As with health insurance for humans, there are many similarities. It “helps cover the cost of veterinary care if your pet becomes ill or injured,” according to the article, “What is Pet Insurance” at petMD.com. Some plans will reimburse for wellness procedures including spay/neuter, vaccines, and heartworm testing.
According to the article, the similarities to some human insurance plans include that they both have:
• Maximum payouts
• Wait periods
• No coverage on pre-existing conditions
Pet insurance is different from human health insurance because:
• It’s a reimbursement plan
• No networks are used
So, do you really need pet insurance? According to the article, “Do you need pet insurance?” at AVMA.org, veterinary medicine is now more advanced and the cost has increased. “Pet insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury,” the article said.
However, pet insurance may not be for everyone. There are many considerations. To start, the AVMA.org article recommends speaking with your own vet and doing research. Some considerations include:
• No matter the insurance provider, “your veterinarian should be monitoring the health of your pet as part of a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship,” the AVMA.org article said.
• Insurance providers should provide details to include limitations and exclusions for routine care and emergency care as well as premium increase as pets age.
• Add-on options including dental.
• The provider’s definition of pre-existing conditions.
• Does the provider exclude particular breeds?
• Is there a discount for multiple pets?
Before you decide on pet insurance, compare and contrast companies and the pros and cons to see if it’s right for you and your pet.
According to the article, “Long-term Effects of Obesity on Pets” at petMD.com, “the reality is that the extra treats and the resulting extra weight are causing lasting damage to your pet’s internal organs, bones, and joints — some of which can never be remedied even with a change in diet and exercise.”
Today vets are seeing more obese pets. They are in as much danger as an overweight person. It’s important to make habit changes so that your pet can live out a long and healthy life.
“According to recent findings by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), more than 45 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats can be classified as overweight or obese,” the article said, adding that the following conditions can occur due to excess weight:
• Exercise intolerance, decreased stamina
• Respiratory compromise (difficulty breathing)
• Heat intolerance
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Diabetes or insulin resistance
There are things you can do to help get your pet back on track and lose the weight, according to the article, “Obesity in Dogs and Cats: The Most Common Health Threat to Our Pets,” at Petful.com.
While humans may “super-size their meals” they are often doing it with their pets, too. The following are tips for a healthier weight for your pet according to the Petful.com article.
1. Discuss your pet’s weight and diet with your vet and do a weigh in.
2. Don’t allow your pet to graze.
3. Make mealtime an interactive activity using puzzle feeders.
4. Don’t overfeed. Read labels for serving size suggestion.
5. Exercise more.
If you’re not sure what to do for your overweight pet, start by speaking with your vet.
Not only does the heat make humans and pets feel uncomfortable, it can be dangerous, according to the article, “Keep pets safe in the heat,” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS.org).
The article offers some tips to keep your pets safe and cool:
• Never leave your pet in a parked car, even if the car is running with AC. It’s still dangerous!
• When it’s hot, keep the exercise limited.
• Fans don’t cool off pets as they do humans, so you’ll need more than a fan.
• Always have lots of water and provide shade when outdoors with your pet.
• Make some homemade pupsicles, and always have water on hand.
• “Keep your pet from overheating indoors or out with a cooling body wrap, vest or mat,” the HSUS.org article said.
• Watch for signs of heatstroke, including glazed eyes, heavy panting, and rapid heartbeat.
• Have a disaster plan on hand in case of a power outage.
According to the article, “Hot Weather Safety Tips,” at ASPCA.org, don’t leave pets unsupervised around the pool as “not all dogs are good swimmers.”
If you have a dog with long hair, don’t shave him. “The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn,” the ASPCA.org article said. “Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.”
When temps are high, keep pets off the hot pavement and asphalt as it can burn their paws.
While we all have to deal with the heat during the hotter months, it’s important to keep your pets safe and cool.