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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!

How to Pet-Proof Your Garden

Like it or not, when you bring a new pet into the home you can no longer call your garden your own: it is, at best, a shared space where you and your pet can relax and play, but your pooch will probably consider it his own. You can humour him, of course, but a wise pet owner will grant ownership to their new companion while quietly taking steps to ensure they keep a bit of themselves in their yard.

Lost and Electronically Found: High-Tech Tips to Find Lost Pets

find-lost-petNothing makes the world feel quite so big as the moment that you notice that man’s best friend has gone missing. When it comes to a lost pet, the possibilities are endless—and that’s an overwhelming observation as you start the search for your Fido-turned-fugitive. Technology can help us prevent lost pets from happening and is an important tool in reuniting missing cats and dogs with their worried owners.

“Where Are You?” Wearables

Think of your pet’s collar like their on-the-go emergency kit. Other than a microchip, a collar and tag is the ideal way to identify a stray animal and far more visible than something that requires a trip to the vet to be scanned, so your best bet is to have both. Although the most affordable and convenient option for being reunited still lies in a good old-fashioned name tag, you can add additional info by also including a second tag with a QR code, like those sold by Dynotag or PetTouchID. If a good Samaritan finds your pet yet can’t reach you by phone, they can scan for additional details and can automatically send their geolocation straight to your email.

The rise of GPS technology is also making it easier to track your pets. Whistle is a waterproof collar attachment that serves as GPS locator and activity tracker in one. Customize your cat or dog’s safe zone and receive mobile notifications if they wander so you can pinpoint their location for pick up. Peace of mind when it comes to your pets is worth the investment.

Power of the People

If worse comes to worst and your kitty or pup goes missing despite your precautions, don’t underestimate your community’s willingness and ability to help. Make sure you always have a clear, close-up photo available for instant access on your phone and devices. Immediately create a lost pet sign on a site like Canva and have the file sent to the nearest office supply store for black and white copies printed on brightly colored card stock. Slide your flyers into plastic binder sleeves for added durability and post copies on your vehicles, too. Email your created image to as many local vets and shelters as you can find information on and drop off a paper version at each shelter as you check there in person. Companies like Trupanion can also help you track down your pet with a unique Trupanion pupkin tag ID number and coverage to cover the costs of advertising and reward while looking for your pet.

Also, post your pet’s picture and prior location to social media as soon as possible and urge your friends to spread the word. You get a free pass for posting frequently or outright begging–every share widens your search area and increases your chances of a happy ending for all.

Check to see if your local community has a lost pets page on Facebook. Lost Pet Finder of Collier County has over 1,000 dedicated members and receives over 8,000 page views each week—it would take a lot of flyers to cover that kind of area, and some members of lost pet groups will actively aid your search. Community yard sale sites or parenting groups also act as a local bulletin board and are great places to turn when extra eyes are essential.

If your dog or cat goes missing, there is a lot to be done all at once and it’s hard to gauge which road to turn down, both literally and figuratively, in terms of starting a search. Take precautions to protect your pet by planning ahead, and if you do get separated, ask for help from your family, friends, neighbors and beyond to help your fur-baby find his way home.

About the Author: Ashley McCann is a freelance writer who covers electronics for eBay, including the technology you can utilize to find your lost co-pilot.


How to Design Your Home for a Happy Pet

Happy Pets 1: Dogs in Design, original photo on Houzz

Dogs in Design, original photo on Houzz

Being around nonthreatening animals, domesticated or otherwise, calms humans. The reason for this seems buried in our prehistory: Back then if we were around other creatures and all was peaceful, that meant predators weren’t lurking nearby, about to pounce on us.

When we’re less tense, we have more mental energy at our disposal to do whatever we’ve set out to accomplish, whether that’s having a good time hanging out with family members, writing a novel or planning dinners for the next week. But there’s a catch:Having pets in our home is good for us psychologically only if those animals are happy and healthy. If they’re not, they can add to the tension in our lives. (A moping dog or an out-of-sorts cat doesn’t enhance anyone’s day.)

The good news is that design can make animals happier, just as it can people. You can create a home where your pets feel as good as you do. It’s hard to read the minds of pets, but when you learn more about them as they spend time in your home, you’ll find ways that you can make your special animal friend feel particularly happy. Here are just a few ways to keep pets in good spirits.

6 Questions to Ask Your Breeder

litter-puppyIf you’re looking to bring home a puppy or kitten from a dog breeder or cat breeder, you’ll want to do your research to be sure you adopt from a reputable breeder. We asked the cat and dog breeders in our Breeder Support Program what questions pet owners should ask before buying a puppy or kitten.

1. Why shouldn’t I own this breed?

Everyone knows why they want to own a particular breed. A great breeder will tell you the other side of the breed and identify some of their faults. They want to make sure you are a great fit for their litters just as much as you want to offer a great home to your new family member. A responsible breeder will not hesitate to discuss the challenges of the breed.

2. What is included in the price of this puppy or kitten?

Is the puppy or kitten up-to-date on vaccines? Do they offer a health guarantee? What comes in their puppy or kitten pack? Although it may look great at first, a low price often means that you will spend more later on to take care of these basic needs.

3. Do you have a contract?

Responsible breeders will often ask potential buyers to sign a contract to make sure their litters are going to a great home. They may require that you spay or neuter your puppy or kitten, or ask that you insure your new pet to get them off to a great start in their new home.

Contracts are often for the benefit of everyone involved. Make sure you read the contract and are comfortable with everything listed. This will also give you more insight into the breeder’s philosophy.

4. Have you ever had an on-site inspection by a licensed veterinarian?

It may seem simple, and many breeders have not been inspected, but this shows another level of dedication to be a responsible breeder. It may offend some, but it is a conversation worth starting.

You shouldn’t turn away simply because they haven’t had an on-site inspection, but if they have it just shows another level of commitment to the breed and their litters.

5. Have you health tested the parents and grandparents? Can I see documentation?

A responsible breeder will pay close attention to the health of the parents to give their offspring the best chance at a great life. Many breeds have congenital and hereditary conditions associated with them, and your breeder should be well aware of this. Be sure to ask for proof of health testing. Knowing that the veterinarian said the dog or cat was healthy enough to breed are not the same as health testing the parents and grandparents.

Depending on the breed of your potential new puppy or kitten, look for health certificates from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), Paw Print Genetics, and Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).

6. Do you have any questions for me?

A responsible breeder wants to make sure their litter is going to a great home and will typically have questions for you before you can take a puppy or kitten home. Don’t be surprised if you have to fill out a lengthy application to be considered for a puppy or kitten. Not only will it help them determine that your family is a great fit, it will give you the opportunity to make sure you’ve thought through everything before bringing your new family member home.

Fun Facts About Puppies

puppiesCurious tiny noses, clumsy movements, and wiggly butts make puppies undeniably adorable. While many of us have had the pleasure of spending time with puppies, there’s always more to learn! Here are some fun facts about your little canines.

6 Facts About Puppies We Bet You Didn’t Know

  1. They are born blind, deaf, and toothless.
  2. A puppy spends about fourteen hours of every day sleeping.
  3. They develop their sense of smell at the age of three weeks.
  4. Every year in the United States, more than 5 million puppies are born.
  5. During the first week of a puppy’s life, it spends 90% of its days sleeping and 10% eating. A lot of growth happens during these first few weeks!
  6. By the age of one, a puppy is considered to be an adult. In human years, this is the physical equivalent of being 15 years old.

*Courtesy of Facts-about.org.uk