore, so Tric simply enrolled the dog and started paying for it on her own, without telling her brother.

A few months go by and Christmas comes up, at which point, Tric presents the insurance policy as a Christmas gift to her brother and his wife.

Fast forward to November of 2013: Hugo was diagnosed with lymphoma. With several veterinary visits and treatments since then, Trupanion has paid out over $9,000 to help with Hugo’s care.

Thanks to Tric, Trupanion Pet Insurance and Dr. Maleo and her great crew at ACCES Seattle, Hugo is getting his toes wet and howling about it. Every minute counts in this life.

We are so pleased to be able to help Hugo and we’re very proud of Tric who, not only is a fantasticly awesome person, but a great advocate for pet insurance. If it weren’t for her, who knows what kind of financial situation Hugo’s owners would be in right now.

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5 Tips for Caring for Your Short-Faced Dog on Hot Days

Diesel shared by Arlene W.

Diesel shared by Arlene W.

Warm weather can be exhausting for both pet owners and their furry friends. When a dog overheats, it pants and breathes differently in order to cool itself down. Brachycephalic breeds (short-faced) have a difficult time in the heat because they cannot breathe as easily as other breeds. This type of breathing causes them to overheat easily, making them more susceptible to heat stroke and other life-threatening problems. Here are a few tips to keep your short-faced dog comfortable and safe in the warm weather:

  1. Keep the water bowl full. Make sure there is always enough water available for your dog. If your pup goes outside, make sure to keep a water bowl in the shade to keep it cool.
  2. Keep your dog inside. As temperatures rise, your dog will be much more comfortable at home. It is easy for your short-faced dog to overheat if left outside in the hot weather. If outside, keep on the grass because hot pavement can burn the pads of your dog’s paws. If he does come in the car with you, make sure to turn on the air conditioning. But remember, it is important not leave him in the car alone for even a few minutes.
  3. Use cooling devices. There are several products for keeping pets cool such as cooling mats, fans, kiddie pools, and air-conditioning equipment. You can also make your own cooling device by freezing water in a sturdy plastic bag and wrapping it in a heavy towel. You can lay the device in your dog’s bed so he can keep comfortable.
  4. Change your pup’s exercise times. It’s easy for some short-faced dogs to become overweight, so make sure to continue normal exercise routines. Try and plan walking your dog when the sun isn’t very strong, like early morning or in the evening.
  5. Take breaks. As you continue normal physical activities for your dog, try and pay attention to any breathing abnormalities and know when to take a break. If your dog starts to breathe heavily or makes any unusual noises while trying to breathe, it is time to take a break and let your dog cool down. You may have to shorten exercise activities to avoid heat exhaustion.

We’d love to hear how you keep your short-faced dog cool in the summer heat! Let us know by leaving a comment.

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Disease Disrupts Dog’s Love of Food

Halo - Michelle Rosen - Image 1We adopted Halo from Guiding Eyes for the Blind almost four years ago. Right away, she became our angel. She was so sweet and extremely obedient. She loved her food but if you didn’t tell her that it was okay to eat (she was trained to wait), she would just sit there looking sad. What willpower!

Imagine our concern when our healthy, food-loving yellow Labrador started avoiding food last September. We tried to coax her and she seemed hungry but sometimes she would not eat for up to two days. She seemed depressed and lethargic. Who wouldn’t be? We brought her to two wonderful veterinarians at Natick Animal Clinic and IVG Metrowest, Dr. Andrea Moolenbeek and Dr. Marie Chartier, who carefully did a workup and figured out that Halo has inflammatory bowel disease. Continue reading “Disease Disrupts Dog’s Love of Food” »

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Trupanion Reviews – Week of July 4

If it weren’t for you guys, we would be LOST. We recommend Trupanion to every dog owner we know. -Rachel F.

I just want to say a quick thank you to Trupanion- everyone had told me they had their doubts my investment in insurance for my pups would pay off in the end. My 4 year old Yorkie Blake Lee ended up needing luxating patella surgery in each knee- almost $4,000 total. The specialist faxed an estimate to Trupanion with a claim form- and before I made it back home from the appointment, we had pre-approval for the first procedure. I was SHOCKED! On the day of the surgery, a another claim form was left with the vet requesting direct payment to them. They received their payment within a week. The peace of mind we have been able to have throughout this has made an extremely challenging situation so much easier. Thank you so much, Trupanion- for doing what you promise to do- without hassle! Here’s a photo of poor Blake on his way home from the first surgery. :) -Rebecca D.

