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What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance and Is It Worth It
What to Do When Your Cat Stops Grooming Himself
Small Pets You Can Have If You Can’t Have a Dog or Cat

What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance and Is It Worth It

Have you ever wondered about pet insurance? Is it worth buying it? Does your pet qualify? What does it cover?
Pet insurance may be a good idea, especially since the cost of veterinary care is going up. “That’s because of higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services,” according to the article, “Do you need pet insurance?” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Pet health insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury.”

First do your own research on pet insurance and the various companies that offer the service. Here are some things to take into consideration, according to the AVMA article:

• Research providers and make sure they let you know details, including any “limitations and exclusions” when it comes to coverage that is routine or wellness, and emergency.
• Are there add-on options, including dental care?
• Find out about pre-existing conditions.
• Does the carrier cover all breeds of pet?
• Find out about co-pays, deductibles and other fees.

Pet insurance does have limits, according to the article, “What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?” at ValuePenguin.

You pay a monthly premium for pet health insurance, and if you have a sick pet or one who is injured, you basically pay the pet’s bill upfront. Then you submit a claim to be reimbursed. You may also have a deductible while many policies also have a preexisting clause or one that excludes other things.

“While the monthly premiums can add up to a few hundred dollars per year, the benefit of pet insurance is that cost will be less of a factor when deciding whether to go through with a major procedure,” the ValuePenguin article said.

What to Do When Your Cat Stops Grooming Himself

Just as with humans, you’ll find pets slow down as they age. For cats, they may not only slow down, they will take more rest periods. You may also find they have more physical challenges.

Oftentimes, older cats will stop grooming themselves, and there are reasons why. According to the article, “Matted Fur and More: Grooming Your Senior Cat” at, “Many cats develop arthritis in their spine and hips, which makes the motion of grooming painful.”

Because of their pain, many cats cannot get to certain areas to groom themselves. So, there may be areas on their coat that then are messy and unkempt. Look out for the following signs:

• A cat who gets up more slowly
• A cat who grooms himself less often
• Accidents in the litter box
• Jumping less
• Less activity

You may have a very overweight senior cat, which also can make grooming more difficult. It can also lead to your cat getting more dandruff, unkempt fur, in addition to “a buildup of urine or fecal material,” the article said.

According to the PetMD article, you can help by doing the following:

• Brush your cat and pet him.
• Clip your cat’s nails.
• Schedule veterinary vet visits.

Sometimes a cat may have a matted back end, which is not only unpleasant but will stop your cat from grooming the area. “Cats with long fur are also in danger of getting tangles and mats more easily, and they may not be able to undo the matting on their own,” according to the article, “Why Has My Cat Stopped Self-Grooming?” at

If you can, have the fur around the area shaved lightly. Use your vet or groomer to help with this.

Have your cat checked by your vet to ensure there are no other health issues.

Small Pets You Can Have If You Can’t Have a Dog or Cat

If you can’t have a dog or cat at home, there are other, smaller animals you could bring home to make part of your family.

“From bunnies to hedgehogs, there are many other critters that can make great pets and might be a good fit for you,” according to the article, “Can’t Have a Dog or Cat? 6 Pets to Consider” at The article offers some possibilities, including:

• Rabbits: They are typically cuddly and friendly and they don’t bark or make much noise. They are great for apartments. Do your research to learn all about rabbits before bringing one home.
• Guinea Pigs: They are great with children and are affectionate. They are good indoor pets. “These typically friendly pets require attention, enrichment and exercise each day,” the article said.
• Hedgehogs: These animals are not for everyone, the article said. You would need to spend a lot of time “interacting with and socializing one,” the Vetstreet article said.
• Ferrets: They love to snuggle, play and entertain. They need exercise daily and need to be supervised when out of their cage.
• Birds: You’ll have to put in a lot of time and care if you bring a bird home. They also can be particularly messy and sometimes loud.
• Goldfish: A bowl is too small! They need a large fish tank, about 20 gallons, and they need care and attention.

Other pets to bring home include a hamster. They “are a cuddly, friendly, and inquisitive type of pet rodent,” according to the article, “7 Small Pets That Could Be Right for You” at Everyday Health. You only need one since they are solitary animals.

There are gerbils, who “tend to be very clean pet rodents,” the Everyday Health article said. Independent as well, gerbils can entertain themselves for a long time.

