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Posts Tagged ‘pet insurance’

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 petinsurance.com.

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financial-dog-meme

Concerned you can’t afford vet bills?

Don’t leave the important decisions to the dog.

Get pet insurance and get help paying for your pet’s medical care.

Other resources:

Trupanion

Nationwide

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Nationwide Releases Most Popular Pet Names of 2015

Bella and Max Reign Supreme; Millennial Pets Reveal New Trends

Brea, Calif.  -For the first time this decade, “Bella” and “Max” were the most popular pet names in America for both dogs and cats, according to Nationwide the nation’s first and largest pet insurer, , the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance. This year also featured a shift in popularity for pet birds with owners choosing the name “Charlie” more than any other. To determine the most popular pet names of 2015, Nationwide searched through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets. Following are the top 10 most common monikers for dogs, cats and birds:

Dogs Cats Birds
1. Bella 1. Bella 1. Charlie
2. Max 2. Max 2. Kiwi
3. Bailey 3. Oliver 3. Baby
4. Lucy 4. Chloe 4. Coco
5. Charlie 5. Lucy 5. Mango
6. Molly 6. Lily 6. Buddy
7. Daisy 7. Charlie 7. Sammy
8. Buddy 8. Sophie 8. Sunny
9. Maggy 9. Tiger 9. Ruby
10. Sophie 10. Shadow 10. Cosmo

Although the top 10 dog and cat names remained similar to last year, there was an emergence of new trends when comparing the names of pets born in 2015 with pets born a decade ago. In dogs, the name “Cooper” is more than three times more common among millennial puppies, and the name “Sadie” doubled in popularity. The canine moniker with the biggest decrease in popularity was “Buddy,” which dropped nearly 20 spots among newborn puppies. For cats, the name “Bella” was only the fifth most common name among kittens. The name “Leo” showed the largest growth and is nearly ten times more common among millennial kittens.

“’Bella’ has been the most popular name since the release of the Twilight franchise 10 years ago, but that title may be coming to an end,” said Curtis Steinhoff, Director of Pet Insurance Communications for Nationwide. “Our data shows that the next generation of pet owners is using different methods and references to determine their favorite moniker for their furry family members. The most popular pet names may begin to shift over the next few years.”

Despite these monikers being the most popular, many pet lovers choose less conventional names for their companions such as “Baron Von Furry Pants” and “Leonardo DiCATprio.” To view some of the more creative monikers selected for Nationwide’s Top 10 Most Unusual Pet Names of 2015, visit www.wackypetnames.com

About Nationwide Pet Insurance

With more than 550,000 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. 

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. ©2015 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 petinsurance.com.

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Can cats and dogs develop diabetes?

The answer is – YES. Cats and dogs can develop diabetes. Luckily, treatment is available.

Diabetes 010

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin (Type I) or is unable to effectively use the insulin it does produce (Type II). In either case, serious health disturbances result.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, necessary for processing blood sugar (glucose). Without insulin, blood sugar passes into the urine, rather than being used by body tissues.

When body tissues are starved for sugar, they begin to break down and no longer function normally, resulting in:

  • cataracts
  • skin sores and infections
  • urinary and respiratory infections
  • pancreatitis
  • neuropathy
  • vomiting and dehydration
  • coma and death

The kidneys, liver, heart, and nervous system can also suffer as a result of diabetes.

Type I diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and is often seen in older, overweight female dogs and in cats.

Type II diabetes, also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is often seen in cats, but is rare in dogs.

What signs should I look for in my pet?

  • excessive thirst and urination
  • weight loss
  • poor appetite
  • weakness, inactivity
  • vomiting
  • dandruff and unkempt appearance (scruffy coat)
  • muscle wasting
  • plantigrade stance in cats (see photo)
Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

What causes diabetes?

  • genetic predisposition
  • viral infection
  • pancreatitis and other diseases
  • hormone-type drugs
  • obesity

Is there a cure?
No, diabetes is not curable, but it can be controlled.

What kind of treatment is available?
Insulin injections and a specialized diet are indicated for Type I diabetes. You will learn how to give your pet its insulin injections at home. You may also need to monitor its blood sugar and urine sugar levels.

Type II diabetic patients may require a specialized diet and feeding schedule, along with blood sugar monitoring.

Nearly all diabetic patients require some amount of exercise, and female patients should be spayed to prevent hormone fluctuations from disturbing blood sugar levels.

As for diet, low carbohydrate, low fat, high fiber, high protein diets work best. Your pet’s veterinarian or vet specialist will recommend a suitable diet to manage glucose levels and weight. Hill’s Pet Nutrition has formulated m/d, r/d, and w/d to address various issues concerning diabetic dogs and cats.

Will pet insurance help me manage the cost of treatment?
Yes.*  In fact Veterinary Pet Insurance reported in 2010 that its fifth most common health claim for cats was diabetes. In 2011, diabetes dropped to number six on the list, but still represented a large number of claims.
*Important: if your pet is diagnosed with diabetes before you sign up for pet insurance, it is considered a pre-existing condition and may not be covered. Pet health insurance is best started when your pet is young and healthy.

