Posts Tagged ‘Veterinary Pet Insurance’

Here’s your chance to win $100 — and a lucky pet charity will get $2000.

Ten pet owners will each win a $100 gift card good for use at an online retailer. Then, if you win, your veterinarian will get to choose a non-profit pet charity to receive $2000 in funds!

Enter today at

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VPI Pet Insurance Offers Dog Park Safety Tips for Your Canine Companion

Brea, Calif. (May 2, 2012) – As summer approaches and the weather heats up, pet owners are more likely to frequent dog parks for a fun outdoor escape where their furry four-legged friends can play and socialize. In fact, more pet owners are utilizing dog parks than ever before. With a 34% increase over the past five years, dog parks are the fastest-growing segment of city parks in the U.S., according to a study by the non-profit Trust for Public Land. As dog park visits increase, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, reminds dog owners about the importance of safety when visiting their favorite dog park. In 2011, VPI policyholders spent more than $8.6 million on medical conditions that are commonly associated with a visit to the dog park. VPI recently sorted its database of more than 420,000 canines to determine common dog park-related medical conditions in 2011. Below are the results:

 Common Dog Park-Related Medical Conditions

  • Sprains and Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Lacerations and Bite Wounds
  • Kennel Cough/Upper Respiratory Infection
  • Insect Bites
  • Head Trauma
  • Hyperthermia or Heat Stroke
  • Parasites
  • Parvovirus

Each of the conditions listed above can make for a costly trip to the dog park for pet parents. The most expensive medical condition on the list, hyperthermia or heat stroke, cost an average of $584 per pet, while insect bites, the least expensive condition on the list, cost an average of $141 per pet. The most common condition on the list, sprains and soft tissue injuries, cost an average of $213 per pet.

“Pets are treated by veterinarians more frequently during the summer months due to their increased exposure to the outdoors,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “The majority of medical conditions that occur at a dog park can be avoided by taking necessary precautions, most notably by keeping a close eye on your dog at all times.”

Before visiting, it is essential for pet owners to understand that dog parks have their rules, just like any other community. 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
    • Don’t bring a puppy younger than four months old
    • Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and has a valid license
    • Keep a collar on your dog
    • On very warm days, avoid the dog park during peak temperature hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
    • Look for signs of overheating; including profuse and rapid panting, a bright red tongue, thick drooling saliva and lack of coordination. If this occurs, take your dog to a veterinarian immediately


About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional CareGuard® coverage is available for routine care.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,700 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as a voluntary employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wis. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

According to the Trust for Public Land, Norfolk, Virginia, is ranked #2 out of the top ten cities for dog parks. (Virginia Beach is ranked #54 on the complete list.)
Read more about it here.

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     If you’re among the millions of people who will be relocating to a new neighborhood, city, or country this year, you may be wondering how to make the transition smooth for your pet.

     Veterinary Pet Insurance has gathered helpful tips in its booklet “Helping Your Pet Adjust to New Situations,” available at our office. Click on the picture below for easy reading or ask us to send you a copy of the full brochure.

Click to enlarge

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance has released a list of its most unusual ingestion claims from 2011. Here are five of the strangest items on the list:

  1. package of fluorescent light bulbs
  2. cholla cactus
  3. deer antlers
  4. tent stake
  5. dead porcupine

     Want to see the other freaky items removed from pets’ innards? The complete list can be found at VPI’s Hambone Awards.

     Granted, most of us don’t have a dead porcupine or a set of deer antlers scattered about the house, where the dog can help itself to a buffet. But we do have plenty of household objects that can be just as dangerous, warns the ASPCA.

     Here are five to watch out for:

  1. batteries
  2. rubber bands
  3. plastic wrap
  4. nylons
  5. cotton swabs

     Visit our clinic and pick up a copy of the ASPCA’s pamphlet “101 Things You Didn’t Know Could Harm Your Pet.” Or I can mail it to you. Just ask!      ~~  Jen

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance has compiled a list of the most popular pet names of 2011, based on pets registered in the company’s database. And it’s thanks largely to Twihards that the top name for both dogs and cats is Bella! Oddly, Edward and Jacob did not make the cut.


  1. Bella
  2. Bailey
  3. Max
  4. Lucy
  5. Molly
  6. Buddy
  7. Daisy
  8. Maggie
  9. Charlie
  10. Sophie



  1. Bella
  2. Max
  3. Chloe
  4. Oliver
  5. Lucy
  6. Shadow
  7. Smokey
  8. Tiger
  9. Charlie
  10. Tigger 

     More on the Top Ten naming trend, including birds and exotics here. And wacky pet names here. Get inspired! 


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     The intrepid employees at Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) culled their extensive database for weird, wild, and way-out pet names, then chose the Top Ten Most Unusual Dog and Cat Names for 2011.

