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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!

7 Alternatives to the “Cone of Shame”

Dug and Cone

Photo via: Darbys Daily Blog

Pets are notorious for irritating their wounds and injured areas. It is instinctive for them to bite, scratch, and lick injured body parts and cause problems with a healing area. Is the best solution to reward the animal with an uncomfortable and clumsy plastic cone?

We’ve all seen cone-wearing canines run into walls, struggle to eat, and do everything in their ability to remove the plastic barrier. The Elizabethan collar (or the plastic cone) eliminates the animal’s peripheral vision and can cause several accidents. The plastic material can rub against the skin, causing painful rashes. There must be some alternatives to the plastic cone that can help keep your furry friend happy while healing. Below are some options other than the cone that can keep our pets (and us) at ease during the healing process. Continue reading “7 Alternatives to the “Cone of Shame”” »

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Detecting When Your Pet is Sick or Injured

Detecting When Your Pet is Sick or InjuredWhile some illness or injuries may be obvious to the naked eye, there are many conditions that can be difficult to detect. Abnormal behaviors can be a strong indicator of impending health trouble. Knowing what to look for can help you determine if the signs are serious and when you need to seek help for your pet.

Survival of the Fittest
The ease in which you can detect illness or injury in your pet is largely dependent on what type of pet you have. Prey animals, such as birds, reptiles and rodents, are especially good at hiding symptoms. In the animal kingdom, sick or hurt animals are an easy food source for predators. Masking is a survival mechanism. Dogs and cats will also sometimes conceal symptoms for this same reason.

Continue reading “Detecting When Your Pet is Sick or Injured” »

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A Shepherd’s Pet Insurance Story In His Own Words

Finnegan - Leslie Metcalf - Image 1 (small)

I hurt my knee playing with my little sister, Meggie, and had to have ACL surgery. It’s been two weeks since my surgery and I’m doing really well. I would love to play with Meggie now, but Mommy says I can’t yet.

She is SO happy that I am healing well and SO, SO, SO very happy that we have Trupanion. The people at Trupanion made sure that all my medical bills were taken care of so that Mommy could concentrate only on me getting better. Mommy got the insurance check in less than a week after I was in the hospital! Meggie and I both have Trupanion and Mommy says she wishes that she could get Trupanion for her and Daddy. I hope I don’t need insurance again, but it is really nice to know that I have it if I do!

Thanks Trupanion!

Sparta, North Carolina

Enrolled: May 2013
Condition: Torn ACL
Total paid: $3,059.17

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Trupanion Reviews – Week of 5/30

@Trupanion  my rating ★★★★★5Stars and a HIGH 5 with a PAWS. I want to hug ((((@Trupanion)))). -@jonathanpace

Just wanted to say how much Trupanion has helped my Taycie! So thankful that I started a policy on her as a puppy and Trupanion has been fantastic with all of our claims. I just submitted a claim yesterday morning and 3 hours later it had already processed and been a claim reimbursement will once again be sent our way.
Taycie and I can’t thank everyone at Trupanion for everything you have done for her thus far in her short little life! I am so happy I can provide her with all the care she deserves:-) -Emily N.


I’m a little surprised to see the few recent concerns about Trupanion’s rates. Not only did you happily insure my adopted 10 YEAR old dog (with no medical history available) but you have come through for us quickly and professionally when we have filed our claims. Good customer service is worth paying for and you certainly have it. Not to mention that most companies don’t offer 90% back so lower premiums don’t necessarily mean more savings overall. On behalf of now 11.5 year old Tux and 9 year old cat Kermit, “Thank you”! -Lisa W.

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Large Breed Puppy Food vs. Adult Dog Food

Photo via:

Photo via:

Puppies differ in several ways including color, size, age, and personality. One thing puppies of all breeds have in common is that they need a balanced diet in order to grow to be a healthy adult dog. The type of breed can help determine how the puppy will grow. For example, a Mastiff puppy will need a different diet than a young Chihuahua because their puppy growth rate varies by breed.

As you can see, it is very important to choose puppy food based on your dog’s size and breed.

One distinguishing feature of puppy food is the amount of protein it contains. Puppies need more protein than adult dogs because their bodies grow quickly. Calories are also higher in puppy food to help keep up with the high energy level that they have. However, an excessive amount of these nutrients could lead to medical problems down the road.

It is also important to make sure your puppy is maintaining a healthy weight. Underweight puppies are at risk for not fully developing. Overweight puppies have a greater risk for becoming an overweight adult dog, which makes them more susceptible to certain diseases.

When determining the right food for your puppy, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine a balanced diet for your growing dog.

How do you choose the right food for your puppy?

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Arthritis in Dogs

golden retriever old dog stairs pet insurance TrupanionArthritis is a degenerative medical condition experienced by dogs in one or more joints. It is a painful condition that makes the life of a canine miserable over time. A study shows that 20% of canines suffer from arthritis in their lives. Arthritis degenerates the limbs, and this is evident as the dog ages.

All dogs – young and old are susceptible. Some large-breed dogs are more affected than small dogs. Other causes:

  1. A joint condition such as infection, dislocation, fracture or cartilage damage can lead to arthritis.
  2. Injury to ligaments or tendons puts the animal at higher risk of arthritis.
  3. Inherited medical conditions such as hip dysplasia increase the risk of developing arthritis and should be monitored regularly.
  4. Overweight or obesity puts a lot of heaviness on the joints and may lead to arthritis.