Note: The information above is a partial explanation of diabetes, its symptoms, and treatment. There are other types of diabetes that are not mentioned here.
This article is not a substitute for medical care. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition. If you believe your pet has an illness, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian today.

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Resources:
Hill’s Pet Nutrition publication
Instructions for Veterinary Clients
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult

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This post originally appeared on October 10, 2012.

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Halloween-Fun-and-Foe-Infographic_NW

Click the poster, then click again, to enlarge it.
Infographic by Nationwide Pet Insurance.

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Who's looking out for your pets this Halloween?

Who’s looking out for your pets this Halloween?

Nationwide Reveals Haunting Halloween Pet Dangers

Brea, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2015) – U.S. consumers spend more than $7 billion on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations during the Halloween season, exposing pets to more toxins and hazards than any other time of the year. To help prepare for the imminent dangers that surround our pets during the scare season, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, has released its 2015 Top Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips.

Toxic Dangers

Emergency calls to the Pet Poison Helpline increase 12 percent during the week of Halloween, making it the busiest time of the year.  Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the most common ingestion related claims in the month of October. Following are the top Halloween related claims and their average cost for treatment:

Claim Cost
Ingestion of Costume Parts $1,740
Raisin Toxicity $527
Chocolate Toxicity $382
Chewing Gum and Candy (Containing Xylitol) Toxicity $354
Upset Stomach/ Diarrhea $272

If a pet consumes a toxic treat or a foreign body, he or she should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. In preparation, pet lovers should locate the nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital prior to the night of Halloween or any other major event.

Running Away

Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to wander off (behind the Fourth of July) and become separated from their families. With multiple visits from friendly trick-or-treaters and constant commotion outside, Halloween night can be extremely stressful for pets. It’s best to keep pets indoors so they’re not tempted to flee from noise created by guests, sound effects, music and, of course, the doorbell. It’s important to provide pets with a safe and quiet place indoors to help them rest and cope with their holiday anxiety.  Remember to keep collars with ID tags on your pets and have them microchipped just in case they wander away. 

Costume Safety

U.S. pet owners spend more than $370 million on pet costumes annually, and while dressing up pets for Halloween is fun, it can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. If your pet does don a costume this Halloween, make sure to never leave him or her alone. Be precise with the size of the costume. Poorly fitted costumes can constrict pets and lead to panic or injury. Also take note of costumes with ribbon, strings or dangling objects that can lead to choking or strangulation.  If a pet begins to itch excessively, be sure to remove the costume as allergies from fabric, detergents or fabric softeners can cause a rash. 

“Halloween can be a dangerous time for pets,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Nationwide. “With an increase of toxic foods in the home and continual noise from holiday festivities, it’s important for pet owners to take the proper precautions. I encourage all pet lovers to provide their companions with a safety area and make sure that all treats are out of reach.”
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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.
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 petinsurance.com.

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Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Announces Wackiest Pet Names

Brea, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2015) The results are in – Baron Von Furrypants nosed out Artoo Dogtoo and Leonardo DiCatprio purred past Fuzz Lightyear to be named the Wackiest Pet Names of 2015. Each year, Nationwide (formerly Veterinary Pet Insurance), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, recognizes the most clever, creative and quirky pet names across the nation.

After a thorough selection process, 50 kooky canine and 50 comical cat names were chosen from Nationwide’s database of more than 525,000 insured pets. The top 10 dog and 10 cat monikers were put to a public vote, where Baron Von Furrypants and Leonardo DiCatprio were chosen as the wackiest. Following are the 10 Wackiest Dog and Cat Names of 2015:

Most Unusual Dog Names Most Unusual Cat Names
   
1. Baron Von Furrypants 1. Leonardo DiCatprio
2. Artoo Dogtoo 2. FuzzLightyear
3. Rosie Picklebottom 3. Captain Pancake
4. Parker the Barker 4. Sir Nigel Meowmittens of Oscelot Court
5. Abigail Carmichael Spartacus 5. Ziggy Ollyoxenfree
6. Smiley Cyrus 6. Zelda Nacho
7. Nutmeg Spice O’ Paris 7. Sophistikitty
8. Abraham Lincoln Continental 8. Cornelius McPudness Vandercat
9. Bizkit Au Chocolat 9. Sir Theodorable Purrsalot
10. Scuddles Unterfuss 10. Star Wars Steve
   

“Every year our database expands, and we see more and more creative pet names,” said Curtis Steinhoff, director of pet insurance communications. “Many times the most interesting aspect of a pet’s name is the story behind it, and this competition gives us a chance to share those tales. Whether the moniker is a simple pun or an eccentric mixture of terms, all the names on our Wacky Pet Names list are one of a kind.”

For photos and background stories of the winners and the top 10 nominees, along with the full list of the 50 wackiest dog and cat names, visit www.wackypetnames.com.

 

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 525,000 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. Wellness coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. 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. ©2015 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 visitpetinsurance.com.

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