Top 10 Reasons Animal Owners Should Get Pet Insurance

Many people may think that pet insurance isn’t worth the added monthly cost, but the investment in pet insurance can help save a life and keep you from financial stress. Believe it or not, less than 1% of pets in the US are covered with pet insurance plans. Here are the top 10 reasons to consider pet insurance for your beloved pet.

# 10. Accidents and Illness Coverage

A single accident or illness may cover the entire cost of your pet insurance bill for the life of your pet. Consider this, the average pet insurance policy costs somewhere around $25 per month or $300 per year. It’s really less than a dollar a day, or less than a cup of coffee at the local doughnut shop. If you pet lives an average of 10-15 years, your total cost of pet insurance would be between $3000 – $4500 for the entire life of your pet. One accident or illness during your pet’s entire life could easily cost $3000 – $4500 and if your pet is like most pets, there will be at least more than one accident or illness in his lifetime.

# 9. Vet medicine is better than ever

Years ago a pet would be euthanized or die of natural causes from devastating illnesses. Today, many of those illnesses that were once considered a death sentence for a pet are now very manageable, treatable and even curable. Do you want to have the means to care for your pet if he gets sick, or do you want to have to struggle with a decision because of the cost?

# 8. More pets equals more discounts

Many pet insurance policies offer discounts when more than one pet is insured on the policy. More pets typically means more vet visits and more chances for accidents or illnesses.

# 7. Insurance is easy

Pet insurance companies have made the entire process easy. You can have them automatically withdraw premiums each month, and when you file a claim, you can do so online answering a few simple questions and submitting a copy of your vet bill. Within a day or so, most insurance companies will reimburse you through direct deposit or a check.

# 6. No limit on claims

Years ago, pet insurance companies placed lifetime limits on certain illness. Today, there are many pet insurance companies that do not have such restrictions. When a pet becomes ill during a time when you have pet insurance, the pet’s medications and treatments are covered for the rest of the pets life.

# 5. Deductibles are low

Unlike insurance for people, deductibles for pets is much lower. Typically, deductibles are on a per illness basis, meaning that you pay a deductible once for a given illness, then everything after that is covered at your payout rate.

# 4. No breed or size restrictions

Although many policies will adjust premiums based on age and pre existing conditions, most pet insurance companies offer insurance regardless of pet’s breed or size.

# 3. Plans are flexible

Many pet insurance companies let you choose the deductible and payout you prefer. Plans with a lower deductible typically have a lower payout and plans with a higher deductible have a higher payout

# 2. Better quality of life for older pets

Older pets get sick or have accidents that require medical attention. Older pets often develop chronic illnesses that require constant treatment for months to years. Medications, check ups, testing, monitoring and surgeries can really add up quickly for older pets; getting pet insurance when they are young will save you heartaches and headaches in the long run as your pet ages.

# 1.  Peace of mind

For pet owners without pet insurance, learning that your pet needs a very expensive operation or course of medical treatment can be financially devastating. Having to choose between your wallet and your pet is heartbreaking. Insurance will afford you the opportunity to do what is right for your pet and not just what you can afford.The majority of pet insurance policy holders claim that they are comforted by the peace of mind pet insurance affords them. The idea that they never have to choose between caring for their pet with what is medically needed and “economic euthanasia” is of great comfort in dire circumstances. Having the financial ability to take care of a sick pet in their time of need is the number 1 reason most people have pet insurance today.

Read more about the best pet insurance companies.

 

Top Reasons to Adopt an Elderly Pet

puppies-4233378_1920A puppy or kitten can require constant attention. A puppy can hold his bladder just one hour for every month they’ve been alive. For instance, a 3-month-old puppy will need to empty his bladder every three hours! And yes, that does include the middle of the night! An adult dog’s bladder is already fully developed. Shelter dogs are most often already house-trained and rescue groups make sure their adult dogs for adoption are housebroken before they go to new homes. You also have the advantage of knowing that your dog is physically able to “hold it” for several hours at a stretch. In most
cases, adult dogs are by far easier to housebreak than puppies. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

Many Senior Pets in shelters or with rescue groups are already trained and ready to go! Adults have a much longer attention span than puppies, too, which means they’re easier and faster to teach. Adult dogs already have recognizable personality traits, so you’ll be able to select one who is great with children. Many rescue groups use foster homes to make sure each dog for adoption is trained to be well- behaved indoors.

