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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!

DIY Pet Treat Jar

Pet treat jar

This simple DIY treat jar is a great way to celebrate and appreciate your favorite veterinarian this Veterinarian Appreciation Day. This gift can be used in the lobby or exam rooms around the hospital. Fill it with treats for pets or people!

How to Make Your Gate Safe for Your Dog

safe-dog-fenceMany dog owners will allow their companion to roam the backyard unattended, but how can you be sure your dog fence will be safe? A simple step that any responsible dog owner can take is to secure the gates and fences on their property. With just a little planning, you can pet proof your yard so your pup can enjoy the great outdoors.

1. Close Gaps

Gaps in your gate will allow your dog to squeeze through to the other side. Do not take any chances. A determined canine can fit through spaces in the fence, which often appear smaller than their bodies. By using chain link you can add  barriers to the open spaces, and your dog will still be able to enjoy the view that they have grown accustomed to.

When you close the gaps in a gate, you also deter other wild animals that may try and enter the yard. The security that a gate offers a dog is about more than just keeping them on the property, it is also about protecting them from pests and predators.

2. Secure Loose Ground

Gravel, sand, and dirt around your gate can all be easily displaced by your digging dog. Once they have made a hole, they may be able toto slip underneath the fence. Even if the dog is not usually a digger, your pet may try to test these boundaries on the property.

The best way to secure this loose ground is to bury stepping-stones just beneath the surface of the soil. This will allow you to keep the aesthetic of your yard while still discouraging your companion from attempting to tunnel under the gate. This is a more permanent solution than moving objects to block these areas in the yard, and it will also do nothing to limit the space that your pet can roam.

3. Choose the Right Height

The decision on how tall to make your gate must take into account the athleticism of your breed. Some dogs can jump as high as eight feet, but in most cases, a fence that is just over six should suffice for your athletic pet. You know your dog best and can determine the best height to keep them secure in your yard. Keep in mind, certain stressors may lead your dog to behave uncharacteristically at times, and while they may have never jumped your fence before, it can still happen.

It is very important that the height of the gate is significantly tall enough so that the dog does not even try to climb it. They can easily get stuck on the fence or fall. The height of the fence will also deter some wild animals, but will never prevent climbing animals such as raccoons from entering the yard.


You know your dog best, and while most can be kept safe inside a fence, some are determined escape artists. Dogs can learn to climb trees and fences, which will essentially make it impossible to leave them safely unattended.

About the Author

Ralph Goodman is a professional locksmith and an expert writer on all things locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.

Hurricane Pet Preparedness


Do your hurricane prep plans include pet preparedness? Hurricane season officially begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th. When you live in an area that frequently finds itself in the cone of uncertainty, like Florida or the Gulf Coast, it’s easy to become complacent about emergency plans and put preparations off until a threat is approaching, even if you know that’s not the ideal course of action. However, hurricane preparation with pets is a little more complicated and the consequences of not having a plan certainly outweigh the inconvenience of advanced planning. Take advantage of the calm before the storm (way before the storm) by making a hurricane action plan for your pets.

Make Sure Your Pet Has Identification

Microchip: Make sure that your pet not only has a microchip, but that it’s up to date with current information. One of the worst case scenarios involves your pet needing an easy way to find its way back to you and this will help.

Hurricane_Image 2Collar and tag: Buy your pet a brightly-colored collar. The tag should include their name and preferably two phone numbers in case one lacks power or service.

Medical records are good to have on hand if your pet needs to see a vet in a new location if you evacuate, and also serve as identification of ownership if you become separated. Also, save a photo of your pets on your phone for identity confirmation or to share on social media if they get lost.


Create an Evacuation Plan

When in doubt, do get out. Having to flee your home is stressful enough, so don’t find yourself stranded for lack of a pet-friendly plan. Research hurricane shelters in your area and find out which welcome pets and if pre-registration is required.

If your plan involves travel, look for pet-friendly hotels with websites like www.bringfido.com, which also has an iOS app for on-the-go searches, or petswelcome.com where you can search by route.

Have a crate or carrier for each animal and make sure they are secured properly in the car, for both your safety and theirs.

Hurricane_Image 1

Build an Emergency Kit

Ensure that you have enough supplies to support your family in the event of a power outage or evacuation event, and make sure that consideration extends to your pets, too.

Pet essentials checklist:

  • Food for a week
  • Bottled water
  • Food and drinking bowls (the collapsible ones are convenient for travel)
  • Collars and leashes (somewhere easily accessible)
  • Bag of clumping litter for cat (stored in a small litter box)
  • Treats
  • Medicine
  • Absorbent training pads
  • Plastic bags for waste
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Blanket or towel

Your pet will be understandably anxious, especially if you are. Thunder shirts and pet pheromone products have some documented success with relieving stress and might prove to be helpful.

The most important part of storm preparation involves being informed, so have a radio with fresh batteries on hand and sign up for mobile weather alerts with apps like NOAA Weather Alerts for iOS or Simple Weather Alert for Android.

Your pet depends on you for safety, support and comfort. Avoid unnecessary emergencies by planning ahead, packing supplies and being prepared for unexpected variations, and weather any storm with confidence.


About the Author: Ashley McCann lives in Florida with her family and their fluffy dog Max, where they are always prepared for the big seasonal storms. Ashley was named to Ignite Social Media’s “100 Women Bloggers You Should Read.” She currently writes as a technology writer for eBay.


Sophie’s Cart

“In April 2015, we noticed our German Shepherd, Sophie, was starting to limp a little and seemed like she was sore after going up and down stairs and to the park. When we took her to the veterinarian, they initially thought it might be joint related since she was 7 years old. She was given a prescription of Rimidyl and we went on our way.

Cherishing a Best Friend

trupanion-cat-cancer“This past April, I received terrible news when my Blue Point Siamese, Cole, was diagnosed with nasal respiratory carcinoma. This is an aggressive type of cancer with no cure – the only treatment is radiation. Without treatment, Cole’s future would have been very short.

Thankfully, I had Trupanion Insurance for Cole. Without it I would not have been able to afford his costly treatment. Trupanion has been extraordinary! All my claims have been paid quickly and without issue. The Trupanion representatives are extremely friendly and caring, always making a point to ask how Cole is doing.

Cole has completed his radiation treatments and is doing extremely well. I realize that his days are numbered, but I am optimistic that his days will stretch into months or even possibly a year or more. I am so grateful to Trupanion for this extra time with Cole; I am cherishing each and every day with one of the best friends I’ve ever had.”

Betsy S.


Glenside, PA
Enrolled: March 2012
Condition: Cancer
Total Reimbursed: $6,993.02