Embrace in the news

We've had a lot of excellent press coverage at Embrace lately. Some of the good coverage because of our recent change in ownership, and some of it just because.

Our recent change in ownership is our most exciting update since we changed our underwriter to American Modern Insurance a year ago.

Before I get into details of the transaction, the bottom line is that:

  • Embrace is staying and growing in northeast Ohio,
  • we are remaining independent from other insurance organizations, and
  • we will continue to provide the great Embrace experience you've come to know from us. Nothing is going to change that way.

As for details, there's a great Plain Dealer article on the transaction "Embrace Pet Insurance Finds Success Keeping Tails Wagging". A private investor with deep experience in the insurance world, Beauvest (US), acquired all the shares of Embrace except for those belonging to me (Laura Bennett) and Alex Krooglik (we're the co-founders). Once that was complete, five of the original investors bought back in, indicating their continued confidence in Embrace and Alex and me (which was very much appreciated by all of us.)

So, for Alex and me, we are still as invested in Embrace as we were before (no Tesla for me this time around!) and we will continue to run Embrace as we have all these years. We also have a very long-term investor who has no particular time horizon for this investment. It's as perfect as it could have been.

The other part of the transaction is that we locked in our underwriting partnership with American Modern for another 5 years, which I am absolutely delighted about. Not only does that give me great comfort that I won't be looking for another underwriter any time soon, but also, the American Modern folks are a great group of guys and gals backed by the solid support of their owner, Munich Re, the largest reinsurance company in the world.

It's tough to say goodbye to Jumpstart, who got us off the ground, and NCT Ventures, who invested a significant sum back in October 2008 during one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression. Both organizations have supported us for many years and we would not be here without them. 

Having said that, I will continue to be very active with Jumpstart, encouraging and supporting other entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio. Personally, I'm delighted that the proceeds from Jumpstart's investment in Embrace will go towards other new companies in the area. Got to love that flywheel!

As for that other press we've been getting:

  • COSE magazine profiled Embrace along with two other local entrepreneurial companies, highlighting the exciting entrepreneurial environment here in NEO (and I got to be on the cover - woohoo!)
  • Scene Magazine did an extensive article on entrepreneurship in Cleveland in the article "Startup City" mentioning Embrace as well
  • Embrace was recently listed as one of 20 Cool Tech Companies in Cleveland
  • I recently participated in a Jumpstart podcast "For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs" discussing the importance of culture and opportunities created for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, many of which are focused on peer networking and education.

Definitely exciting times! Onwards and upwards.

Your Chief Embracer,

Laura Bennett



Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on Pet Summer Dangers

I was noticing a friend posting on her facebook page that the high for the day was going to be 106 degrees where she lives. That sounds awful and certainly not something humans should be out in, let
alone dogs. With temperature being the most obvious danger to both dogs and cats, Dr Patrick talks about the summer issues other than heat he sees in his practice.

He also answerssome questions from our Embracers, prefaced with a comment from Adrienne:

"One thing we always saw a lot of at the emergency clinic was heat related problems - heat stroke, etc.  We often found that people didn't think it was too hot or too much exercise/playing/hiking for
their pet, especially if the pet was overweight and then the pet would get overheated quickly." So if it's too hot for you wearing a coat, it certainly is too hot for your dog.

  1. Kate: Is there some sort of a guide for how long it's acceptable for dogs to be outside in the heat? Maybe based on size or breed or age? For those without central AC, what's a comfortable temperature range for cats and dogs while inside?
  2. Katie: Is pool water bad for dogs? I always try and stop my dog Captain from drinking it but he never fails to have his share!
  3. Laura: When it rains for a few days the yard sprouts mushrooms like a Smurf village and the dogs start eating them before I can act fast enough.  How dangerous are these? 
  4. Christine: My question is about dry drowning.  With summer being here, the pools and hoses are out. My dog loves to chase the hose and bite the water but also to play in his kiddie pool.  Dry drowning is rare but it can happen. How does it happen and how do you let your dogs have fun in the water safely?
  5. Laura: when should you go to the vet if one of the following should occur: insect stings; skunk spraying; close encounter with a toad; snake bite.