An adult dog has graduated from the puppy stage and has an established demeanor and temperament, which will give you an instant idea of how it will fit into your household. Older dogs have all their adult teeth and are out of the energetic puppy phase, which will result in less destruction to your home. Many of them do well with young children as they have a lower energy level and have possibly lived with them in their past homes.

With an adult pet, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you’ll be able to spot the characteristics you’re looking for. Shelters and rescue groups are able to assess the personality of each pet for adoption, and carefully match you up with the right dog or cat for your lifestyle.

Senior dogs lose their homes for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with their behavior or temperament, but more due to the fact that their owners are unable to keep them for reasons including: the novelty of owning a dog wearing off, allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, change in work schedule, and various other lifestyle changes. These dogs need homes just as badly as young adoptees do, and make wonderful household pets.

Ask anybody who has adopted an adult dog or cat, and they’ll swear their bond with their rescued pal is as deep as they come. When you open your heart and your home to an older dog or cat who needs help, they really do show their appreciation for the rest of their life! Pets who have been uprooted from their homes, or have had difficult beginnings are likely to bond completely and deeply with their new human caretakers who they view as heroes. Pets who find themselves in the shelter or at a rescue group because of a death or other tragedy in their former human family usually go through a mourning period. Once they are adopted, however, they usually want nothing more than to please their new hero—YOU! No matter what circumstances brought them to the shelter or rescue group, most older pets for adoption are exceptionally affectionate and attentive pets and extremely loyal companions. But first you have to adopt one!

Adapted from adopt-a-pet.com and ceasarsway.com

Itchy Pets and Constant Licking in Elderly Pets

Many dogs and cats lick and scratch as result of itching (also called pruritis). The most common cause of itching is allergies, skin disease, dry skin, external parasites, infections and in rare cases, skin cancer. Elderly pets lick and scratch as they age if any of these conditions occur and can be treated with the help of your vet. It’s important to monitor your pet if they are constantly itching, licking or scratching.

Oftentimes, bathing your elderly pet can help alleviate the symptoms that are causing the itching. However, in some cases, long term antibiotics may be necessary in the case of a staph infection, or a medicated bath might be necessary in the event of fleas. Your vet can help determine what is the root cause of the itching and can help alleviate the symptoms. Prescription allergy medication can also help if it is deemed that your elderly pet is suffering from allergies.

The bottom line there is no need for your pet to lick and scratch, especially if it is on a regular basis and especially if they seem agitated from the itching, scratching and licking. Skin infections are a common cause of scratching and often a month long round of antibiotics can do the trick. You can often see skin infections by looking closely at your pet’s skin; especially if you see dry patches and flaking. Talk with your vet if your pet’s licking, scratching or itching become troublesome for your pet. In time, your pet’s irritation can be resolved and he can go back to living without constant itching and will be more comfortable.

 

Does Cataracts Equal Blindness in Pets?

dog-3656987_1920Many people think that when a dog or cat develops cataracts, it means the pet may go blind. In many cases, it is true, cataracts can lead to blindness in animals. However, what many people don’t know is cataracts can often retract over time. This was the case with one of our pets, who developed cataracts as a result of diabetes. He got cataracts in both eyes and in one of the eyes, he had a lot of issues. The eye developed glaucoma and he eventually went blind in that eye. The other eye however, retracted to the point where he could actually see again. Where the cataracts had initially obscured his vision, he was later able to navigate much better because the retraction left his view partially visible again.

So just because a pet has cataracts does not necessarily mean they will go blind. Some cataracts start small, with only minimal decline in visibility. They may have challenges, for sure, because their vision, at the very least will become somewhat obstructed. Over time, cataracts can get worse and worse and as they worsen, vision can decline. But if the cataracts retract, pet’s vision may actually improve. Although the animal’s vision may never be perfect, they may still be able to navigate their world better than when they originally developed the cataracts.

Of course, this is not a guarantee, because not all cataracts retract, but in some cases they do and the pet’s vision can actually improve from its original condition when the cataracts first appeared.

There are also medical procedures for cataracts, to correct before a pet is blind. If your pet has symptoms of cataracts: cloudiness or opacity in pupils or if your vet has confirmed cataracts, it doesn’t necessarily mean your pet’s vision is totally obstructed or that they will go blind from the cataracts. Speak with your vet about your options and should you decide to have the cataracts removed, surgery is typically the course that a vet would recommend. Since most cases of cataracts are hereditary, there is little that can be done to prevent them, although some vets suggest that diets rich in fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids) can help with eye health. Limiting sun exposure while outside can also help limit sun damage to the eyes, which can also cause cataracts.

