Category Archives: pet care

February is Healthy Kisses Month at Petplan

“Veterinarians always talk to clients about maintaining the dental health of their furry friends, especially in February during National Pet Dental Health Month. The problem is, the need for dental insurance is rarely part of that conversation,” says Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board member Dr. Ernie Ward. “Petplan’s Healthy Kisses Campaign is the perfect opportunity for both veterinarians and pet parents to start a dialogue. Having pet health insurance that covers dental injuries and illness can make a huge difference in a patient’s life — and on their owner’s wallet.”

“Dental health is too important to the overall wellbeing of your pet to ignore,” says Elyse Cannon, Petplan’s Veterinary Manager. “That’s why Petplan took great care in ensuring comprehensive coverage for dental injuries and disease when designing our policy. Many pet parents don’t realize how critical taking care of your pet’s teeth is, but good oral health can add two to five years to a pet’s life.”

We hope this infographic helps you know how to keep your pet’s pearly whites in tip top shape!

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The Holiday Gifts You Hate Getting Can Also Sicken Your Pet

Bella, an eight-year-old cat from Conshohocken, PA, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015. The culprit: holiday gift ribbon. Petplan reimbursed $1,804.70 of the cost. Photo courtesy of Amanda Tollen.
Bella, an eight-year-old cat from Conshohocken, PA, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015. The culprit: holiday gift ribbon. Petplan reimbursed $1,804.70 of the cost. Photo courtesy of Amanda Tollen.

Petplan lists 10 terrible gifts that can cause a costly trip to the vet

They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but finding flaws in holiday presents could save pet parents an unexpected trip to the vet—and a blow to their budgets.

Petplan claims data shows that treatments during a holiday week can cost twice as much (or more!) than at other times of the year, mainly because pets end up at emergency vets when their regular docs close for holiday hours.

“Never has the phrase ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ been more ominous for pets,” jokes Petplan Veterinary Manager Elyse Donnarumma. “When you consider that the average claim paid for food poisoning is $585, or that foreign body removal surgery costs an average of $1,327, it is sobering to realize that those costs can easily double during the holidays.”

Which gifts top the naughty list? Many of the same ones you dread getting yourself! According to Petplan, these are the top 10 gifts that can unwrap disaster:

10. Bows & Ribbons
Most presents do come wrapped, but the danger of gift ribbon adds insult to injury with less-than-stellar gifts. Ribbons can easily become linear foreign bodies. Avoid an expensive surgery by tossing wrappings in the trash (whether you pitch the gift, too, is completely up to you).

Just ask Petplan policy holder Amanda Tollen of Conshohocken, PA, about holiday ribbon. Her eight-year-old cat, Bella, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015, when she got into the gift ribbon. (photo below)

“I am so happy we got pet insurance for Bella,” said Tollen, who was reimbursed over $1,800 thanks to her policy option. “It really saved us a ton of money during one of the most stressful times of the year for our budget. You never know what your pet is going to get into or what illness they will come down with. Having Bella Petplan protected was one of the best decisions we ever made.”

9. Fruitcake (and its modern-day equivalent, Panettone)
If it wasn’t bad enough that someone spoiled good cake by adding fruit, fruitcake contains a trio of ingredients that can make furry friends sick. Currants, raisins and nuts are toxic to pets, and the spirits the cake is soaked in can be deadly to dogs and cats.

8. Holiday Plants
The fact that this gift will die in a few days isn’t even the worst thing about it. A snack on Christmas cactus can upset tummies. Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in kitties. And while poinsettias aren’t as toxic as previously thought, its sap can cause an unpleasant rash.

7. Scarf/Mittens Set
You probably have half a dozen sets of scarves and mittens, but you’re bound to get another one during the holiday season. Donate the duds before your pet gets his paws on them; yarn can become a linear foreign body if swallowed.

6. Lottery Tickets
You may have a 1 in 14 million chance of winning your gift, but your pet is much more likely to suffer a foreign body ingestion if he eats the envelope and paper.

5. Houseguests
There are inevitably some relatives who believe their presence is your present, but they’re not always welcome in the eyes of furry family. Extra people in the house can trigger stomach upset due to stress, and all that coming and going can make it easier for pets to dart out the door and get hit by a car.

4. Coffee/Hot Chocolate
Coffee mug gift sets are a staple of office holiday giving, but whether there’s beans or cocoa inside, be sure to keep them away from your pet’s paws. The caffeine in coffee and chocolate can trigger hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, seizures and even death.

