Embrace Pet Insurance featured in MainStreet.com article

Last week, Meredith Blake posted an article over at MainStreet.com on pet insurance titled "How Much Do You Love Your Pet?" . MainStreet is the online addition to TheStreet.com where Embrace has been covered before in an article on pet spending (we're such media hounds - LOL)

...But does pet insurance make sense for you? It all depends on the attitude you have towards your furry friend. “There’s a subset of pet owners who treat their pets like their children," says Bennett. "If you’re the kind of person who would pay whatever it takes to make them better, pet insurance really is for you. If your pet’s disposable, then it’s not. You have to ask-are you a pet owner, or a pet parent?”

Bennett stresses that insurance is really intended for unexpected medical emergencies—the animal equivalent of “catastrophic coverage” for humans—and generally is not designed to cover routine check-ups or basic preventative care. For most pet owners, it makes more sense to pay out of pocket for these occasional visits. What becomes prohibitively expensive are the unexpected mishaps, like an infection or a broken limb. And as advanced treatments like CAT scans, prescription drugs, and specialized surgery are becoming more available for pets, it’s easy to rack up thousands of dollars in veterinary costs.

“It used to be if your dog got cancer, there wasn’t much you could do. Now there are all sorts of choices,” explains Bennett. This might be great news for your pet, but it can be catastrophic for your budget.

Termyte_2 They go on to talk about an experience that Wendy Wilcox, one of our Embraced pet parents, and Termyte her cat had with Embrace's insurance. We couldn't ask for a better testimonial from Wendy if we tried.

Wilcox would do it all over again, even if Termyte hadn’t gotten sick. “I don’t want to have to decide, ‘Am I going to put them down, or am I going to spend the money?’”

Read the full article for more...

BTW, I thought it was funny that one of the tags for the article was "Howard Stern"! You'll just have to go read the article to find out why.

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Ask Laura: what to do for a kitty cat's birthday?

While not exactly a pet health question, it's a fun one for a cloudy day.

Orange_cat_stockxchng_893364 I am planning on throwing a first birthday party for my kittens...they will be ONE on June 13..have any suggestions? I have two kittens...one is black/white female and the other is orange/white male. They are brother, sister. I still own the mother too, so I want to incorporate her into it as well...as a celebration for giving us the babies? :-)

As you can tell..i am a HUGE cat lover. Please let me know what's best for a kitty kats first birthday presents, treats, whatever! Thanks, Elaine

Black_and_white_cat_stockxchng_88_5 I'm definitely going to have to rely on my readers to help out here.  But in general (and in my opinion), it's hard to invite other kitty guests to a kitty party because cats are so territorial and there probably would be a lot of hissing and hiding under furniture for all involved - not fun party activities at all (unless you are the family dog LOL)

I suggest having a few human friends over to share the celebrations. And of course, there's a lot you can do to play on the cat theme:

  • decorate with cat pictures, cat toys, and cat party goods. You can buy cat party goods online. You've got lots of time to browse but I just found a good selection at Birthday Express
  • for the human guests, make cupcakes or cookies decorated to look like cats using small candies as eyes and mouth, shoestring licorice as whiskers, and cookies as ears. And then there's always a great cat-shaped cake if you are feeling adventurous
  • for the guests of honor, you could make a cake just for them or splurge on some de-lish treats from Waggintails.
  • play "find the mouse" - rub some toy mice with cat nip and hide them around the room. Place cats in room. Watch with amusement. Enjoyment all round!

I'm no Martha Stewart - what else would you suggest?

Related post: Cat and Dog Birthday Parties

Embrace Pet Insurance featured in Entrepreneur Magazine April 2008

Embrace_pet_insurance_in_entreprene Alex and I were featured in an article on angel investing in the April 2008 edition of Entrepreneur Magazine.

The article is titled Experience Counts: The hunt for angel investors is tough enough. Finding one who offers more than money adds to the challenge--but it's worth it.

The article refer to one of our angel investors who is a great example of a value add investor, something that can be hard to find in the angel world.

And we took a pretty good picture that day (although Alex thinks he looks like a used car salesman!)

Too bad all the cats and dogs we had in the office as well didn't make it in with us. But then you wouldn't have been able to read the article with the cloud of fur hovering around us.