     Here are the Top Five in each category:


  1. Almost-A-Dog
  2. Franco Furter
  3. Stinkie Mcstinkerson
  4. Sir Seamus McPoop
  5. Audrey Shepburn


  1. Ozzy Pawsbourne
  2. Mr. Meowgi
  3. Murderface
  4. Fuglee
  5. Scruffernutter

     Want to see more?  Go here to check out the 50 silliest dog and cat names, then try your hand at the Wacky Name-O-Matic generator (I got Bam-Bam the Grey and Fairydust Vonsherlock – lucky me!)

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance has done it again. They’ve mined their database to compile a profile of the most dangerous days in 2010. Here is a sample of what they discovered (keeping in mind these numbers reflect pets insured by VPI only):

  • The most dangerous day of the week was Monday, with an average of 152 pets treated for injuries.
  • The most dangerous month was June, with an average of just over 4140 claims. That works out to about 138 pets treated daily for each of the 30 days.
  • For the year, accident claims were highest after holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day and Easter.

     The “safest” day of the week appeared to be Sunday, with statistics showing an average of only 59 claims on that day. However, a top VPI veterinarian is concerned that the low number actually reflects the lack of emergency care available on Sundays in some areas. In other words, cases that are seen on Monday should have been treated on Sunday, but an emergency facility was either unavailable or unknown to the pet owner.

     Can you guess the month with the fewest emergency claims? It was December, with about 108 pets treated each day, for an overall total of just under 3350 emergency claims for the month.

     VPI culled the information by reviewing its data on over 485,000 enrollees and looking at emergency claims like broken bones and poisoning, among others.

     Do you know the phone number and location of your local 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital? If you have a pet, this information is vital. We recommend the Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center on South Independence Road in Virginia Beach. Keep their number in your speed dial: 757-499-5463.

Information for this article can be found in the July 2011 edition of Veterinary Practice News, p.4.

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) and Pet Poison Helpline have teamed up to create a helpful refrigerator decal warning about drug dangers for pets.

     These are the Top Six categories of human medications that are toxic to pets; examples of the drugs are in parentheses, but are by no means a complete list:

  1. Pain relievers (Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Tylenol)
  2. Antidepressants (Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor)
  3. ADD/ADHD medications (Ritalin, Vyvanse)
  4. Sleep aids (Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)
  5. Muscle relaxants (Lioresal, Flexeril)
  6. Heart medications (Cartia, Cardizem)
    Decal available at our clinic. Get yours FREE while they last!

    Coming soon:  New Pet Owner packs sponsored
    by Veterinary Pet Insurance


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     Every home should have a first aid kit for people. But pet owners should have a second kit for their furry family members. You can put together your own kit (using a watertight container) with these items:

  • Veterinarian’s contact information
  • ER veterinary clinic contact information
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Gauze pads
  • Gauze rolls
  • Soft muzzle
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Cold pack
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rags or rubber tubing
  • Blanket or towel

    VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) provides these tips on knowing how to respond in an emergency:

     “Survey, Secure, Stat! While it’s important not to self-diagnose your pet’s symptoms, you must first determine the situation. Next, stabilize your pet, then take him to the veterinarian, who will want to know what happened and when, and if your pet is feeling worse, better or the same since the incident occurred.”

     Note that First Aid does not mean you provide all the medical care at home in a true emergency. However, there are occasions, such as in heat stroke or burns, where some home treatment is necessary to stabilize the pet in order to transport him safely to the hospital. In the case of burns, VPI recommends this procedure:

Survey: Burns
              Your pet’s skin has obvious signs of burns, or he has ingested a toxin and is drooling, pawing at his mouth or swallowing excessively.

Secure:  Restrain your pet. Flush burns with cold water or apply a wash cloth cooled with ice water.

Stat!:  Go to the clinic within the hour, or immediately if electrocution was the source of injury. Bring the [responsible] chemical agent with you, if possible.

     These tips and more are available at our clinic in a brochure by VPI entitled “First Aid for Your Pet.”

Need to Know Now:

Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center…….757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline……………………………………………….1-800-213-6680 ………….Learn how to take your pet’s temperature and what is considered normal or abnormal temperature range.

Suggested reading:

The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats

First Aid for Dogs

Pet First Aid:  Cats and Dogs  

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has released a list of the Top Ten Medical Claims for dogs and cats in 2010.  The insurer reports that their clients spent nearly $43 million last year in veterinary care for these prominent medical issues.  The total amount spent includes claims for exotic pets, as well.

Top Ten Medical Claims in 2010 for Dogs

  1. Ear infection
  2. Skin allergy
  3. Skin infection/hot spots
  4. Gastritis/vomiting
  5. Enteritis/diarrhea
  6. Arthritis
  7. Bladder infection
  8. Soft tissue trauma
  9. Non-cancerous tumor
  10. Hypothyroidism

Top Ten Medical Claims in 2010 for Cats

  1. Lower urinary tract disease
  2. Gastritis/vomiting
  3. Chronic renal failure
  4. Hyperthyroidism
  5. Diabetes
  6. Enteritis/diarrhea
  7. Skin allergy
  8. Periodontitis/dental disease
  9. Ear infection
  10. Upper respiratory infection

 (Information via Veterinary Practice News, April 2011)

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