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When Kids Head Back to School, Keep Pets Happy
How to Celebrate Your Dog on National Dog Day
Best Ways to Travel with Your Pet

When Kids Head Back to School, Keep Pets Happy

The summer months were fun for pets who got to hang out with the kids day in and day out. So, how do you keep your pets happy and active when they’re home alone?

Your dog or cat might get depressed or anxious when left alone. Dogs can be more at-risk for separation anxiety when the kids head back to school, according to the article, “Pet Home Alone: Back to School’s Effect on Your Pet,” at They may dig, scratch, howl, or have a change in their mood. Your cat may experience trembling, hiding, or withdrawing, the article said.

“You can help your pets avoid separation anxiety by easing them into the new schedule,” the article said. It’s important not to make a big deal when the kids leave for school. Stay calm. Try using treats or toys to distract your pets.

“Once the family is back together in the evenings, be sure to shower attention on your pets to reassure them that they’re not forgotten,” the article said.

According to the article, “10 back to school tips for your dog” at Dog’s Best Life, you can try new things including a new schedule to keep your dog on track. Try the following:

  • “Set new bedtimes and change the morning feeding routine,” the Dog’s Best Life article said.
  • Try a vigorous morning exercise regimen.
  • Make the departure drama free.
  • Bring your dog if you walk or drive the kids to school.
  • Set up a play date with friends with dogs.
  • Take your dog on a trip to the park.

The more you help your dog prepare for the kids to be back to school, the better off for everyone.

How to Celebrate Your Dog on National Dog Day

National Dog Day is Aug. 26. There are so many ways to celebrate this special day for that four-legged friend who makes your world brighter. It’s no wonder there’s a special day for dogs. So, make sure you celebrate your dog in high style.

There are many ways to honor your dog on National Dog Day. According to the article, “11 ways to celebrate National Dog Day” at Best Friends, here’s how to show them some love:

  • Bake up some homemade treats.
  • Get outside in the great outdoors with your dog.
  • Take dog training classes. “Agility classes are a great option to keep your dog active and mentally sharp,” the article said.
  • How about a doggy spa day?
  • Schedule a doggy play date.
  • Splurge for a new ID tag and collar.
  • Make sure to have your dog microchipped and ensure all information is updated.
  • Book a doggy photo shoot.
  • Foster or volunteer with dogs.

Three are other things you can do for National Dog Day. According to the article, “Happy Dog Day! 55+ Ways to Celebrate National Dog Day With Your Four-Legged Bestie” at, while every day is great to celebrate your dog, go the extra mile on National Dog Day.

Start by donating to a dog shelter or charity. “You can do a straightforward donation by writing a check or you can buy pet products that give back to rescue animals in need,” the article said. Another way is to adopt a dog. Check out your local shelters and rescues to find the perfect dog for your family. You can also watch a dog-friendly movie with your dog.

Whatever you do with and for your dog for National Dog Day will show your dog how much you care, and he’ll love you for it.

Best Ways to Travel with Your Pet

When traveling by car with your pet, safety is of the utmost importance. But more than anything, you have to be prepared.

“By planning ahead, you can make sure your journey is safe and comfortable for you and your dog,” according to the article, “Car Travel With Pets: 10 Tips for Safety and Security” at Fetch by WebMD.

The article offers important tips to travel safely with your pet. They include the following:

  • Your pet should be restrained during the ride. “The safest way for your pet to travel is in a carrier that has been strapped to the seat with a seatbelt or other anchor,” the article said.
  • Take short trips with your pet before the trip so he gets accustomed to riding in the car.
  • Do not leave your pet alone in a parked car.
  • Include a travel kit for your pet.
  • Ensure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar and ID tags.
  • Carry your pet’s important documents.
  • Bring water.

According to the article, “Travel safely with your pet by car, airplane, ship or train” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), when you travel with your cats, a carrier is essential. “It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your cat,” the HSUS article said. “Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier.”

Always make sure your pet is in the back seat where it’s safer. An airbag that deploys while a pet is in the passenger seat can be dangerous, even if your pet is in a crate.

Make stops along the way for exercise and potty breaks. “But never permit your pet to leave the car without a collar, ID tag and leash,” the HSUS article said.

