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Toby

Pet Insurance – Is it worth it?

Toby turns four

The birthday boy – Toby

The Birthday Boy

Our Toby celebrated his fourth birthday this month, just as we were celebrating two months of no vet bills. That quickly changed as our accident-prone shepherd suddenly started licking the pads of his front paws non-stop.

We examined him thoroughly but could see nothing obvious, and still the licking continued and became more frenzied. The licking was soon followed by limping.

So it was off to the vet with him and not a moment too soon as he was sporting a gash over his left eye that he had sustained from smacking into a door frame when he wasn’t looking where he was going! The vet examined his eye, and although swollen, it looked like it would heal okay, so no treatment was necessary. As for his paws, he had some red patches between his pads which could mean a contact allergy. Our choices were either a shampoo for his paws or Apoquel. We decided on the Apoquel, which relieves allergic itching, as we were familiar with it and had experienced good results with Fin.

Toby wearing his Trixie Walker Active Protective Dog Boots

These boots are made for walking

For two weeks he took two tabs a day and needed boots to break the itch/scratch cycle. That was easy for us; we chose the Trixie Walker Active Protective Dog Boots for when he went out on his walks. When he was indoors, we used Vetgood Slim Protective Veterinary Dog Boots.

By the end of the two weeks, Toby was much improved and we were relieved, if a little poorer!

Should you insure?

We took the decision many years ago when we had five shepherds, all insured and costing us a fortune every month, to cancel our pet insurance. Instead we vowed to put away an amount each month for any unexpected occurrences. At that time our dogs were relatively young, very healthy and rarely needed the vet, so the monthly expenditure seemed a total waste of money.

As they got older, this started to change, but then the premiums would, of course, have risen to reflect their ages.

And as for putting money aside, or self-insurance, as it’s called, we quickly forgot about that!

Towards the end of their lives, our five shepherds, none of whom were now insured, racked up hundreds of pounds in vet bills. However, we’d saved ourselves hundreds of pounds in premiums, so we may just have broken even, or even come out slightly ahead.

But pet insurance is not just about illness. Some policies cover a whole host of other things such as theft, treatment for behavioural problems, liability cover and kennel or cattery fees should you yourself become ill and unable to look after them.

Is pet insurance worth it?

With hindsight, we would have insured both Toby and Tilly; Tilly’s elbow arthroscopy cost an arm and a leg. We would also have been able to claim for any hydrotherapy she has going forward. Toby has ripped open his shoulder and his tail due to his clumsiness and heaven knows what he’ll do next. Insuring those two would have been a good investment.

Jack has also had a major op. He swallowed something which caused an obstruction in his gut and had to be removed. So far, Archie has needed very little veterinary treatment. He’s getting on a bit now, so no doubt problems will start to crop up.

Pet insurance is a safety net, most obviously used for veterinary bills, but as mentioned above, there are other benefits. It can seem like an unnecessary expense – until you need it! What does it cost, what should it include, and what are the alternatives? We came across a good article discussing the pros and cons of taking out an insurance policy on your pet, so if you are unsure whether to insure, why not read Pet insurance – Do you need it?

Vetgood Protective Waterproof Dog Boots

Vetgood Protective Waterproof Dog Boots

Vetgood Protective Veterinary Dog BootsBoots are In! Collars are out!

If you have ever been to the vet for paw or leg wounds, you will know that most of the time you are sent home with a neatly wrapped bandage or even worse a cast or splint and an uncomfortable and hideous Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from interfering with the wound.  Your dog walks into walls or your shins, slobbers in the collar and lets you know by barking or whining that the hot and uncomfortable collar has to go! Finally, someone has thought of an answer!

Vetgood Protective Boots keep your dog's wound clean

Vet wrapping versus Vetgood

Vetgood Protective Waterproof Dog Boots

We are delighted to distribute the Vetgood line of boots for wound care! These lightweight and durable protective boots cover all types of wounds and have so many benefits to us the pet owner. First, you can get rid of the Elizabethan collar-hooray!  Second, you can protect the wound not only indoors, but also outdoors allowing your pet to get the much-needed exercise to heal and to resume his normal routine even with the bandage, cast, etc. And finally, it reduces the number of times you need to return to the vet clinic to get a bandage re-wrapped or re-casted which is so inconvenient for you and a real relief for your dog!

Vetgood offer a range of boots for all your needs

Vetgood offer a wide range of sizes in their protective boots

So which boot do you need?  (See the chart below to choose the right one for your pet.)

VetGood-Boot-Comparison-Chart

The Vetgood Extreme Dog Boot

If they have a cast or splint or a bandaged wound that will last more than 2 weeks? You need the Extreme boot with the durable, moulded bottom.

The Vetgood Extreme Boot for longer-term injuries

Vetgood Extreme Protective Veterinary Dog Boots

The Vetgood Basic Dog Boot

If they have a soft bandage then you need the Basic boot.

The Vetgood Basic Boot for bandaged wounds

Vetgood Basic Protective Veterinary Dog Boots

The Vetgood Slim Dog Boot

There is even a boot for open wounds that have no bandages – perfect for hot spots or lick granulomas – lined in a soft bamboo and nanosilver fabric that has antimicrobial properties to promote healing.

The Vetgood Slim Boot with a microbial lining for open wounds

Vetgood Protective Slim Veterinary Dog Boots

So stop struggling with the E-collar.  Boots are in!

How to size your Vetgood boots

Tested by Daisy!

But we use Vetgood boots as we find they are great protection for Daisy’s delicate paws, whether she’s being carried in her harness or out and about in her wheelchair.

Daisy wearing her Vetgood Slim Boots

Daisy shows us a clean pair of heels in her super smart Vetgood Slim Boots.

Summertime Hazards for your Pets

Daisy dog in the long grass

It’s a jungle out there!

With the arrival of the hot weather accompanied by plenty of wet weather, the grass has shot up. Sadly, because of the rain, we haven’t yet been able to cut the hay, resulting in us having fields of grass up to our waists.

This makes it very difficult for Daisy in her wheelchair to navigate her twice-daily walk. We noticed that she wasn’t showing her typical enthusiasm and decided something had to be done, so we cut her a path.

Daisy in her wheelchair

We think Daisy is pleased with her new wheelchair path

The other dogs are not bothered by it and love leaping through the fields like a school of dolphins although it does put a stop to all their chase games with the Puller. They’d never find them in that grass, and we would end up chopping them into pieces with the mower and then baling them!

However, the warm weather and long grass mean we must be alert for fleas and ticks. Both Jack and Toby had fallen victim to ticks, which we discovered before administering flea and tick protection.

Another attraction is that sometimes they come across bunnies hiding out and that sets them off whooping with excitement as the thrill of the chase sets in.

Rabbit in the long grass

Where are those pesky rabbits?

They haven’t yet managed to catch one of those sneaky rabbits, though!

All For Paws Garden Water Fountain

Toby is a great fan of the All For Paws Garden Water Fountain.

It is essential to keep your pets well hydrated both at home and when you’re out and about. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water available at all times and never leave them unattended in a car, it can take literally minutes for them to succumb to heatstroke, which can be fatal.

Trixie Walker Active Protective Dog Boots

Ensure their paws are protected on hot ground.

Walking your dog when the ground is too hot can cause damage to their paws. Try walking them in the coolness of the early morning or evening. If you’re unsure, press your hand to the pavement for 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

Make sure you’ve got all the bases covered with the summer survival guide for pets from the Bluecross, which gives practical information to help you keep your animals safe and happy whilst still enjoying our lovely British summer.

And, of course, there is also a handy guide for cool cats in hot weather!