Tag Archives: injury

Does Your Pup Need Insurance?

New puppies absolutely love to explore. The whole world is full of interesting smells, new people, and new things to bark at! Not all of these new things are good for a small puppy though, as anyone who has had a pup get into their chocolate stash can attest.

This is where pet insurance comes in. Just like human health insurance, pet insurance allows you the peace of mind to know that if anything goes wrong with your new pup, your pup’s medical bills are covered. But what is pet insurance, really?

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance comes in a few different varieties, but the most common is accident insurance. You can think of this catastrophic coverage for your pup. If she accidentally eats a peach pit or gets into a tangle with a car, every pet insurance plan will cover at least part of the cost.

Pet insurance plans are different from human plans, because you can often customize your deductible (the amount you pay before the insurance starts covering costs), adjust your co-insurance rates (this is the percentage of the vet bill that you pay vs. what the insurance pays) and choose plans with or without an annual policy limit. Lower deductibles and lower co-insurance payments typically make your monthly premiums higher, but decrease the odds of a large out-of-pocket cost in case of illness or injury. Setting an annual limit can lower your monthly premium, but sets an upper limit on how much the insurance will pay out in any given year. PuppySpot has a great comparison site where you can easily adjust your deductible, annual limits, and other insurance options to see how that could affect your premium.

Pet insurance plans also have waiting periods of 15-30 days before coverage starts. We recommend signing up for your insurance plan before your pup arrives so that she will be covered from the moment she gets home, but you can also ensure older pets who are already in your home.

One other thing to keep in mind when comparing pet insurance options is that they are not required to cover wellness visits, illnesses, or preexisting conditions. This is why it is especially important to choose your plan carefully and to insure your puppy early while you know that she is healthy.

What kind of coverage should I get?

The type of coverage you get will depend on what your needs are. If you feel confident that you could cover any health-related costs for your pet, you may not need insurance at all. But for those who prefer to avoid unexpected pet-related expenses, it’s important to consider what kind of financial impact you’re willing and able to cover for your pet and insure them accordingly. If you’re able to pay for an unexpected $1,000 vet visit, then you could keep your insurance minimal, perhaps only covering injuries and hereditary illnesses. But if you’re willing to pay a bit more every month to avoid a large bill from the vet, it may be better to select a low deductible or co-payment. Luckily, pet insurance is very customizable and can be adjusted for your needs.

How do I compare insurance options?

PuppySpot has you covered! You can get a customized quote for your puppy and easily compare insurance providers, adjust policy limits, and much more.

SERIES: When The Bite’s Bigger Than The Bark: Aggression in Dogs Part 3

Dogs are complicated animals with distinct personalities and therefore temperaments based on their individual genetic makeup, environmental factors and breed history. Just like humans, dogs have faults and behaviors that need correcting. And one of those common issues is aggression. While we’ve established in Part One of this series that training an aggressive dog takes time, patience and consistency, before choosing and committing to a training plan, the first step is identifying the various types of aggression and the respective motives and triggers for each. In this final part to our special series, we hold a microscope to four additional classifications of aggression.

Redirected Aggression

Consider this situation: In the midst of a scuffle between two dogs, one of the owners jumps into the middle attempting to stop the fight. Instead, the dog suddenly turns and bites the owner. This scenario describes a dog redirecting aggression towards an interfering party. Or, if two dogs are standing behind a fence together and one becomes aroused by something or someone on the other side of the fence, he may have no other way to take out his aggression than by turning to his furry companion and biting him.

Training approach: The remedy for redirected aggression is often to remove the dog from volatile situations which may trigger these feelings. For example, in the fence scenario, a responsible owner should not allow the dog to be outside unsupervised. Reward-based obedience training is also always a good idea.

Pain-Elicited Aggression

When a dog is in pain, a common reaction is aggression. Therefore, it’s crucial to handle an injured dog with care or to defer to a professional in order to prevent a pain-related attack. Even the most gentle, friendly dogs can react aggressively when they feel pain. And remember, while serious injuries are obviously quite painful, a dog can also react aggressively from something as minor as a pinched neck from a collar, stepping on a sharp object or getting stung by a bee.

Training approach: This particular case of aggression may be the easiest to treat and remedy, simply by making sure your pup receives proper veterinary attention. By getting to the root of the pain, once you obtain a diagnosis and medically treat the problem, your pup’s pain-related aggression may simply go away.

Sex-Related Aggression

Dogs who are not neutered or spayed will demonstrate aggression in order to attract the attention of the opposite sex dog for breeding purposes. Fighting can also occur between two male dogs (even if no female dogs are present) in an effort to compete for female attention. In the wild, the strongest dogs are the first to gain access to the female they’re vying for – so this is a natural, evolutionary practice. While it’s possible for females to also fight amongst each other as well, it’s less common. If a dog is fixed later in life, he may still demonstrate aggressive tendencies until the sexual urges wear off.

Training approach: Dog-on-dog aggression is typically remedied with behavior modification programs designed to de-sensitize and counter-condition. Basic dog training commands such as “stay” and “sit” will be reinforced to encourage self-control. After all, a dog who is passively standing still in one position cannot act out on aggressive tendencies.

Predatory Aggression

Classic predatory behavior includes chasing after fast-moving prey. And oftentimes, domesticated pups will chase other pets, wildlife (such as rabbits or squirrels), or even running people, bikers or skaters. Sometimes, a dog will bite his “prey” if they manage to catch the object of desire. While predatory aggression towards people or even human babies is possible, it is rare in pet dogs. That said, this type of aggression can be especially worrisome as there is often no warning before the attack.

Training approach: Those most effective treatment for predatory aggression will be intensive obedience training with a focus on the recall and “and down” commands. If a dog is chasing something, the owner must demonstrate control to retrieve the object. Developing control is a process, but can be practiced with repetitive fetch play and exercises.

In conclusion, while aggressive behavior in canines can be difficult to break, positive change is certainly possible and the behavior should be addressed immediately for optimal results. Through regimented training and therapy, aggressive dogs can recover to become the sweet and loving furry friends they’re meant to be.