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Fantastic phone call w/ @Trupanion CSR Kristen. Rare to find that kind of a phone experience these days! Thanks, @Trupanion! #PetInsurance -@ATLmuse

Sarge gets to celebrate his 4th birthday today thanks to his wonderful veterinarians and your awesome policy! His heart & stomach may be sick, but he doesn’t let it get him down! Happy Birthday Sarge, and thanks again Trupanion!! -Kelley H.

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Trupanion has saved my life several times. In less than 5 years, I have battled Parvo, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Addison’s Disease, had bi-lateral Entropian surgery and bi-lateral cataract surgery. All this on top of normal stuff, like flea allergies and fox tails in the feet, and ear infections. Thank you Trupanion. -Kahless the dog

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Star-Spangled Pet Names

Lincoln, the golden retriever, works at Trupanion.

Lincoln, the golden retriever, works at Trupanion.

In the spirit of Independence Day, Trupanion looked into its database of insured pets to see what patriotic names have made an impression on dog and cat owners across the U.S.

Patriotism has influenced the names of a number of cats and dogs across the nation and the founding fathers have had an especially influential impact. Among the top seven names inspired by the founding fathers, Madison was highly represented with 57% of the share. However, no pets were named James Madison. Franklin was a close second, with 31%, including two cats and three dogs named “Benjamin Franklin.”

George Washington is the namesake for just 1%, with an additional four named Washington. Jefferson held 4%, with two cats named “Thomas Jefferson” and “Thomas Jefferson Jr.”

There was a handful of Hancock’s and even a mastiff named Adams.

Top Seven Pet Names Inspired by Founding Fathers

  1. Madison
  2. Franklin
  3. Hamilton
  4. Jefferson
  5. Washington
  6. Hancock
  7. Adams

And while she isn’t a founding “father,” Betsy was represented 81 times. Betsy Ross may have been the inspiration for a few of those cats and dogs.

Just as patriotic, pet owners across the U.S. named their dogs and cats America, Patriot, Fireworks, Flag, and Eagle.

Important figures in U.S. history have made their mark on the Trupanion headquarters as well. Under the Trupanion roof, Teddy Roosevelt, a mixed breed, and Lincoln, a golden retriever pictured here, work side by side.

This Independence day, have your pet show some patriotism through a red, white, or blue bandana, or if you’re thinking of a name for your new pet, perhaps consider something inspired by the fourth.

 

Teddy Roosevelt also works at Trupanion.

Teddy Roosevelt also works at Trupanion.

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Help Keep Your Pet Calm During Fireworks

Loud noises and the commotion of 4th of July celebrations can easily make your pet stressed and scared. Your dog is very sensitive to noises, and can hear everything humans hear, only 4 times louder. Loud noises often cause pets to run away from home, dig at the floor, hide in small places, or pace back and fortOakleyh. More pets get lost on Independence Day than any other day of the year. 

Keep these tips in mind during upcoming summer celebrations to help keep your pet at ease:

  1. Make sure your pet has updated ID tags. When animals get stressed, they sometimes run away. Now is a great time to double check that your furry friend is wearing proper identification, just in case.
  2. Exercise your pet before the party. Go on a long run or play fetch early in the day. Hopefully your dog will get tired right before all the commotion starts.
  3. Keep your dog inside. Fireworks and other loud noises aren’t nearly as loud if your pet stays indoors. Also, there are many more distractions inside the home that can keep your dog calm. If you choose to bring your pet outdoors, distance your pet from harmful objects such as charcoal, sparklers, fireworks, and glow sticks.
  4. Provide your dog with a safe haven. Many scared dogs look for a hiding place once left alone. Sometimes these places aren’t always the safest or smartest so it’s best for the pet owner to designate a safe area. This may be a bathroom, closet, or basement, ideally a place without windows and with plenty of artificial light to hide any flashes of light.
  5. Hide the loud noises. Keep a television on or have music playing. These sounds will act as a buffer to further distract your nervous pet from the noise. Another option for very sensitive dogs are earmuffs or ear plugs. There are dog-friendly ear safety products on the market that are designed to protect your dog’s ears during loud situations. Talk to your veterinarian about the best option for your pet.
  6. Use food to distract. Give your dog a treat reserved for when the noise level is loudest. Choose a treat such as peanut butter inside a Kong to keep your dog distracted during the fireworks.
  7. Look into medications. Some dogs might need medication to help keep them safe and calm. Talk to your veterinarian about medication options for your dog during celebrations.

What have you tried to help keep your pet calm during fireworks? We’d love to hear what works for your furry friend!

