Podcast: Pets and Popular Culture

Laura NativoThis month’s podcast brings you a little something extra. As we’re talking about Pets and Pop Culture, we thought we’d bring in dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert Laura Nativo. We’re veering away from our usual Q&A format and geeking out a bit about pets in Hollywood. Dr. Patrick Mahaney dishes about some of his A-list celebrity clients (you’ll have to listen to find out who!) and Laura shares some behind the scenes stories, and how she turned them into trainable moments. We’ll learn about the life of a celebrity pet on set and more. Tune in.

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Pets and Popular Culture

Hairball Lady GagaRemember hairball Lady Gaga? Yes, this was a thing. A real thing. Actually, it was Laura’s contribution to National Hairball Awareness Day in 2012. Because, while we’re truly passionate about pets, pop culture is definitely one of our guilty pleasures. I mean, we need some escape from the excitement of actuarial charts and insurance filings once and a while, right?

Hairball humor aside, pets certainly infiltrate our mainstream consciousness, from our newsfeeds to our favorite children’s movies. Whether you were raised on Petey from the Little Rascals, followed the adventures of Checkers Nixon in the nightly news report or follow Grumpy Cat (or Boo or Maru or...you get the idea), animals are part of our media diet and play a role in bringing many people joy and entertainment. That’s why this month we’re sharing a new featured topic, Pets and Popular Culture.

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Guest Post: 4 Trending Issues to Watch This Summer

There are certain illnesses and accidents that we see each and every summer, but this year it seems like we’re seeing a particular uptick in a few areas of veterinary medicine. Could they be random? Could they be due to some changes in our lifestyles as of late? Let’s see.

ACL Tears

One of the more common injuries we see in the summer is a ruptured ACL. The client brings in a limping dog and starts the story by saying, “Well there was this squirrel…” The squirrel zigs right, the dog follows to the right, but the dog’s knee goes to the left and boom… a torn ACL. The anterior cruciate ligament is the main ligament that keeps the knee together. It is the same ligament that football and basketball players rip. The problem with an ACL tear is it normally needs surgery, and not a cheap one. There are two different surgeries used to repair the knee. One is called a Lateral Suture Technique and the other more expensive surgery is called a TPLO, or Tibal Plateau Leveling Osteotomy. When the TPLO procedure first came out, it was promoted as a better procedure for larger dogs. Now that opinion is under some debate.

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Podcast: Summer Dangers 2015

The number of calls from pet parents looking for pet insurance quotes tends to increase in the summer, especially on Mondays. There’s no strong logic as to why, but my years on the phone clued me in to the fact that the weekend warriors play extra hard during the summer months, and their pets are often in on the action. Swallowed corn cobs at family reunions and rattlesnake bites on hikes during road trips were certainly common summertime issues, right along with the boring, but still costly, allergies, bug bites, and sun burns.

We’re 100% in support of summer fun, but also 100% in support of safety, which is why we sat down with Dr. Patrick Mahaney to get his advice on the best ways to enjoy your summer without injury or unexpected vet visits. Here's what we're covering:

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June 2015 Focuses on Summer Dangers

Great Dane Snake BiteOn one hand I can scarcely believe we’re already half way through 2015, and on the other, it feels like this summer was way overdue. But, with the rising temps we’re already seeing an increase in claims that come with seasonal allergies, insect bites, and even snake bites (check out Aragon the Great Dane's snake bite claim story by clicking his picture).

It’s not all doomsday though. (I know it can start to feel like that at a pet insurance company.) With the summer sun we also see more pups out for walks, shedding winter weight, and enjoying adventures. I’m awestruck by the Australian Shepherd that plays frisbee in the park near my home every morning. There’s always a smile on his face as he retrieves his prized possession for his person, the bond growing more and more with each throw. The same goes for the dog on his family’s boat or the cat enjoying some extra time with her kids home on summer break.

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