Today's podcast is on working dogs and cats. There are many different kinds of ways dogs work in society such as dogs that sniff out drugs, bombs, fruit and other banned substances, cadaver dogs, seizure or blood-sugar alert dogs, mold-sniffing dogs, and even cancer-sniffing dogs. In addition, there are therapy dogs and cats. And of course, actual dogs and cats that work on the farm or in the field hunting or dragging a sled in the Iditarod.

Our podcast discusses the following questions about working dogs and cats:

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For working dog month at Embrace, Dr Riggs, talks about the impact of fake service dogs and their impact on true service dogs, plus how you can help do something about it.


Service dogs change people’s lives. That is a fact. There are dogs that detect seizures in epileptics before they happen, dogs that are seeing eyes, dogs able to tell glucose levels in diabetics, and dogs that help people with mundane tasks that we all take for granted.

Service dogs can be true lifesavers. There are many great organizations that train dogs to be service dogs. I have been fortunate to be involved with a wonderful organization, Canine Companions for Independence, for almost 20 years now.

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This month, we are celebrating working dogs and cats of all types at Embrace Pet Insurance.

And before you ask, yes, there are cats that do "work". Apart from cleaning up the rodents on the premises (which your cat may or may not have a talent for), some cats are quite good at being therapy cats, whether in a hospital, nursing home, or in your own home.

Having said that, dogs pull a lot of weight when it comes to work. There are police dogs that work actively in the field plus sniff out drugs, bombs, fruit and other banned substances, and of course, criminals. There are cadaver dogs, seizure or blood-sugar alert dogs, mold-sniffing dogs, and even cancer-sniffing dogs? And of course, dogs and cats that work on the farm or in the field hunting or dragging a sled in the Iditarod.

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Laura May 2013This time, the tables are turned and Dr Patrick Mahaney asks me, Laura Bennett, CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance (EPI), questions on the topic of pet insurance. It is after all, Pet Health Insurance Month.

Questions covered are:

  • What is the (estimated) number or percentage of pet owners in the U.S. who have insurance for their pets?
  • What are EPI’s top canine and feline health claims?
  • What are the main reasons pet owners give for establishing health insurance for their cats and dogs?
  • Why should a pet owner get pet insurance?
  • Does the typical pet owner keep their pet on Embrace's insurance throughout the pet's life?
  • Does EPI cover any pre-existing conditions?
  • Does EPI cover complementary and alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, and so on?

Click on the link below for the podcast.

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In Pet Health Insurance Month, Dr Riggs weighs in with his veterinary perspective on pet insurance.


If you talk to a number of vets about pet insurance, you will get many different opinions. There are many vets, like myself who have researched and done my due diligence, and see it as a win/win/win situation for the client, the vet, and most importantly the pet.

Some vets think pet insurance is evil, and the industry is trying to control veterinary medicine and tell us how to practice medicine, as it has human insurance.

Then you have the third group…"there’s pet insurance???"

It is true the early pet insurance companies were not very good. I initially had bad experiences with pet insurance myself.  This is where the newer pet insurance companies started to pop up, and thrive.  The newer companies, such as Embrace, have looked at Sweden, United Kingdom, and other parts of the world to see how to develop a new model.  In the United Kingdom, it is estimated around 25% of pet owners have pet insurance as opposed to the United States , where less than 1% have pet insurance.  The newer companies, have great customer service, quick claim payments, and almost nothing for the vet to fill out.  They truly have learned from others' past mistakes.

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