Cataract surgery for pets can run into the thousands of dollars, for the actual surgery, follow up visits and for special medicated drops that the pet will need for a long time. Pet insurance can help pay for expensive surgeries and continued treatment and examinations that will likely be needed, so long as the policy is in place before the diagnosis is made.

For more information about why you should consider pet insurance, please read our blog. 

Declutter According to Marie Kondo and Donate Unwanted Items

Who doesn’t love decluttering sensation Marie Kondo. The Kon-Marie method is Marie’s minimalism-inspired approach to tacking your stuff category-by-category rather than room-by-room. While many people associate her method with tidying, it’s really about discarding items that no longer spark joy or add value to your home or your life.

Marie touts tackling just five categories: clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items.

But what should you do with those discarded items, especially your gently used designer clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry and watches? The Elderly Pet Organization is a 501C3 non profit organization that accepts gently used items, like clothing as well as home decor pieces, vintage items, collectibles, electronics and antiques.

If you are into decluttering according to Marie Kondo’s methods, consider donating your unwanted items (we don’t accept books and papers) but we’ll gladly accept clothing, miscellaneous items and sentimental items – to help the Elderly Pet Organization with its mission.

Remember, when donating unwanted items, they should be freshly laundered, clean, and free from damage. The rule of thumb is if it still can be used or worn without embarrassment, then it’s a good candidate to donate.

To learn more about what types of items we accept, read our blog.

 

Is the Anti-Vaccine Movement Hurting Pets?

Vaccines are health products that trigger protective immune responses in pets and prepare them to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines can lessen the severity of future diseases and certain vaccines can prevent infection altogether. Today, a variety of vaccines are available for use by veterinarians. But with more and more people opposed to vaccinations, more and more pets are at risk for life threatening illnesses.

Pets should be vaccinated to protect them from many highly contagious and deadly diseases. Experts agree that widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Even though some formerly common diseases have now become uncommon, vaccination is still highly recommended because these serious disease agents continue to be present in the environment.

Just because a pet stays at home and does not interact with other animals, does not necessarily mean the pet should not be vaccinated. Vaccines have protected millions of animals from illness and death caused by infectious diseases. All medical procedures, however, carry with them some risk. Fortunately, in the case of vaccination, serious adverse responses are very infrequent. Veterinarians minimize risk by carefully selecting vaccines on the basis of a pet’s individual needs and by choosing appropriate injection sites.

The bottom line is if your pet is vaccinated, he can be protected from life threatening illnesses, and more importantly, he can protect other animals he may come in contact with. As pets age, they become more vulnerable and in some cases, their immune systems can become compromised – making them more vulnerable to illnesses especially if they are not vaccinated and protected.

Diabetes in Older Pets

cropped-cataracts-dogs2.jpgDiabetes is more common in older pets, but it can also occur in younger or pregnant pets. The disease is more manageable if it is detected early and managed with the help of your veterinarian. The good news is that with proper monitoring, treatment, and diet and exercise, diabetic pets can lead long and happy lives.

Diabetes in dogs and cats can occur at any age. However, diabetic dogs are usually 4-14 years of age and most are diagnosed at roughly 7-10 years of age.  Most diabetic cats are older than 6 years of age.  Diabetes occurs in female dogs twice as often as male dogs. Certain breeds of dogs may be predisposed to diabetes.

Noticing the early signs of diabetes is the most important step in taking care of your pet. If you see any of the following signs, your pet should be examined by a veterinarian. The earlier the diagnosis, the better chance your pet may have for a longer and healthier life.

  • Excessive water drinking and increased urination
  • Weight loss, even though there may be an increased appetite
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
  • Chronic or recurring infections (including skin infections and urinary infections)

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, your veterinarian will prescribe an initial dose and type of insulin for your pet. Insulin cannot be given orally – it must be given by injection under the skin. Your veterinarian or veterinary technician will teach you how to give the insulin injections, which involve a very small needle and are generally very well tolerated by the pet. It is not a one-size-fits-all treatment, your veterinarian may periodically need to adjust your pet’s treatment regimen based on the results of monitoring.  Dietary recommendations are an important part of treatment.

Successful treatment of diabetes requires regular examinations, blood and urine tests, and monitoring your pet’s weight, appetite, drinking and urination.