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The Importance of Your Pet Wearing a Collar and Tag
How to Keep Your Pet Occupied with Indoor Activities
Keep Your Pets Safe During July 4 Fireworks

The Importance of Your Pet Wearing a Collar and Tag
Keeping your pet safe is priority No. 1. One of the best ways to do it is by ensuring your pet wears a collar and tag. It can help save you from a lot of heartache.

A collar and tag can literally save your pet’s life by ensuring you get back your pet if he is lost. “Yet a study published in Preventative Veterinary Medicine revealed that only 33 percent of owners keep ID tags on their pets,” according to the article, “Dog Tags 101: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Pet Safe” at

Tags on pets “considerably increase the return-to-owner (RTO) rate if your pet is lost,” the article said. Even if your pet is microchipped, your pet should also wear a collar and tag. It’s like reinforcement and extra protection.

Your pet’s tags should include a phone number so you can be reached any time of the day. You can also include a second tag with the microchip information as well and one for proof of rabies.

There are other important things you can do, according to the article, “Identification Tags & Microchips” at American Humane.

• Have your pet wear a temporary tag if you are traveling, the American Humane article said. Include contact information of someone who can reach you.
• “For cats, use a specially made safety collar that has a short piece of elastic sewn in it,” the American Humane article said. “These collars allow the cat to escape if it gets caught on window blinds, furniture, fencing or other objects.”
• Even if your cat is an indoor cat, ensure he wears a tag as he could slip outside and get lost.

It’s better to be safe than sorry so ensure your pets are protected with a collar and tags.

How to Keep Your Pet Occupied with Indoor Activities
Sometimes you just need indoor activities for your pet. That can happen if it’s too hot outside, during gloomy weather, or rain. It can also be just because you want some quality indoor activities to keep your pet occupied.

When your pet is not active, it’s not good. That goes for humans too. According to the article, “6 Indoor Activities to Do With Your Pets” at Michelson Found Animals, “Too many hours of being sedentary can lead to depression, isolation, or what people in cold climates know as ‘cabin fever’.”

According to the article, the following are some indoor things to do with your pet to keep you both moving:

• Use the stairs! Run up and down with your pet and you’re doing some real exercise and burning some calories.
• Scavenger hunt: Stimulate your dog or cat’s mind. “Hide small pieces of their favorite treats all over your home and watch them run wild,” the article said.
• Get some boxes and build a fort or cat tree. Oh, what fun!
• A good old-fashioned game of fetch always does the trick.

There are more ways to keep occupied indoors when you’re stuck inside. According to the article, “13 Ways To Keep Your Dog Busy When You’re Stuck Indoors” at iHeartDogs.

• Nosework games. Start with healthy treats and place around the room while your dog watches. Command your dog to “Find the treats!” Follow up “and offer lots of encouragement and praise each time she finds one,” the iHeartDogs article said.
• Hide and seek. You can play and reinforce the “stay” command. “It also involves exercise, problem solving, and improves the human-animal bond!” the iHeartDogs article said.

You can always have great activity choices when you’re stuck inside with your pet.

Keep Your Pets Safe During July 4 Fireworks
July 4 is near and while many people love fireworks, there are many people and pets who don’t. Fireworks can be a literal nightmare for many pets.

“On the Fourth of July, many animals become so frightened by the noise and commotion of fireworks that they run from otherwise familiar environments and people, and sadly become lost,” according to the article, “Fireworks: An explosion of fear for animals” at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Wildlife animals are also devastated from the trauma that fireworks cause. “The sudden bright flashes and sounds can cause wild animals to run into roadways, resulting in more car accidents than normal,” the article said.

According to the HSUS article, the following are ways to keep your pets and wildlife safe:

• Leave your pets home in a safe place with a radio or TV on to block out the noise. If you must have your pet with you, ensure your pet is on a leash and with you at all times.
• For very fearful pets, speak with your veterinarian about medicine and other options to ease the fear.
• Ensure your pet is microchipped, wears a collar and ID tag in case she gets out and lost.

The ASPCA offers additional ideas to keep your pets safe during the July 4 holiday. According to the article, “Fourth of July Safety Tips” at, you have to make sure your pet doesn’t get into foods that can be a danger.

• Keep alcoholic drinks away from pets at all times. They can be poisonous to pets.
• If it doesn’t say it’s for animals, do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent to your pet.

Make sure your pet is safe July 4 and at other holidays throughout the year. You can both still have lots of fun.