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July 22, 2008

Is Pet Insurance the Solution to Rising Vet Costs? Compare Plans

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If you are finding that you are spending a nice chunk of your hard-earned dollars on pet care, you are not alone. According to the Dallas Morning News:


...owners are expected to spend a record $43 billion on their pets this year, $2 billion more than last year, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

About 67 percent of U.S. households own a pet, and chances are they spend half their pet costs on vet visits and over-the-counter medicine, the survey said.

Whereas a new toy for our pets may be optional, medical care is a necessity and it isn't getting any cheaper. The Dallas News article recommends pet insurance, as does WP's Taming Costly Vet Bills:

If your cat comes down with pneumonia, the bill could run $1,900. Cancer therapy for a dog averages nearly $3,600. James Busby, veterinarian and author of How to Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging the Kids recommends that pet owners ask upfront about all treatment options and costs, including for routine care. For example, many vets vaccinate dogs every year. But according to an American Animal Hospital Association study, adult dogs need most shots only once every three years.

The typical insurance premium for a dog is about $40 per month -- that's $5,280 if a dog lives 11 years, the average canine life span in the United States. Policies usually cover illness and accidents, although some insurers provide only accident protection. A few policies cover preventive care, such as regular checkups and vaccines.

Payouts depend on the insurer, but it's common for companies to foot 80 percent of the bill. To compare the benefits, co-payments and deductibles of major pet insurers, go to http://www.petinsurancereview.com.

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July 8, 2008

Takeyourpet.com -- Pet-Friendly Travel Site

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Want to take your pets along on your road trips, but don't know where to stay? Takeyour pet.com is a pet-friendly website chock full of information for travels with your pet.

  • Save up to 30% on Lodging - Discounts at thousands of pet-friendly bed and breakfasts, hotels/motels, inns, and resorts.
  • Pet Friendly Lodging Directory - Over 20,000 properties that welcome you and your pet.
  • Members-Only Bulletin Boards --Quickest and Easiest way to get all your questions on pet travel answered.
  • Travel Resources - Access to their exclusive nation-wide directories of: Veterinarians/Animal Hospitals, Shelters Grooming, Kennels, Boarding Facilities, Exercise & Sitting Services Pet Food & Supply Stores

Fee to join Takeyour pet.com is $1.95!

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June 11, 2008

Join YouPet -- A Global Pet Community

Do you think of your pets as family? Do you like to make friends? We have the place for you! Join YouPet.com Free - A place where pets rule!

This is a free online social network for animal lovers--dogs, cats, birds, horses, fish, reptiles.

  • Create a profile for you and your pets
  • Make friends, watch videos, use forums
  • Get the scoop on celebrities and their pets

Someone wins a $100 Petco Gift Card every week!

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May 26, 2008

Pet Loss Support -- Remembering Your Pet on Memorial Day

If we ever met a Magic Genie one wish, among many, would be to grant our pets a longer life span. Way, way too short. But...we can remember.

There are as many different ways to commemorate a much-loved pet as there are people. For the pet's resting place or in the garden or back yard:

comstone.jpg lovmemrock.jpg A beautiful photo display that also holds precious keepsakes:


Pawprint Memory Box by Pearhead


If you or someone you care about is coping with the loss of a pet, a good resource on the web is Pet Loss Support.

For book lovers, this poignant paperback Grieving the Death of a Pet should help the healing process.
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Start reading Grieving the Death of a Pet in under a minute with the Kindle edition, using the portable wireless reading device. Don't have one? Information about the wireless reader Kindle is one click away.

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May 12, 2008

Don't Leave Home Without Them -- Rent (or List!) a Pet-Friendly Vacation Rental Home

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Bringing the dog along on vacation, rather than paying a pet-sitter or kennel? Don't want to be cramped up in a smelly motel room?

Why not try a pet-friendly vacation rental home? PickPackGo will find just the right pet-friendly rental for you, so everyone can stretch out and have some space.

Enter your location and "pet-friendly" in the PickPackGo search box to get a list of pet-friendly homes in that area. You can view property details and maps, as well as share and save your favorites. Then, simply book online.

If you are interested in renting out your own vacation property (make some $$), you can create your free PickPackGo property listing here.

Need some useful tips on what to bring along for your pet? Suggestions for being a courteous vacation renter? Read Responsibilities around dog-friendly vacation rentals from the PickPackGo blog.

If you change your mind and decide to leave your pet home, just enter in your requirements and find a vacation rental at PickPackGo.

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March 14, 2008

Pet Scoop on Pet Insurance Policies--To Insure or Not to Insure?

To insure or not to insure? This can easily be a $1,000 question.

On a recent Saturday evening, our Golden Retriever Jesse bounded out of the back of our SUV onto the ramp before it was secured to the bumper. Both she and the ramp fell to the ground, with our Jess nursing an injured paw. Not only were we momentarily chagrined about her sprain and possible break, we were envisioning the cavernous hole a trip to the Vet Emergency Clinic on a weekend night would make in our bank account.

