Posts Tagged ‘dog bite’

Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Offers Dog Park Safety Tips for the Canine Companion

As summer approaches, dog lovers begin their migration to local dog parks so their four-legged family members can play and socialize. With the increasing popularity off-leash dog parks, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, would like to remind dog owners about the importance of safety when visiting the dog park.

Last year, Nationwide members spent more than $10 million on medical conditions that are commonly associated with dog park fun. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 575,000 insured pets to determine the most common dog park-related medical conditions of last year. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Park-related Medical Conditions

 Injury  Cost
 Sprains & Soft Tissue Injuries  $225
 Lacerations or Bite Wounds  $361
 Kennel Cough or Upper Respiratory Infection $346
 Insect Bites $143
 Head Trauma $591
 Hyperthermia or Heat Stroke $579






Before visiting any dog park for the first time, dog owners should research the rules and regulations of the park. Below are a few simple, but important, tips for ensuring a fun and safe trip to the dog park:

    • Obey all posted rules and regulations.
    • Pay attention to your dog at all times and ensure that playtime remains friendly. If your dog or another dog is playing too rough, it’s best to remove your dog from the situation.
    • Many dog parks have designated areas for large and small dogs. No matter your dog’s stature, be sure to keep them in the area allocated for their size.
    • Don’t bring a puppy younger than four months old.
    • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations.
    • Keep a collar on your dog with proper identification tags that include contact information (microchipping is also recommended).
    • On warm days, avoid the dog park during peak temperature hours.
    • Bring water and a bowl for your dog to drink out of.
    • Look for signs of overheating; including profuse and rapid panting, a bright red tongue, thick drooling saliva, glassy eyes and lack of coordination. If this occurs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

About Nationwide Pet Insurance

With more than 575,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers. 

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers pet insurance from Nationwide as an employee benefit. 

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2013); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2014). Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide Is On Your Side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2016 Nationwide. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

Read Full Post »

Mark your calendars!

National Service Dog Eye Examination Month

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

National Pet Week®
May 1-7
First full week of May starting with a Sunday

Be Kind to Animals Week
May 1-7

First full week of May starting with a Sunday

National Specially-abled Pets Day
May 3

National Ferret Day
May 5

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
May 14
Second Saturday in May

International Migratory Bird Day
May 14
Second Saturday in May

Endangered Species Day
May 20
Third Friday in May

National Dog Bite Prevention Week®
May 15-21
Third full week of May starting with a Sunday

International Turtle Day
May 23

National Heat Awareness Day
May 23

National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Read Full Post »

A Rabies vaccination is a lifesaver for your pet — and it’s the law. Life is unpredictable — add wild or stray animals into the mix, and it can become downright chaotic at times.  You can’t control what happens to your pet all the time, but you can work toward better outcomes. Keeping your dog and cat up-to-date on Rabies boosters is just one way to protect your pets from an unexpected, aggressive animal encounter.

It looks cute - but this raccoon could be harboring a deadly virus. Photo by Gaby Muller.

It looks cute – but this raccoon could be harboring a deadly virus.
Photo by Gaby Muller.

Rabies is a fatal viral disease. It is transmitted through saliva (i.e. through biting) and travels through the nerves to the brain. Keep in mind that a pet cannot be tested for Rabies while alive. The test is conducted on the brain tissue of a deceased animal, only. For this reason, once a pet is bitten by an animal suspected of carrying Rabies, the pet is either quarantined and monitored closely for signs of disease (if its vaccine is current) or euthanized and tested for the virus (if the vaccine is lapsed or was never given.) In other words, if your pet is kept current on its vaccination, it is more likely to be spared from automatic euthanasia.

Rabies is considered a zoonotic health risk, since it can be transmitted from animals to humans. The laws requiring Rabies vaccination for dogs and cats are meant to benefit humans, as well. Even if you consider your pet to be 100% indoors-only, it still must receive the vaccination, under the law. Presumably, your pet leaves the house at least once a year to visit the veterinarian. An animal encounter can occur in your yard or at the doctor’s office. Or your pet may unexpectedly escape from the house and tangle with another animal. Or perhaps a member of your household will bring a new pet home, without knowing its vaccine or disease-exposure history.

Check your pet’s Rabies vaccine status now. Notice when it is due — or if it is overdue, call your veterinarian to schedule a booster. Don’t wait: you never know when trouble is hiding just around the corner.

Rabies cases reported this year in:
Virginia Beach………otter, raccoon, raccoon

Photo of raccoon by Gaby Müller, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Read Full Post »