Prudent Planning: A health insurance primer

You may have found yourself thinking as you whip out your credit card to pay for Fido or Fluffy’s vet visit, “Boy, they should have insurance for this!”  Well, it turns out, they do.  There are several companies out there who are willing to insure your pet for everything from routine vaccinations to cancer treatment.  Here are a few things to think about if you are considering pet insurance:

  • Most pet insurances require you to pay the veterinarian at the time of service out of pocket and then reimburse you directly based on your policy.  Some plans will reimburse you based on the actual bill and others based on a predetermined amount depending on the services provided.  Find out what you are getting before you buy.
  • Pre-existing conditions and breed specific diseases are often not covered, although this may vary from policy to policy.
  • Weigh the costs.  You can buy coverage that will pay for routine costs or one that just covers major medical expenses.  Decide what you are better off paying out of pocket for and where insurance coverage would be helpful.
  • Shop around.  You may find a better deal for similar coverage with another carrier.   A few to check out include Purina CareTrupanion Pet InsuranceVPI Pet InsurancePet’s Best InsurancePetCare Pet InsuranceASPCA Pet Health Insurance, and PetFirst Healthcare.

For some situations, pet insurance makes a lot of sense.  Many times it helps owners afford care that they otherwise might have to forgo.  Do your research and find out if pet insurance might be a good investment for your furry family. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

 

Arm Yourself for Flea and Tick Season!

With flea and tick season on the horizon, don’t forget that the best defense is a good offense!  Advances in parasite prevention options and a little knowledge can go a long way towards defeating these nasty little buggers.  Don’t forget the following important aspects of protecting your pet:

  • Choose your weapons wisely:  Use safe, effective, high quality preventative products.  Some products work better than others.  Don’t waste your money on something that isn’t going to work.  We can help you analyze your specific needs and pinpoint the best product for your situation.
  • Be punctual: Treat your pet every 30 days or as directed.  Many products loose efficacy toward the end of the treatment cycle.
  • Bathe with caution: When using spot-on products, be sure to avoid bathing your pet 48 hours before AND after application.
  • Every pet, every month: All pets in the household should be treated with flea prevention.  Should the rogue flea get into the house, even that old indoor kitty can become a virtual breeding ground for the little varmints. Be sure to consult with us before using spot treatments on your cat, though — some of them are canine only.
  • Don’t give up hope: If you have a bad infestation, things may look worse before it looks better.  Continue utilizing the products recommended as instructed.

If you need refills on any of your flea & tick prevention or would like to talk to us about some options, give us a call or just stop in!

 

MICROCHIPS: WHY YOUR PET SHOULDN’T BE WITHOUT ONE

Microchips for petsWe all know someone who has lost a pet.  It’s hard to imagine the sadness you might feel if your favorite friend were somehow separated from you.  Many people think that their pet never would stray from home, however every year animals and owners are parted during natural disasters, accidents, and even theft.  The best you can do is to give your pet every chance of finding their way home.  This means making sure they are fitted with a collar with current identification and are sporting a registered microchip.

Microchips are implanted under the pet’s skin (usually between the shoulders) and contain a passive radiofrequency that emits a unique identifying number.  These chips are about the size of a grain of rice and should last your pet’s lifetime.  They do not give off GPS signals, but rather need to be read with a special scanning device possessed by most veterinarians and shelters.  The unique number can then be traced into a database where your contact information can be found, provided you have kept your information current.

Microchips are not perfect, as they require the finder of the animal to have the pet scanned and the owner to register and keep the database up-to-date.  By utilizing this technology, however, you give your pet one more avenue to make it home if you should ever become separated.

If you’d like to discuss a microchip for your pet, please contact us.