3. Bath Products
Nothing says, “I bought this present on the way here,” like a basket of bath products like lotions and salts. It also poses the very serious threat of salt poisoning to your pets. Bath salts often contain magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) and sodium chloride (table salt), both of which can kill or permanently injure furry friends.

2. Boxed Chocolates
While it can be argued that chocolate is always a good gift, even a diehard sweet tooth is on overload during the holidays. Extra confections lying around the house can be a recipe for disaster. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause illness or even death in dogs and cats.

1. Socks
You don’t want them, you hate getting them, and you’ll loathe them even more when you’re forking over upwards of $1,000 to have them removed from your pet’s intestine. Socks take Petplan’s top spot for the worst holiday gift, whether you’re on two legs or four.

Donnarumma concludes, “For the safety of all involved—including your wallet—we suggest sticking to electronic gift cards for holiday giving.”

For info about Petplan and more pet safety tips, point your paws to www.gopetplan.com.

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Russian Tortoise

One of the most popular breed in tortoise domestication is the Russian tortoise, also go by several other names like – Horsefield tortoise or Steppe tortoise etc.

They are usually found in dry climates – like deserts and grassland areas of countries like China, Iran, Russia and Pakistan. They thrive in an environment that has equal amount of daylight and darkness. They can even survive in an extreme cold condition.

Russian tortoises are reddish brown or black in color, are small sized – with a size range of 13–25 cm and have four toes. They are extremely active in nature. They don’t like enclosures and if put in one, they will try their best to escape either by digging or climbing over.

They do not eat or digest meat and are totally herbivorous. Their diet comprises of green leaves, weeds, flowers like Marshmallow, Chicory, Dandelion, English Daisy etc. Food consisting of Oxalic acid or Phytic acid are poisonous for them. They also need plenty of water.

Any deprivation of food or water can make them mentally inactive or lethargic. Though sometimes, they voluntarily aestivate (not moving for several weeks), to avoid extreme heat conditions. And during the winter period (usually from October to March), Russian tortoise go into the hibernation.

The following infographic gives you an overview about the Russian Tortoise-

russian-tortoise

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Football Foods Pets Should Stay Away From

Football fare is nearly irresistible for dogs — especially when sitting at eye-level on the coffee table— but even cats can grab a piece of the action.

Keep your pets safe during football season.

Unfortunately, furry fans who intercept game day grub are likely to catch more than they bargained for. Petplan encourages would-be revelers with pets to think carefully before serving the following:

Brew-hoo — Just like people, some animals have a taste for beer. But think twice before pouring your pet a pint: even a nip can cause fatal respiratory depression.

No bones about it — Chicken wings have especially fine bones, which can splinter easily and puncture the GI tract. Besides, the sauces are virtually guaranteed to cause an upset stomach. Be sure to keep wings out of paws reach and after bones are thrown away, take the trash out to keep pets from trying to dumpster dive.

Not fun-ion — Onion rings are doubly dangerous: onions in any form are poisonous to pets and fried foods can cause diarrhea.

(Don’t) pick ‘em — Toothpicks may make a nice presentation for appetizers, but can cause severe and potentially fatal damage to pets’ GI tracts if swallowed.

Aw, nuts! — Many nut varieties have a devastating effect on dogs’ nervous systems. Walnuts and macadamias are especially toxic and can cause vomiting, paralysis and even death.

Here are tips from Petplan veterinarians to be sure pets and people alike enjoy game day:

start with a game plan
For some pets, the temptation may simply be too great. If you know your pet is going to try to steal food from the table, put him in a separate room during the game.

watch the turnovers
When begging doesn’t work, dogs may resort to linebacker tactics: playing smart and aggressive. Especially if you have guests over for the game, encourage them to minimize the risk of fumbling food by sitting at a table or using snack trays.

the best defense is a good offense
Go for the extra point by keeping pet-friendly snacks handy for pets with hungry eyes. Better yet, go for two with a new or favorite toy to keep pets occupied during the game.

don’t leave it all on the field
Keep an eye on unattended plates and cups — and make sure to clean up promptly. Even if they’re blocked at the line of scrimmage, sufficiently motivated dogs will run the end-around without a second thought.

Posted in cats, dogs, pet care | 3 Comments