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Is Your Dog Too Skinny? How to Help Your Pup Gain Healthy Weight at any Age

Is Your Dog too Skinny - How to Help Your Pup Gain Healthy Weight at any Age

Source: homedit.com

Many people worry about their dog becoming overweight, but what about a canine that is underweight? There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a dog’s lack of size. Some dogs may be burning more calories than they take in, some may be eating an incomplete food and others may have an untreated illness. Often times, newly adopted dogs have a reluctance toward food due to past trauma or struggling to adapt to their new surroundings. Regardless of the specific reason, here are a few things you can try to help your furry companion reach a safe and healthy weight at any age.

Add Complex Carbs in Small Doses
Most commercial foods on the market are formulated with the high protein needs of a dog’s diet in mind, but just like with people, carbohydrates are important for increasing energy levels and adding to fat stores. Simple carbs like sugar or white bread can be very bad for dogs, as they can make a dog hyperactive and contribute to canine diabetes, but a few spoonfuls of slower burning complex carbs like plain, cooked rice, pasta and oatmeal can help a skinny dog pack on the pounds and give them a tremendous all-day energy boost. Continue reading “Is Your Dog Too Skinny? How to Help Your Pup Gain Healthy Weight at any Age” »

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A Cavalier’s Quick Introduction to Trupanion

Harry - Kim Cannan - Image 1

Our family is sold on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, so when it was time to get a new puppy, we knew it had to be a Cavalier. Their melting expressions, loving and playful dispositions, and desire to simply be with you are a perfect fit for our family. In November we brought 12-week-old Harry home to our three teenage daughters.

Because our 10-year-old Cavalier, Charlie, has dealt with allergies, our vet suggested we get insurance for Harry, something we’d never even known existed. She recommended Trupanion, so we signed up at Harry’s first checkup, not knowing how soon we would need it. Continue reading “A Cavalier’s Quick Introduction to Trupanion” »

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Pet Insurance Claims of the Week: What Pets Ate Edition

This week’s featured pet insurance claim post is a little unconventional. Rather than focusing on one claim, I decided to showcase a handful that stood out to me. Apparently, in the past week, pets decided to start eating lots of things they shouldn’t have!

These foreign body ingestion claims involve pets eating non-food or toxic items.

  • For solid non-food objects (toys, rocks, string, etc.), treatment involves either getting the pet to vomit, allowing the object to pass (if it is small and uncomplicated) or surgical removal.
  • For toxic substances (chemicals, raisins, xylitol), treatment may include getting the pet to vomit the substance out, using activated charcoal to absorb toxins, or fluid therapy.

Have a look at the claims from the past week:

  • Buster the Golden Retriever ate some rocks and was presented to the vet with vomiting and diarrhea.
    • Claim amount: $3,055, Trupanion paid: $2,583
  • Howie the mixed-breed dog swallowed a peach pit.
    • Claim amount: $2,142, Trupanion paid: $1,722
  • Poca the American Staffordshire Terrier swallowed a corn cob.
    • Claim amount: $2,366, Trupanion paid: $1,571
  • Sweetness the Domestic Shorthair cat swallowed part of a foam flip flop.
    • Claim amount: $1,031, Trupanion paid $887
  • Ladybug the mixed-breed dog was presented to the veterinarian because she was vomiting and defecating carpet fibers.
    • Claim amount: $959, Trupanion paid: $819
  • Rocko the Bouvier des Flandres swallowed a ball which needed surgical removal.
    • Claim amount: $1,689, Trupanion paid $800
  • Jewel the mixed-breed dog ate raisins which are poisonous to dogs and cats.
    • Claim amount: $1,353, Trupanion paid: $741
  • Harley the Australian Shepherd got into some ibuprofen.
    • Claim amount: $782, Trupanion paid: $507
  • Stella the Labrador Retriever had a feast! She ate half a loaf of bread that contained raisins, as well as a bag of cat litter.
    • Claim amount: $546, Trupanion paid: $428
  • Whiskey Marie the Golden Retriever got into rodenticide.
    • Claim amount: $508, Trupanion paid $370
  • Moose Tracks the mixed-breed dog ate cake and glass!
    • Claim amount: $403, Trupanion paid $363

These real-life pet insurance claim examples are provided to give you an idea of why pet insurance is beneficial and how it can help with unexpected occurrences that could happen at any time.

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Summertime Pet Pics 2014

How is your pet enjoying summer so far? Here in Seattle, our office pets are bathing in sun puddles and getting midday walks out in the warmth, then returning to our air-conditioned office to relax and cool down.

We asked our social community to share their summertime pet photos and we’ve put them together in an album. View it below!

Gus, shared by Amber C.

Gus, shared by Amber C.

Diesel shared by Arlene W.

Diesel shared by Arlene W.

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