Related Posts: Other media references to Embrace Pet Insurance

Ski - a dog who recovered from a cruciate ligament injury without surgery

Ski_as_a_puppySki is a remarkable dog. In fact, a remarkable 3 year old Rottweiler who recovered from a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury without surgery. Can you believe it?!

Cranial_cruciate_ligament_diagram For those not up on their doggie sports injuries, the cruciate ligament is one of the ligaments that holds the knee in place and most veterinarians recommend surgery if a cruciate ligament is torn.

At Embrace, we see a lot of cruciate ligament claims and every single one of them has involved surgery until Rich told us the story about his remarkable dog and I just had to share it with you.

Ski's injury occurred before Ski was covered by an Embrace policy so let this be a lesson to you - get your dog insurance before you have the CL injury, not after!

So, in Rich's words, here is Ski's story:

Ski_at_agility_training Ski is a very good dog with remarkable energy. He obtained his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) award at just over one year old. At that time I looked for something to challenge his intelligence and energy, ultimately deciding on Agility competition.

His injury was not due to Agility, but rather a stupid accident on our nightly walk in which I stepped on his foot and he pulled away with all his strength because of the pain, resulting in torn ligaments in his knee. This was sudden extreme trauma to the knee of a dog in the very best physical condition.

While waiting for an MRI before surgery, I remembered that at the Agility camp, he had a mini consultation with an individual listed as one of the "Ten Top Veterinarians in the Chicago Area". Chicago has a lot of vets, so that accolade is not insignificant.

After her examination of Ski, X-rays, and other data, Dr. Mayer of Integrative Pet Care (IPC) felt that because of his strength, stamina, drive, and overall physical condition, he was an excellent candidate of recovery through therapy, rather than surgery, though she mentioned that reasonable doctors could disagree on the prognosis. However, she's the best and this is her specialty, so we took a chance. Thus, we began a strenuous regime of physical therapy, both at IPC and at home every single night.

Since that day, Ski has worked harder than any dog they've ever seen. His recovery has been called "nothing short of remarkable". He now runs weekly on the land treadmill at 35 or 40mph (according to the gauge, though that still seems impossible to me), in addition to more than a dozen other land-based exercises. He is master of the underwater treadmill. He has progressed to the point that not only is he walking on a inclined underwater treadmill to the maximum time they allow any dog, but we've started putting the jets toward him at full force, so it's like he's walking upstream with the salmon against a raging current. He also has more fun than any other dog they see (see the video below.)

Three months ago Dr. Mayer gave her approval for Ski to re-enter Agility training, to challenge him further and give him an outlet for his limitless energy. The restriction is that he now jumps hurdles at 8" rather than 24", though I think he easily could.

Since his injury, I've talked to at least a hundred people with dogs with CCL injuries, as well as vets and medical professionals. I understand how common it is for the other leg to go out within a year. That's why our goal is to make each leg strong enough to do the work of two, when it is needed. I think we're getting close, judging from his bulging muscles.

His recovery is so impressive that one of the doctors at IPC has asked for permission to use Ski in a case study of what can be accomplished after a CCL injury. Obviously, many CCL injuries have a degenerative soft tissue disease playing a part, but that is clearly not the case with Ski. So, my hope, and my belief, is that he WILL beat the odds. That all the hard work of Ski, Dr. Mayer, IPC Staff, and myself will be rewarded with Ski living a healthy and active life until the age of 15 or 20. Sounds crazy, perhaps, but my last Rottie lived to 14, and he wasn't in this good shape.

Related Posts:
What happens when my dog's cruciate ligament tears?
How much did you say a ruptured cruciate ligament costs to treat in my dog?
My dog or cat is limping

Pet food recall - one year later

It was one year ago that the first press release hit the wires on the recall and it just went from there. We were just by-standers watching it roll out but others such as Pet Connection, Itchmo, and PetSitUSA were on the ball for all of us and made a huge difference to our awareness of what was going on (although as many will note over the next few days, little has changed structurally.)

Gina just wrote a poignant summary of how it all started in her blog entry Where Were You a Year Ago. I'm sure there will be more.

Please give a thought to the thousands of pets that died and their pet parents who still mourn them. Time might heal but it doesn't change what happened.

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