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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!

10 Ways to Remember Your Pet

Owners often share with us their stories of pets who have passed away, and how they have been remembered by the family. From setting your love in stone with a customized headstone, to a photo book or even a website, there are many ways to preserve the memory of a beloved pet. Here is our selection of the most unique and personal options of pet commemoration.

1. Burial

The most traditional way to commemorate your furry friend is to find a burial spot or place to scatter ashes in the family garden, allowing you to visit and pay tribute. You might choose to mark the spot with a permanent headstone, a more subtle wooden sign, or perhaps an item of significance, such as the pet’s collar or bowl. While a grave may seem extravagant, it gives an all-important place to visit in your own time.

Hard-Working Hounds

Most of us think of our dogs as companions, members of the family, and – above all – as friends. But many dogs are employed in a working capacity, helping people in need or achieving things that humans are not equipped for, such as sniffing out missing people or accessing difficult locations.

Service dogs for the blind or deaf, security dogs and sheepdogs have been helping humans live their lives safely and comfortably for years, but some four-legged friends today carry out more unusual and unique tasks. Here is our selection of the five most unique jobs dogs carry out across the world. 

How Did You Celebrate Veterinarian Appreciation Day?

They speak for those who can’t speak—in English at least—and try their best to give our pets the long, happy lives they deserve.

That’s why we created Veterinarian Appreciation Day™, a holiday to celebrate and say thanks to the veterinarians that do so much for our furry family members.

Veterinarian Appreciation Day at NasdaqThis year, we celebrated a little differently. In honor of Veterinarian Appreciation Day™ we sent Dr. Kathy Hrinivich and Dr. Neil Kennedy of Animal Hospital of Cambridge in Cambridge, Ontario to New York City to ring the Nasdaq closing bell in honor of veterinarians across North America.

Since they opened their practice in April 2004, Dr. Hrinivich and Dr. Kennedy have worked tirelessly to care for the animals in their community. They put a huge focus on helping people and their animal families seven days a week and caring for as many strays and orphaned pets as they can with the resources they have. We thought they deserved a vacation.

But that’s not the only way we thanked our veterinarians this June 18. We made DIY pet treat jars, pawprint paintings, and pet silhouettes, we brought treats and cards to our local veterinary hospitals, and we just said “thanks” when we walked into the veterinary hospitals.

How did you celebrate your veterinarian?

Summer Electrical Safety for Pet Parents

cat-homeFor concerned pet parents there are many additional electrical safety and fire hazards to take into consideration as summer heats up and the temperatures begin to rise. This summer is already a hot one, and experts foresee the probability of “well above average” warmth for most of the country until August.

June is National Safety Month, and therefore an opportune time to remember to pet-proof your home in the name of heat and electrical safety. This information will help your four-legged family’s adventures – both indoors and out – from becoming disasters.

Any investments in time and money you make today will more than pay for themselves by keeping some of the most vulnerable members of your household out of harm’s way. Electrical shocks and burns can seriously injure our feline and canine friends, leading to costly veterinary bills and some very scary situations for everyone. Rather than putting yourself through the stress and expense of nursing a hurt pet back to good health, you can prevent many common injuries before they occur with a little planning.

Tuck away electrical cords

Electrical cords are one of the primary electrical hazards for pets, who very often chew them or bat them around with their paws. This playful behavior may lead to shocks, burns, inflammation and other health problems. Try to run your wires and cords behind appliances and out of sight so that they don’t pique the curiosity of your animals. For sections of cord that cannot be effectively hidden, you can pet-proof them by surrounding them with PVC pipes or safety cable. If your animal just won’t leave your electrical system alone, you can coat your cords with Tabasco sauce, lemon juice or another unpleasant substance to dissuade your pet from playing with them. Air conditioning units and fans are running over time in the summer, so be sure to check if any cords become frayed or otherwise damaged and replace them as soon as possible.

Electricity and water don’t mix

Be especially cautious about leaving electrical devices, such as radios, clocks, and irons, close to your sink, bathtub or any other area where water is frequently used. Your pet might knock the gadget over into the water, either inadvertently or on purpose, and we all know water and electricity should never mix under any circumstances. You can plug any such appliances into an outlet featuring a ground fault circuit interrupter for a measure of security, but the best way to avoid this problem is to not leave electrical appliances around these parts of your house in the first place. Exercise similar caution if you have an aquarium! Make sure all plugs are secure within their sockets so that they don’t tempt curious paws and snouts.

Thunder storms bring more than just scary sounds

Of course, animals and their owners spend more time outside in the summer than any other season of the year. In the event that your pets are caught outside in a thunderstorm, get them back inside right away. While the chances of being struck by lightning are remote, heavy winds and rain can down power lines, which poses a serious danger. Electrical lines are carrying heavier-than-normal loads this time of year as people power up electrical appliances and home cooling systems, so be sure to use extra precaution if your morning walk strands you in the rain.

Avoid electrical substations at all costs; if your animal should wander inside one, don’t follow it. Instead, call your utility company immediately, and they will rescue your pet. If your pet regularly roams around fenced-in outdoor spaces, make sure that all underground electrical lines are buried at a safe depth so that your pet cannot dig them up.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of the right ways of responsibly safeguarding your pets from fire and electrical incidents. For further helpful info, human animals can click over to the Electrical Safety Foundation and other resources online. If you still feel unprepared, consider hiring a licensed electrician to perform a safety inspection and suggest further areas for improvement. The most important step in pet parent safety is simply staying on-guard and at the ready should any unplanned accidents occur.

About the Author: Emma Jane is a freelance writer living in Chicago with her cat, Mochi, where they explore the newest neighborhood pet shops and pet friendly boutiques. Emma writes about sustainability, all the newest tech and of course, furry companions.

You won’t believe these missing pet survival stories!

It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare – a beloved pet goes missing, vanishes from home, leaving the family not knowing when or if they will return. It can be an extremely stressful time for an owner, but these heart-warming stories remind us that our furry friends often come home.

Plucky Bucky, The Unstoppable Lab

black-labrador-retrieverIn January 2012, the city of Myrtle Beach, SC, introduced a ban on dogs, leading resident and black Labrador owner Mark Wessells to take his beloved Bucky to his father’s home in Virginia. According to ABC News, separated from his owner by some 500 miles, Bucky was unhappy with the situation and decided to make the remarkable journey home under his own steam.

In August that year, a local resident found Bucky wandering lonely through the area and took him in. He examined local listing websites for any trace of a lost animal fitting the description but found nothing so took the dog into the animal hospital for a health check. It was then that the hospital’s veterintortisesharian noticed the three-year-old’s microchip, and a scan of the chip revealed the owner to be none other than Mark Wessells from nearby Myrtle Beach. In an extraordinary one-dog mission down the East Coast of the United States, Bucky had found his way home. Wessells described the moment he wasreunited with his beloved pet: “I thought I was going to cry, but I didn’t. He definitely recognized me instantly.”

It’s still unclear exactly how Bucky made the journey, but what matters is that Wessells’ faithful friend found his way home without harm.