January 31, 2006
I couldn't believe it when I heard about mold-sniffing dogs but there are such animals and they are highly accurate at sniffing out mold in our homes. In a recent article in the Conneticut Post:
"Because of a dog's excellent sense of smell, they can pinpoint where mold is located in a building," said Carl Massicott, the co-owner of Advanced Mold Detection on Mark Street. "A trained mold professional is usually about 35 percent accurate, while a dog is more than 97 percent accurate."
It takes over 1,000 of training to be certified as a mold-detecting dog but given the amount success rate the dogs have compared to human inspectors, it's well worth it.
Check out the mold dog website to learn more, including Top 7 Reasons to Use a Mold Dog.
January 30, 2006
Ever wondered what it would be like to take your dog to work or at least work for a company that loves your dog half as much as you do?
Well, here is a search engine that looks for dog-friendly job postings around the US. Cool!
Hat tip to Doug Mazanec, the Infoman, who has been sending me so much good stuff, it's not surprising he does this for a living. Thanks Doug!
January 26, 2006
I love discovering new blogs that are worth reading (not so many of them out there I find) but Mary emailed me about her blog, giving me a very big smile for the day.
I'm owned by a couple of cats and am a complete marshmallow for animals (At one time I had five - and I was still working in high-pressure, high-profile Corporate America. But, nuthin' keeps ya humble like scoopin' poop while wearing your power suit!)
Anyway, I blog and here's an entry I recently wrote in which I refer to Teddy the Wonder Cat - He's actually CEO of "Belly Up Management" a wholly owned subsidiary of my consultancy. ;-)
Best wishes (and congrats on the new family addition)
Don't you just love the name of that company Belly Up Management - what a visual name for a cat lover!!!
January 26, 2006
I don't normally go in for pet-themed clothing (I hardly wear anything with someone else's logo, unless it's a band I like) but I couldn't help but be impressed by the interesting selection of cool pet clothing for pet parents at the Dog Hause.
A particularly clever one is "cat is the new dog" but there are many others there. I think for Embrace, we could use this one as our company motto "I'll get there."
Hat tip: What the Pets!?
January 25, 2006
I get asked this a lot. Unfortunately, many pet parentse don't have pet insurance in the US (where less than 0.5% of pet owners have pet insurance.)
What can you do if you are in the predicament of having big vet bills and no coverage?
Here is what I suggest:
- Non-insurance options:
- Pet Assure can help reduce any future vet bills. You pay an upfront fee of $99 per year and get a 25% discount for all vet services. The only catch is that you have to go to a vet in their network so you’d need to check whether your vet is in the system or there is one you would go to. Questions to ask before signing up - do they include procedures done by another facility that your vet recommended you to do who aren't in their system? What about drug costs - are they included?
- In Memory of Magic helps people who are unable to afford the veterinary care for emergency or life threatening conditions.
- Online Vet Pharmacies:
If your main costs are going to come from future drug expenses (for example, long-term epilepsy medicine or insulin shots), you may be better off using an online pharmacy for ongoing prescriptions, such as 1800PetMeds and National Pet Pharmacy (but there are over 20 links on the left hand side of this blog). They are often 25-40% less expensive than what you would be charged at the vet's.
To make the most of this option, ask for 2 prescriptions – the first for a couple of week's worth of medicine and the other for the remaining time. Fill the short-term script with the vet so you can start the prescription right away and fill the longer term one online to minimize your costs. Your vet might not like it but you are the one paying the costs.
- Negotiate with Your Vet:
Most vets are sympathetic to financial concerns and often may reduce the costs a little and also allow you to pay the bill over time. Ask them what they can do for you, you might be surprised at their response.
- Get a second opinion:
For larger bills, shop around your area and get some other quotes where the vet may be more flexible with his or her payment schedule.
- Credit arrangements:
If your vet will do it directly, ask for a payment plan. Another option is Care Credit, a loan facility that helps vets finance payment plans; however, your vet has to sign up with the company to offer their payment plans.
- Shelter Rescue Organizations:
- Many shelters offer some form of reduced price spay and neuter surgeries performed by fully qualified local vets. Spaying in particular is a major surgery and you can save a lot of money this way. Check with your local shelters to see if they offer such a program. You generally don't have to have rescued an animal from the shelter to benefit from this.
- Many shelters may also be able to help you with assistance or discounted surgery
- Breed-Specific Organizations:
If you have a breed with a common genetic condition you are trying to treat, such as a Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia, you can also try your local breed-specific rescue organization for any help or suggestions they might have.
- Your Breeder:
If you have a purebred pet with a genetic condition, certainly go back to your breeder to let him/her know about your pets issue. They may be able to help you but at least, they'll know the condition is in their blood line and hopefully adjust their breeding practises accordingly.
- Other Surgical Options:
I mentioned in a previous post about SEVS, the Society of Endovascular Veterinary Surgery, that is pioneering non-invasive surgery options for veterinary health problems such as liver shunts, collapsing tracheas, and uncontrollable nosebleeds. One benefit of this surgery is that it is less expensive (less rehab required, less recovery time, etc.) so you might be able to find someone in your area who has been trained to perform this surgery - contact SEVS to find out who.
- Local vet schools:
If you have a local vet school near you, they might perform the procedure for much less than you would have to pay otherwise and with very high quality. For a full list, check out the AAVMC vet school list
- Other options:
You can try your local schools, boy scouts or girl scouts. They may be willing to hold a fundraiser to help cover some of the expense. Perhaps you could even hold your own fundraiser, starting with your own friends and family.
I'm sure there are other ways to reduce your costs - what have you discovered? Let's grow this list so that pet lovers can continue to help their pets without breaking the bank. I'd rather people had pet insurance but the reality is that many do not and get surprised by unexpected vet bills without coverage.