July 22, 2010
In May, DogTails explored the growing problem of canine cancer, reporting that 1 in 3 dog deaths are a result of the disease. In a good sign for the future, veterinarians and researchers are making great strides to treat cancer and other illnesses that affect pets. Yet with these high-tech treatments comes a higher price tag.
In light of the current recession and the rising cost of veterinary care, many pet owners are forced to make incredibly difficult decisions regarding treatment of their beloved pets. While these treatment decisions will never be stress-free, pet health insurance may help ease the burden in many cases.
In this post, we will help you navigate the world of pet insurance. We’ll focus on the decision to purchase, and for those owners who want to learn more about the options, we’ll discuss how to evaluate prices and plans.
What Is Pet Insurance, and Does My Dog Need It?
Pet insurance, like our health insurance, helps defray the costs of future medical bills. Pet owners pay monthly, quarterly or annual payments to the insurance provider, who then covers a certain percentage of medical expenses incurred by the pet.
While many veterinarians recommend purchasing pet insurance, it is far from a requirement. In fact, only 850,000 out of the 72 million dogs and 82 million cats kept as pets in the US were covered by insurance as of 2007.
With so few insured pets, you may be thinking, “do I really need pet insurance?” In order to answer this question, you need think about the visit to the vet all pet owners dread. Your dog is sick, but could survive if the vet performs an expensive medical procedure. Do you pay for the treatment, no matter the price?
It is in gut-wrenching situations like this that pet insurance may prove important. If you have insurance, you may be reimbursed for a significant percentage of the cost of the treatment (hundreds or even thousands of dollars). In other words, you may be able to avoid the heart-breaking decision to put down a beloved pet that could have been saved.
Of course, the situation is not as simple as “buy insurance, save your pet.” You need to think hard about how much you are able to put aside for pet healthcare. Insurance is not cheap: it can cost from $300 to over $1,000 a year depending on the plan, not including deductibles owners will have to meet before being reimbursed. And insurance does not cover all conditions, and never covers preexisting ones. So, if you are seeking insurance for a pet with a documented medical condition, insurance will not cover any expenses related to that condition.
To decide whether or not pet insurance is right for you, you need to think realistically about what you would spend on a life-saving procedure for your pet. If your number is very high, or if you can’t come up with a number at all, then pet insurance may be a good investment. If you are more conservative in your estimate, then insurance may not be cost-effective for you.
July 15, 2010
A trip to the beach is not just a chance to soak up some sun and dig your feet in the sand; it is also a place where you can relax and finally catch up on your pleasure reading. Even if you are not headed to the beach, these books are a good addition to your summer reading list.
While individual tastes in books may differ, the DogWatch Hidden Fence team loves good beach reads, especially those that feature our favorite subject – dogs! So for this week, we are sharing with you our favorite dog-themed books. Check out our list below, and visit our own Amazon store to purchase any or all of the titles!
The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkinson
A tragic yet redemptive tale of love and loss, Parkinson’s novel is a best-seller and a New York Times Notable Book. The book centers on Paul, a linguistics professor who is mourning the recent death of his wife Lexy. Lexy’s death was ruled an accident, but Paul is suspicious. To find out the truth, he attempts to train his Rhodesian Ridgeback Lorelai – the only witness to his wife’s death – to speak. This emotional mystery is sure to draw you in and keep you engrossed until after the sun sets.
May 26, 2010
There’s no denying the fact that air travel is a scary experience for some people. Remember your first flight? Did you grasp your parent’s or your partner’s hand tightly? Did you breathe faster? Did your forehead sweat, and did you fidget nervously in your seat?
Chances are that you experienced these first flight jitters (and maybe some second or third flight jitters too). Imagine, then, what your dog is feeling before his or her first flight. He or she will most likely be anxious, confused and vocal. It is your job to make sure that your dog is capable of and prepared for air travel.
DogWatch Hidden Fences wants to help. This summer, Dog Tails will offer a series of posts with pet travel tips and information. For our first installment, we’ll start big with airplane travel. We’ve broken down the preparation process into three steps: 1) Know your options, 2) Schedule a Vet Appointment and 3) Pack Wisely.
January 20, 2010
By now you might be asking yourself the question many new dog owners ask in the first few weeks—Did the puppy come with a manual? And, you might be wondering if everyone in the family is helping out the way they promised, when they begged, “Please!”
There’s nothing quite like puppy love or the family dog. That being said—new puppies require cooperation, and having everyone on the same page.
From the get go, puppies necessitate a well thought out plan. Everything from: a house-training schedule; deciding on crate or no crate; knowing what vaccinations are required; identifying common household items which should be kept far, far away from your curious puppy; checking-out healthy puppy food choices; and most importantly, scheduling appointments with a Veterinarian.
Dog owners often say that it’s their Veterinarian and clinic staff who serve as the go-to people for all kinds of puppy/dog care and safety-related questions.
You’ll soon discover your dog won’t be the only one making new friends. People will be stopping you on the street to ask, “Puppy? How old?”
Even though your puppy didn’t come with a manual, you’ll find lots of great books at your local library, bookstore and online. Puppies For Dummies by Sarah Hodgson is a great resource. Check-out her cheat sheet here.
And, keep reading, Dog Tails. We have a great editorial calendar ahead.