Continue reading “Arthritis in Dogs” »

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Tips for Introducing Dogs to Cats

Since not all animals want to be friends with each other, the internet may have given us a false expectation of the potential for animal friendships with pictures cheetahs and golden retrievers cuddling up with their pals. We all know either from personal experience or from the videos about cats stealing dog beds that not all pets will get along, but we can help them ease their transition into making new friends with steady training and calm reassurance.

Credit: By Petteri Sulonen from Helsinki, Finland (Cats and Dogs) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: By Petteri Sulonen from Helsinki, Finland (Cats and Dogs) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are some things that may help you introduce your dog to your cat with more ease.

Continue reading “Tips for Introducing Dogs to Cats” »

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4 Great Ideas That Keep Your Dogs Fit and Fun

Photo via Flickr user robertszlivka

Photo via Flickr user robertszlivka

Dog parents have to work; it is an unfortunate fact of life. Many dogs are left to their own devices at home while some parents have to work a 12 to 14 hour day. What can the dog do to keep from being bored other than to get into mischief? Keeping him in a crate all day long is definitely not the answer. All dogs need to be active to stay healthy. Here are some great ways to keep your dogs fit and fun.

Food Puzzles
Food puzzles are toys that your dog can play with and find food as a reward. Research suggests that dogs would prefer food that requires a little work. Another way is to hide his food bowl in the house and let him go find it. Alternatively, toss a bowl of kibble in the back yard and release the dog to go “hunting”. This may seem cruel, but dogs love the stimulation.

Continue reading “4 Great Ideas That Keep Your Dogs Fit and Fun” »

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Pet Insurance Claim of the Week: Marijuana Brownie Ingestion

Millie the 12-year-old Sheltie, like many other dogs, has a taste for human treats and baked goods. Her curious nose unfortunately got her into double trouble when she ate some marijuana brownies. These are bad for pets for two reasons: the chocolate, and the marijuana.

Chocolate contains chemicals including theobromine and caffeine, which are tolerable by humans, yet poisonous to pets. The results of consuming chocolate are similar to that of ingesting any other type of poison, which include vomiting, diarrhea, and restlessness. Marijuana ingestion can cause vomiting, depression, and in serious cases, coma. For both substances, pets should receive immediate veterinary care. (By the way, it’s okay to be honest with your veterinarian about what your pet got into. They just want to help your pet!)

Millie’s pre-approval form outlines treatment including IV fluids, monitoring, and a chemistry panel (diagnostic). The claim was approved and her veterinarian will go ahead and provide the necessary treatment depending on the severity of the situation. We hope that it is mild and that she has a quick recovery!

Total claim amount: $1,881.00
Deductible applied: -$250.00
Ineligible costs (exam fee): -$195.00
10% co-insurance: -$143.60
Eligible for coverage: $1,292.40

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Trupanion Reviews – Week of May 23

Copper proudly wearing his tag! I can’t thank Kesa Petersen enough who so many months ago took the time to explain everything about Trupanion, (over an hour), to me once my trial period was done. She made me feel like a part of your family not just another client with a dog. Then, in January Copper was rushed into a 45 min emergency surgery and spent the next three days in intensive care. The reality of facing a $3000.00 bill loomed over my head and Copper only being 7 months old the decision to not end his life was made easier knowing I had the insurance. In the days that followed and with the help of Karin Dickson, (claims manager), and my vets office I’m overjoyed to say he’s doing fantastic and enriching our lives everyday! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for being such an amazing family who truly cares not just about the all mighty dollar <3 -Lois W.

Copper TC0001543782

I want to thank you a million times over for being what/who you say you are…an insurance company which I can trust. God bless you all, and thank you so much for helping my Sammy, who has sadly dealt with some health issues this Spring. -Karin L.

Just had to take a few moments out of my day to say Thank You for being an amazing insurance company.
My sweet bulldog, Miss Ellie, had to undergo MPL surgery on her left knee last Thursday and is facing another surgery on her right knee in the near future. Your claim response time was outstanding. I faxed in the claim Sunday afternoon and by Monday afternoon, I has received your claim determination. It is so comforting to know I can make the best decisions for my pet’s health without having to be concerned with the cost of care because I have such an amazing insurance company. I can’t sing your praises enough.
Again, Thank You for being there for Miss Ellie when she most needed it most!! -Courtney G.

I just completed a review for you, and I cannot even begin to tell you how pleased I am with this company, and what you afford an owner to do for their pet because of having insurance. You make things that once would be a hesitation, a reality. Your customer service is excellent, I wish my insurance carrier was as concerned about me as you are about the pets. And your turnaround time for reimbursement is excellent.
My vet’s office thinks Scarlett and I should do an infomercial to educate clients about this. They have your flyers in their office and I keep telling them that Scarlett and I are living proof that people need to get this insurance. I had another insurance when I had my other dog who is now passed, and I tell you what there is no comparison between Trupanion and them. They covered an illness for the first year only, they denied nearly everything, just horrible service, but not Trupanion, this was the best decision I ever made for Scarlett.
Thank you Janet G. a/k/a/ Scarlett’s Mom

Thank you Trupanion for helping us take such great care of our dog Cody. Since we rescued him when he was only 6 weeks old (now almost 4 1/2) he is a valued member of our family. It has been a very rocky road for him especially since his back surgery in January but your team has been amazing. We really want to thank you for offering not only the best coverage but loving caring employees as well. Anytime we have questions they are always very friendly and helpful. Your claims department has been very quick at handling his claims. We just wanted to say thank you for helping with his care and going the extra mile to provide exceptional service too !! -Christina A.

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