Click on the link below for the podcast audio.

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney summer dangers 2013


Related Posts

July is hot topics and summer pet dangers month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: my veterinarian is so expensive!
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on Pet Summer Dangers

Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney


Dr Patrick MahaneyDr. Mahaney is a veterinarian from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, having been inspired by his own chronic pain from Intervertebral Disc Disease to provide accupuncture to his veterinary clients. In addition to Dr Mahaney's house call integrative veterinary medicine business, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, he sees patients on an in-clinic basis atVeterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, CA. 

Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary column (Patrick's Blog) forwww.PatrickMahaney.com and contributes to a variety of media, including Perez Hilton's TeddyHilton.com, Fido Friendly, Veterinary Practice News, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on OutImpactRadio.com, and MSNBC Sunday with Alex Witt and Career Day. His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available in 2013 through Havenhurst Books



Guest Post: my veterinarian is so expensive!

Here's a hot topic - the cost of veterinary medicine. Dr Riggs calls it as it is from his perspective.


Where is the wing with my name on it? Vets are so expensive!

I have always wondered why people think vets should do things cheaply or charge nothing at all for some things. Shouldn’t we make a good living? So where is the wing? Sorry, we wanted to draw up those plans, but the money went to pay for the electric, or phone, or salaries, or benefits, I don’t know which, but sorry no wing.

Veterinary medicine… are you sitting down as this will come as a shock to some, but... veterinary medicine is a business.

Yes… we all love animals, we really do, but we are like any small business, we do need to make money to survive. We need to make money to be able to diagnose and treat your pets in a professional manner. When we pay our bills to the electric company or our mortgage company, I try to tell them we are very nice people, who care for your pets, and they should cut us a break, but, they don’t really care. They just want our money.

Oh, how it would be nice to practice where we do what is necessary to make a correct diagnosis, do the right treatment without worrying about what people can afford or want to spend on their animal. We often need to pick and choose which test to do, based strictly on economics, rather then what is medically prudent. Sometimes we pick correctly and sometimes we don’t. When the tests come back normal (which is what we really want), I often get “I paid all that money for nothing!?” Hmm.

Let’s talk about the economics of veterinary medicine. The average veterinary student left the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012 with a debt near $200,000. This is after 8 or more years of their life working toward their life goal of being a veterinarian. Ready for the world, here they go, and then reality hits them. The starting salary for a new vet is between $45,000 to $65,000. Contrast that to a dentist $100,000-120,000, a pharmacist $100,000 and a physician $100,000 to 200,000 +. Most young vets will be paying off their debt for 30 years or more.

Does this sound like a way to become wealthy? Is it wrong for vets to be like anyone else and make a decent living, especially after to sacrifices of all those years?

Then comes your pet’s flea and tick and heartworms meds. 1800 Petmeds want you believe vets are money grabbing horrible people, and they assure you their products are just the same as the ones you get at the vets. That would be wrong and wrong.

Vets do make money on the meds they sell. That is true. That is one reason the average vet office visit is $46. The average family practice physician’s office call was $194 in 2009. If vets lose the medication revenue, guess what, our office calls will approach the cost of your physician’s, because our expenses are the same and we need to generate revenue to pay for those expenses, just like any other business. It is just a matter of dollars and cents.  [Oh… btw, the products that 1800PetMeds or any of the other internet companies sell, are not the same, and they do not come from the manufacturers. Surprised? Read up my prior post on the subject]

So in closing, I just want everyone to know vets, as a group are some of the nicest, most caring people you will meet. Please give us a break. We just want what everyone else does, a chance to make a good living doing something we love. I also want to have veterinary medicine continue as a profession, and not just a job. In order to supply the pet owning public with the professional care their pets deserve, a price must be paid. In a business, when the revenue does not meet your expenses, things need to be deleted and that is where professional care suffers. That is where professions convert to jobs, where people are just looking for the cheapest price. After saying all of this, the pet owning public deserves a value for the money spent. “Demand” that from your vet.

