September 04, 2014
“Why should I get pet health insurance?” I hear that from clients all the time. My answer….”Why wouldn’t you get pet health insurance?” What is the downside?
There are many misunderstandings about what pet health insurance is. It is not like our health insurance. It is not managed care. Pet health insurance is more like car insurance. Car insurance is there when you need it, so you do not have a big out-of-pocket cost if something happens to your car. The same goes for your pet with pet health insurance. They are both indemnity insurance, which by definition is “protection or insurance against future loss or damage.”
I do think some of the hesitation about pet health insurance among vets comes from their experiences with the earliest companies. They were horrible. They were poor payers of claims and customer service was dismal. The clients would get mad at the company and also at the vet for recommending such a terrible thing! Those companies are still out there, so you still need to research the company you are going to use. A great resource is petinsurancereview.com. This site is similar to Angie’s List. They use customer reviews to rate the various companies. You can tell by the ratings which companies to avoid. It just so happens that Embrace is one of the highest rated!
September 04, 2014
Ah, it’s that time of year again, Pet Health Insurance Month. (What, did you think I was excited for - back to school and all things pumpkin spice?) It’s a time when us pet insurance geeks are allowed to be a little extra giddy about things like diminishing deductibles and multiple pet discounts. I mean, sure, here at Embrace HQ we’re passionate about pet insurance 365 days a year. But Pet Health Insurance Month is when we get to let our fiscal freak flags fly, if you will.
We’re pulling out all the stops to celebrate too. This month we’ll hear from Dr. Rex Riggs about how pet insurance prevents financial euthanasia in his practice. I’ll have exciting details about our new and improved age guidelines. We’ll also take a look at some common misconceptions about what pet insurance is and how it works.
August 27, 2014
Dog shaming has become a part of our online culture, and sure, why not. Dogs do some downright shady, shameful things. Snacking in the cat box, chewing up valuables, rolling in nastiness. Some dogs haven’t received the memo that part of domestication means not chewing up mom’s undies or peeing down a forced air duct.
So when we come home and find that our dog has done some shameful thing, we react. Because we’re humans, not dogs, and it doesn’t make sense to us why they chewed up the remote control. And, after a time or two seeing our reactions, most dogs start to have their own reciprocal reactions. (I say “most” because my “sweet, but dumb” Rottie girl would gladly lie down next to the evidence and wait for you to catch her with the smoking gun.) But, your average dog will hide or approach you with their head down if they’ve been caught being naughty.
August 26, 2014
We live in a fast paced, do-it-now, society and our pets live there right with us. We are stressed out, running around, trying to meet deadlines, both at work and in our lives. Our animals sense our stress. They are so in-tune with us. Think about it, we are their world, so anything that stresses us out, stresses them out. No wonder we see more behavior problems in our pets than ever before. Throw in the indiscriminate breeding practices that are rampant in our country and you can get some pretty messed up pets.
Our society is also one in which we want the quick and easy fix for our pet’s behavior problems but, alas, there is no panacea. It often takes a combination of behavior counseling and drugs, just like in people. Notice I did not say behavior training, because training is NOT behavior counseling. This is a problem I see often. This is a very important point. No shock or pronged collars have ever cured a behavioral issue. They often make things worse and I have seen it happen way too many times. Trainers do a fantastic job at training your dog in obedience and manners. Thank god we have them, but behavior counseling is a whole different beast.
August 13, 2014
Today’s podcast issue is well, just that...behavioral issues. We’re looking at behavioral modification from both the medical and training angles.
Some of the common concerns Dr. Patrick Mahaney and I tackle are:
- Separation anxiety:
Separation anxiety is frustrating and there's often no easy fix. What really works? What are the current medication recommendations when training and other behavioral methods don't work. Are there really more anxious pets or are pet anxiety issues just more often diagnosed than they were 10 years ago?
- Litterbox issues:
With inappropriate urination and defecation being the leading causes of cats being surrendered to shelters, any special tips or tricks you can recommend to owners struggling with litterbox problems?
- Canine inappropriate behaviors:
What trends are you finding helpful in the management or correction of inappropriate canine behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, digging, scratching, etc?
- Finding a trainer:
Do you have any "must-have" recommendations for pet parents that are looking for a trainer or behaviorist? What sorts of professionals do you recommend and who should we avoid? (link mentioned: American College of Veterinary Behaviorists)