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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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Action Shot: Dogs Captured Underwater


We all know the infamous look of excitement when dogs fetch for a ball, dig for a bone, or play in the mud. One pet photographer had the bright idea to capture priceless action shots of dogs fetching into the water. The results are hilarious, surprising, and an absolute must see.


The idea of underwater dog photography was discovered by accident. Seth Casteel was photographing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Buster in the home of his backyard in California. The photo shoot was planned to be “on-land” but Buster insisted on diving into the pool. As many pet owners have wondered, Seth was curious what Buster looked like as he vigorously dove into the pool after a tennis ball. He bought an underwater camera and the results of the photos were the beginning of his underwater dog photography career.


“FETCH – the Seth Casteel Way”. Photo
credit: Ian Shive / Tandem Stills + Motion

Casteel said, “People identify with dogs because they share a similar range of emotions that human beings do. They understand us, we understand them, and together we have this fantastic relationship.”


Since the photo series went viral on the internet, Seth has published a book called Underwater Dogs, being the best-selling photography book in 2012. He is currently working on a book called Underwater Puppies which is being published September 16, 2014.

In 2007, Seth began volunteering in pet shelters to photograph homeless pets in order to help them find loving families. His contribution of the updated positive pet photos resulted in countless adoptions.

We think this is a great example of a way people can understand dogs in their truest form.

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Ingestion Emergencies: 4 Items Your Dog Should Not Eat

Jack - AndreaDogs love to eat things they shouldn’t. Tasty morsels dropped from the table, interesting rocks in the yard, a particularly smelly sock: they’re all delicacies to our canine friends. But what actually constitutes an emergency vet visit at 10pm on Christmas Eve?

Most dogs will avoid eating a pungent piece of onion, but when they do ingest it, it can cause major issues for their little bodies. Thiosulphate is the ingredient in onions that is responsible for causing a condition called “hemolytic anemia”. This type of anemia means the body begins to destroy red blood cells, causing symptoms like dyspnea (difficulty breathing), lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. Symptoms won’t appear right away and can take up to four days to appear.

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How to Handle a Dog Who Chews

Few things are less welcoming than coming home after a long day at work to torn-up furniture. Your instinct is to yell at your dog and punish him for ruining something expensive you love. But the fact is, your dog isn’t chewing on fabric, woodwork, drapes, futons, couches, linens or anything else just to anger you or get back at you for leaving him alone. Chewing evolves from boredom, meaning it can be effectively handled and controlled.

Why Does Your Dog Chew?

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Pet Insurance Claim of the Week: Broken Leg

Imagine for a moment that you are a dog. Not just any dog, but a Trupanion-insured dog. That means life is pretty good: you’ve got an owner who adores you and gives you lots of love, you get to sleep and play and go on walks. You love your owner and even the mini versions of your owner, despite the fact that they sometimes dress you up in silly clothes or tug on your tail and ears.

One day, you’re hanging out with the mini humans when one of them sits on you and, OUCH, that hurt!

Poor Matilda the almost-1-year-old English Bulldog pup recently made an unplanned emergency veterinary visit due to a broken leg because a child sat on her. Matilda’s owner filed a pre-approval form to find out in advance the amount of the veterinary invoice that would be covered. The emergency hospital provided a quote based on hospitalization, radiographs, anesthesia, fluids, medication, surgery, screws and plates.

We wish the sweet pup a smooth surgery and quick recovery!

Total claim amount: $6,250.00
Deductible applied: -$100.00
Ineligible costs (exam fee): -$140.00
10% co-insurance: -$601.00
Eligible for coverage: $5,409.00

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