It is very important to maintain the proper insulin and feeding schedules recommended for your pet. It is also very important that your pet maintains a normal appetite while on insulin therapy, or you risk hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if your pet is not eating and absorbing enough sugars to balance the insulin’s effect of removing the sugars from the bloodstream. You will also need to regularly check your pet’s blood and urine sugar levels. Regular examinations and testing performed by your veterinarian may be supplemented by at-home monitoring of your pet’s blood and urine glucose levels at home.

Because older dogs and cats are more likely to develop age-related diseases or conditions, some of which could be confused with diabetes, regular examinations by a veterinarian can keep your pet healthy and detect problems before they become severe.

Diabetic dogs and cats can live long and healthy lives with proper management and veterinary care. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior or weight, consult your veterinarian.

Why Reducing and Reusing Unwanted Items Matters As Much As Recycling

Every year the American sends over 1,000 pounds of unwanted items to landfills and/or incinerators. Aside from the fact that landfills and incinerators emit hazardous toxins and greenhouse gases into the environment, destroy wildlife habitats, and pose a major threat to human health, trash is also a waste of the natural resources, energy, water, labor, and money used to produce the discarded materials and items.

The R’s are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The reason reduce and reuse come before recycle is if you have unwanted items, rather than just toss it in the trash where it will ultimately wind up in landfills, make a conscious effort to reduce your items and reuse them if possible. Most items, unless they are damaged, can be passed along to someone else who will love it just as much as you did when you received it.

There are a lot of people who want great items like designer clothing, purses, or fabulous home decor items, but they refuse to pay full price for brand new retail items. If you’ve barely used something and it is still in very good, clean, gently used or new condition, the Elderly Pet Organization can sell those unwanted items and give them a new life to someone who is not interested in paying full retail and doesn’t mind that the item was gently loved by someone else.

Adopting a reduce and reuse mentality helps keep unwanted items out of landfills and into the hands of people who will love them a lot lot longer.

Interested in reducing, reusing and recycling your unwanted items? Learn how you can donate them to the Elderly Pet Organization. Click here to learn more.

 

Top 10 Items to Donate to Charity

 

 

 

 

Donating to a charitable organization like the Elderly Pet Organization is a great way to feel wonderful that you aren’t just throwing away your unwanted items; rather, you sending them off to an organization that can reuse them for good!

We’re often asked what items are best to donate. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten items to donate to charity.

  1. Name brand designer clothing & shoes – especially if it is still in style
  2. Name brand designer handbags – who doesn’t love a new purse
  3. Fine, fashion or costume jewelry – great accessories go a long way
  4. Wrist watches – telling time is never out of fashion
  5. Anything Disney – it’s every kids (and grownups) favorite place on the planet
  6. Home decor items – changing your colors? Spruce up someone else’s space
  7. Collectibles – from comics to dolls, the rarer the better
  8. Electronics – in good working order & if it still can be used
  9. Vintage items – what’s old is new again
  10. Antiques – the older the better

Whatever items you choose to donate, be sure they are freshly laundered, clean, free of rips, tears, holes and stains and gently used. For more information about how to support the Elderly Pet Organization and donate unwanted items, click here.

 

Donate Used Clothing, Shoes, Handbags and Home Items

The Elderly Pet Organization recycles gently used and new clothing, shoes, handbags and home decor items and we sell those items to provide information and education about the care and treatment of elderly pets. If you are looking for a great cause that can truly benefit from your unwanted items or decluttering of your home, donate for a cause by sending your items to us.

We truly appreciate your donation of clean, laundered, gently used and new name brand clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, home decor items, electronics and vintage or collectible items.

Some of the items we accept for donation:

  • Gently used and new designer clothing, shoes and handbags
  • Gently used and new fine, fashion and costume jewelry
  • Gently used and new watches
  • Anything Disney
  • Vintage clothing and other vintage items
  • Rare or hard to find collectibles
  • Home decor items with no damage or visible wear
  • Electronics that are in working order
  • Antiques
  • Pet supplies
  • Comics (1980’s or earlier)
  • Video games and game consoles

Please don’t send anything too large, heavy or awkward. Individual items should be small enough to fit in a 12″ x 12″ x 12″ box.

Items we cannot accept include:

  • Furniture, including outdoor furniture or play equipment
  • Riding toys or bicycles
  • Large artwork or pictures, or picture frames
  • Used drink containers or anything with a straw
  • Baby clothes, baby items or gear like strollers, car seats or high chairs
  • Used toys and used stuffed animals
  • Weapons & explosives
  • Hazardous waste
  • Construction material
  • Flammable products
  • Automobile parts
  • Mattresses or box springs
  • Food
  • Books

Learn more about how to help elderly pets.