Now that you have bought your Embrace pet insurance policy, here are  ten things you can do to streamline your pet insurance experience (and we're talking with stripes on it). 

  1. Batman Store the Embrace phone number on your cell phone
    800-511-9172 You never know when you'll want to call in with questions.
  2. Print out 2 copies of your personalized Claim Form
    Put one in your car's glove compartment and take one to your veterinary clinic and ask them to put it in your file.  They can run off copies, so it’s one less thing to think about during a health issue.
  3. Have your Pet checked by a vet
    Not only is it a good idea, particularly if you don't have much health history for your pet, but you can have your vet complete the orthopedic report card to reduce the 6 month waiting period for orthopedic issues down to 14 days.  This will ensure that you’re covered in the event of something like a ligament tear, or a broken bone.  And, you can take care of task #4 too while you are there…
  4. Fax in your pet's health history
    800-238-1042 (it's on your claim form too - the one you are going to put in your pet's file, right?) Specifically, ask your vet to fax us your doctor's hand written notes for every vet visit your pet has made, including routine visits and for every vet including one-off visits to other clinics. If your pet is older than 2 years old, start with the last 2 year's worth of history.  We’ll even review your pet’s records to let you know if we find any pre-existing conditions that might affect future claims.  
  5. Jakob Dillon and Emma Bean Read your terms and conditions!
    I know, this is so obvious, why should I even mention it but my experience is that only 1 in 10 pet parents actually read their policies (you can be the 1 in 10 for today, right?). At the very least, check your information is correct and your policy is what you asked for. Then read the rest of the policy; understanding your terms and conditions will make for a much better pet insurance experience. 
  6. Call us with your questions
    Here's the number again 800-511-9172 (of course, it's already on your cell phone, right?) Now that you've read your policy, you probably have questions. What better time to call than now to get those questions answered? You really don't want to be getting the answers from the lobby of your local emergency vet clinic.
  7. Maximize your discounts
    We offer discounts for spayed/neutered pets (5%) and microchipped pets (another 5%) so if your pet wasn't spayed or neutered and/or microchipped when you signed up for your insurance but that changes, phone in (remember the number?) and let us know. We'll drop your premium immediately.
  8. Xena_vet Set up your own pet health savings account
    Your Embrace pet insurance policy has a deductible and copay component to your policy. So to be financially prudent, you might want to set up a small fund to cover your annual deductible and copay. For example, if your annual deductible is $200 and your copay is 20%, you will be paying the first $200 of a claim and then 20% of the total thereafter. On a $500 claim, that's $260 out of pocket and on a $1,500 claim (about what an inexpensive cruciate repair costs), that's $460.
  9. Join the Embrace Facebook Page
    We’re always posting information about new Embrace products and services that can help you protect your pet, as well as promotions and partnerships with other companies.  We’ll keep you informed of your options and ways to save money on your pet expenses.
  10. And bonus points - send us photos of you and your Embraced pets. We love the cute and fuzzies and you might see them in the Embrace newsletter one day!

Got any more pointers you would add?

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Today, we have a guest post from Dr. Rex Riggs, owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is a veterinarian, and an Advisory Board member of Embrace Pet Insurance. Dr. Riggs writes about hereditary issues from a small animal practioner's perspective.


Maggie's 2 dogs in a basket June 05 Hereditary problems, and their consequences, are something we deal with everyday in our practice. We see a number of purebred animals, each with its own great traits.

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It seems to be the month of the toe! Here is another toe issue regarding infection in a cat's extra toe.

Question:

Polydactyl cat from Wikipedia My cat has an extra toe and had an ingrown toenail that wrapped around and split the skin between her big toe and the first toe and may have got infected. The vet gave her an antibiotic shot, cut nails, and wrapped it almost two weeks ago. Last Saturday it was still not healed all the way so he wrapped it again and sent antibiotics home with me to give twice daily. He said if it don't work by this Saturday he recommended amputating her toe. I really do not want to do this. Is there something else I can do to prevent this?

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Since we're focusing on hereditary and genetic conditions this month, here are some pointers on minimizing the chance of getting a dog with hereditary conditions.

Tucker and Lexington 1. Avoid Puppy Mills
Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site that offers all breeds and popular mixes, shipped with no questions asked. If you buy a puppy from these sources, you’ll be more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.

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There’s a legitimate warning circulating via e-mail about the dangers of the Cocoa landscape mulch.  (In case you haven’t received it, here’s the scoop via Snopes.)  The sweet smelling mulch is manufactured by Hershey’s and contains both the Theobromine and Caffeine found in chocolate.  Just a few ounces could cause stomach problems, as well as seizures and death if enough is ingested.  (ASPCA poison control says that as little as 20 ounces of milk chocolate can cause serious problems in a 10-pound dog.)

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