Finally we all need to remember owning a pet is a privilege, not a right. A pet owner has the responsibility to care for that pet properly, and if you can’t, then don’t own a pet until you can afford it.

Related Posts

July is hot topics and summer pet dangers month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: my veterinarian is so expensive!

Other posts by Dr Riggs


Dr_RiggsDr. Rex Riggs grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, near Akron. Dr Riggs is co-owner of Best Friends Veterinary Hospital in Powell, Ohio. He is also on the board of the North Central Region of Canine Companions of Independence, a board member of The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society and Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Board at The Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Riggs lives in Lewis Center, OH with his wife Nancy, their dogs Maggie and Ossa, and cat Franklin. Outside of work, Dr. Riggs is an avid golfer and cyclist, and enjoys travel and photography.



July is hot topics and summer pet dangers month at Embrace Pet Insurance

Bailey the patriotic goldendoodleIt's that time of year again with fireworks, loud noises, bee stings, heat strokes, water dangers, snake bites - whoever thought summer was fun!

Well, of course it is fun but certainly for your pets, a certain amount of awareness of simple safety strategies keeps everyone safe and healthy.

We are also going to throw in some "hot topics" for discussion, just to keep it spicy for the month. I'm looking forward to your comments.

In the meantime, tomorrow is July 4th so even though everyone is saying it, it's worth repeating - make sure to keep your pets indoors for the inevitable fireworks displays, and if your dogs are afraid of the noise, a thundershirt (or even one of your t-shirts) can do a world of good to keep things calm while the world goes crazy outside. Add some pheromones to the mix and you'll have a rather chill July 4th.

Have a safe and fun holiday!



Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney talking about dog and cat behavior issues

Continuing our discussion about pet behavioral issues this month, Dr Patrick summarizes the most common dog and cat behavior issues he sees in your practice (separation anxiety, aggression (toward people and animals), noise phobia/anxiety,  inappropriate elimination (cats and dogs), excessive barking, eating foreign objects)

He also covers some questions from our Embracers on pet behavior:

  1. Adrienne: When diagnosing a behavioral problem what diagnostics should regularly be run to rule out other potential medical conditions?
  2. Laura: I won’t declaw my cat and she’s pretty well trained not to scratch our furniture but I think she does it on purpose to get attention – she actually looks at me as she’s doing it and seems to think it amusing when I wave my hand at her to get her to stop. What can I do to
    discourage this naughty behavior? 
  3. Katie: Why is my dog fine for extended periods of time, but then every couple of weeks or so, I come home and my blinds look like they were attacked by Kung Fu Panda as a result of his separation anxiety? Is dog Prozac recommended? How long are pheromone collars usually used for before eliminating them as a possible solution? What are other training aids that might help eliminate stress?
  4. Melissa: I'd like to know why one of my dogs likes to eat the other dog's poop.  It's gross! 
  5. Megan: So many struggle with inappropriate elimination/urination with cats.  It’s the top reason for cat euthanasia.  What would your suggestions be for that and can you think of things that are out of the ordinary to try?

 Click on the link below for the audio file.

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney pet behavioral issues

Related Posts
June is Pet Behavior Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: dealing with anxiety and stress in dogs
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney talking about dog and cat behavior issues

Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney


Dr Patrick Mahaney Dr. Mahaney is a veterinarian from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, having been inspired by his own chronic pain from Intervertebral Disc Disease to provide accupuncture to his veterinary clients. In addition to Dr Mahaney's house call integrative veterinary medicine business, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, he sees patients on an in-clinic basis at Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, CA.

Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary column (Patrick's Blog) for www.PatrickMahaney.com and contributes to a variety of media, including Perez Hilton's TeddyHilton.com, Fido Friendly, Veterinary Practice News, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on OutImpactRadio.com, and MSNBC Sunday with Alex Witt and Career Day. His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available in 2013 through Havenhurst Books





Get an Embrace Pet Insurance Quote