Since our pets are cherished members of our families, we want to provide them with the best medical care we can afford and keep them healthy for as long as we possibly can. As a result, our veterinary care is growing more expensive. Miami-Dade vet blogger Doolittler has started a series of timely articles Doolitter's vetcentric take on pet insurance, which may help you make up your mind whether to purchase a Pet Insurance Policy.

When the care vets can provide begins to outstrip your ability to pay for it, something's gotta give. In this case it's the insurance companies...giving you the ability to pay for care you might never have considered twenty years ago--for a fee.

The purpose of insurance in this setting is to help you pay for the growing expense involved in pet illness and injury. If your pet lives a healthy life, the monthly premiums you pay for pet insurance is overkill--you'll lose money in the long run. When she surprises you with a midnight snack of antifreeze, however, pet insurance might just make the difference between high-tech treatment and instant euthanasia.

Peace of mind and tragedy aversion is the name of the game when it comes to pet health insurance. Those of us with substantial expendable savings? Statistically, we're better off without it. After all, the insurance companies are in the biz to make a profit. But how many of us can boast a lotto-size stash under the mattress?

If you would like to research pet insurance policies, try PETCO Insure your Pets Today and QuickCare Pet Insurance.

Read entire Doolitter's article Part 1.

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February 19, 2008

Taking a Trip? Here's How to Plan Your Pet Care in Advance

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Travel time! How do you care for your pets when you need to leave home? Do you hire a pet sitter to stay in the house, have your friends look in on your pets or take your pets to a kennel?

CNN has guidelines for each of these scenarios in Make sure your pet enjoys your vacation with three main suggestions:

  • Look for professional pet sitters that are bonded and insured
  • Invite the sitter to your home for an interview before your trip
  • Familiarize the sitter with your home and the special needs of your pet

You can locate a pet sitter at Pet Sitters International or National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. These sites have useful tips and information as well.

This article and these sites will help you find pet sitting that will be most appropriate for your particular pet. You can reduce the stress you feel leaving them behind, knowing they are being well cared for. Enjoy your trip!

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January 22, 2008

Buy a Shirt and Show Support for 3-Legged Pets

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Super Cool Pets had a wonderful 3-legged dog back in the murky dark ages, so we want to show support for Tripod Charity Gear, a site started by a woman whose own beloved pet Lulu lost a leg bone cancer. She couldn't deny her doggy surgery and chemotherapy, going $10,000 into debt. She started selling online t-shirts and totes to pay off the debt and achieved her goal.

She now wants to help other owners of 3-legged pets defray medical expenses. So far she has been able to donate $2,000--see entry Where's Your Money Going?

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Osteosarcoma is one of the most common bone tumors, and it is estimated that at least 6,000 new cases are diagnosed in dogs each year in the United States.


Hat Tip Shirt Snob, via She Finds.

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January 17, 2008

Worldwide Travel Guide for Pet Owners--Bring Your Pet Along

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Super Cool Pets has found a world-wide travel guide for pet owners. PetTravel.com has a wealth of information for traveling with your pet anywhere in the world by car, train or air--whether about passports, immigration, countries, international pet certificates, accommodations, travel tips, shipping, currency converter, language translator and more. For pet owners who want to take their pets with them! Check it out.

via Nature in Us

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November 3, 2007

Saving the Lives of Shelter Animals

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The mission of the new venture Dogs in Danger is to help save the lives of shelter dogs. According to them, "over four million dogs" are killed each year in shelters. Why cats are not included in this worthy endeavor, we are not quite sure. So cat-lovers, please don't be offended--Super Cool Pets is just the messenger! According to the The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, national euthanasia statistics are elusive since animal agencies are not required to log stats. They estimate the figure is closer to 2.7 million. Either way, the guess is 71% of cats are euthanized and 56% of dogs:

Estimates on the number of dogs and cats euthanized in shelters in the United States vary greatly and data collection and analysis on a national basis are limited. Thousands of autonomous shelters in the country are diligently working to cope with the perplexing and complicated problem of animals discarded by society. Generating continued support from elected officials and the public for programs designed to address this problem requires documentation of its scale, and providing some measure of efficacy."

Dogs in Danger is a nonprofit grassroots outreach effort to raise the public's consciousness to the fact that shelter killings are ceaselessly occurring as we write and read this post. Shelters do find homes for many homeless and abandoned animals, but many more are euthanized due to lack of space and support funds.

The goal is to increase the exposure of the dogs at the shelters so that more homeless pets are adopted. Currently much of the exposure these endangered shelter pets receive is through print media. Newpaper circulation is way down and has a shelf-life of 1 day. This is a worthy web-based mission which undoubtedly will be extended to all shelter pets if successful.

From the site:

Simply put, we have chosen a path of technology as a means of connecting these scared, abandoned shelter dogs with the loving homes they deserve. As a nonprofit organization, we seek no other gain except for the happiness we see in the face of a dog as he faithfully walks out through the shelter doors, in perfect step with his loving new family.

For information how you can help change this sad situation, go to Dogs in Danger.

And to learn more, pick up a copy of the DVD SHELTER DOGS at Amazon.

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