Is the Pet Insurance Industry Regulated?

What every dog owner needs to know about pet insurance

When it comes to the safety of our pets, loving owners are prepared to do just about anything to protect them. We provide the best diet, a comfortable place to sleep, healthy hygiene, and plenty of attention to keep their minds fresh and young.

While all these topics are clearly precautions to prevent dangerous situations, there is always the concern of “what if?” What can happen? Because we live in a world of infinite variables, everything is possible to some degree. And as a result, accidents and the unexpected do happen, which is why we have insurance.

But, there is something unique about pet insurance and while we pet owners clearly understand that our dog is a living, breathing creature, they are still treated as objects and statistical numbers by entities and government departments.

Needless to say, many insurance companies will also see your pet the same way. So consider what you should be aware of when considering insurance for you dog, because there are large differences and a few topics that need to be addressed before you make an investment in any form of coverage.

Government oversight

Consider the fact that insurance companies can be divided into two very distinct groups based on what they can and can’t do.

Admitted insurance companies and organizations are the baseline providers and have been accepted by the State Insurance Department because they offer particular coverage and specific qualifications. This means that the insurance companies provide services according strictly to the government’s requirements, often limiting their abilities and opportunities they can offer. Though, in case of their inability to cover a claim, the state will step in and insure your coverage.

Non-admitted are supposed to offer specialty insurances that state regulated or admitted insurance companies cannot approve or provide. These situations may be rated as “high-risk.” In some cases, they may not have been approved by the state’s insurance department oversights, and therefore don’t fit the criteria dubbed necessary to provide approved insurance services.

The only problem with this type of insurance is that because there is no government oversight, if the insurance company falls out or is unable to cover claims, there is basically no guarantee that a pet owner will ever be able to collect on their insurance claims.

What to be concerned about

Keep in mind that you will have to adhere to insurance policies, which often require that you use certain products, veterinarians and hospitals, certain drugs, and adhere to their specific protocols. In addition, you’ll likely have to maintain documentation about what you do and where it takes place.

If you don’t follow policies, rules, and regulations, you may be forfeiting your dog’s insurance policy and not even know it until you have to make a claim.

Basically, you may have to use pet insurance approved products, which can cost more or be inconvenient or even against your personal choices for your dog (such as choosing natural products instead of modern chemical based products).

There is also the concern of what a particular insurance actually covers for your pet. Medical expenses, accidents, and theft are just some of the popular coverage topics, but they aren’t always included. You need to be sure to ask your insurance broker what exactly is covered on your pet.

While you can attain different types of insurance on your pet, the option of pet-medical insurance is often not carried or provided because of the low commission fee that many insurance brokers are accustomed to. This makes it financially inconvenient for most brokers to carry certain types of pet insurance, which is exactly why you need to inquire as to exactly what your insurance would cover and if it is actually worth the cost.

Regulated vs. unregulated

In cases of insurance where there is no government oversight, plans may be largely more flexible, and are most often used for “show” dogs and large claims that state regulated insurance companies can’t legally provide. This is also beneficial for those dogs with pre-existing conditions in which case government controlled insurance providers would and could not feasibly provide coverage.

The positive side to regulated insurance companies is that they are often less costly and have standardized prices, mostly because they are backed by the state and the pricing is then controlled. This is also because clients are often at far less risk, since dogs with pre-existing conditions are not commonly accepted.

Pet insurance isn’t there necessarily because something will happen, but rather it is there so nothing will happen that you aren’t prepared for. If you’re interested in pet insurance, don’t consider it as something you can easily pick up at your insurance broker. Ask around and make sure that your dog is really getting what you’re paying for.

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Is Chemical Free able to Keep Tick and Fleas Away?

Dog lovers: choose your weapon against tick and fleas

Keeping our dogs happy and healthy requires a lot of little attention. Proper diet, plenty of exercise, oral hygiene, regular baths, and most importantly- keeping them bug-free. Fleas and Ticks aren’t just annoying and itchy; they are often host to many other nasty parasites, such as worms which can be detrimental to puppy health.

With all the different shampoos, collars, topical, and even consumable dietary supplements, it can be hard to choose one that works the best for your dog. While these repellents come in many different forms, they also come with many different chemicals, quite a few of which aren’t exactly the most health-friendly. In fact, some are so powerful that they recommend you don’t use them on animals less than three and even six months of age. Keeping a puppy inside for that length of time is definitely out of the question, so you may consider looking elsewhere, perhaps to the very natural aspects that nature can provide.

Needless to say, you still want to protect your pup, but you don’t wantthem to deal with all the harsh chemicals found in modern repellants. So, the natural way is the best way, and there is a growing number of these natural repellents entering the market, so keep your eyes on the “contents” label because it’s a trend that is definitely popular enough to grab some attention.

Naturally designed

Ticked Off! is a natural-based spray which relies primarily on southern red cedar oil and avoids the use of many of the hazardous chemicals found in modern repellants. Only available as a spray, it is designed to be applied regularly, but can be used on bedding and indoor recreational areas as well. Unlike many of the toxic chemicals that modern repellants have, it actually kills fleas and insects on contact, rather than simply enticing them to leave. It’s a definite choice for any dog that loves running through tall grass and enjoying the outdoors.

Natural Flea and Tick Defense uses Brazilian plant oil that actually confuse insects. Insects use the traces of carbon dioxide that we exhale, body temperature and other organic functions to let them know where their next target is. This particular formula doesn’t kill these insects, but rather masks your pet from their detection. Basically compiled from a naturally discovered formula in the rainforests of South America, it is safe for animals of all ages because it lacks any toxic or dangerous chemicals.

Chemical free

Shoo!Tag is chemical free, but utilizes a completely different approach to repelling insects. Rather than chemicals or any kind of absorbable substance, the device, or tag, emits light electromagnetic frequencies that naturally repel insects including the very annoying mosquito. It is basically a tag that is half the size of a credit card and when activated, lasts for up to four months. The best thing about it is that humans can simply put it in their pockets. It’s safe for all animals and won’t wash off. Technology has definitely entered the world of four-legged applications.

Around the house

Apple cider vinegar has naturally repelling properties (it doesn’t smell bad though). When mixed in a 50/50 solution with water, it makes for a cheap and natural spray you can easily apply to your dog’s coat. Just don’t spray it into their eyes.

A citric rub made from lemons and water is just another handy treatment. Simply cut a lemon in quarters, add some boiling water to them and let stand over-night. It makes for a great spray application that repels not only ticks and fleas but mosquitoes as well.

Garlic and onion have natural levels of the element sulfur in them, but they are not exactly good for your dog. In fact, these two foods are on the list of things not to feed your dog. But, sulfur is actually responsible for repelling insects when ingested. Certain joint dietary supplements provide sulfur in its naturally absorbable state, and can double its benefit by acting as a natural hindrance to pests while keeping your dog’s body working smoothly. Not quite as effective as other methods, it is a naturally beneficial and healthy addition to your dog’s diet.

As a loving dog owner, it is your task to ensure your dog’s entire well-being and complete health throughout their lives. While there are many chemicals that can give you the edge when battling insect pests, they often come with their own unique consequences, toxins, and irritations. Natural is a growing trend and gaining much appreciation by dogs and their owners around the world. Just remember that prevention is the first line of defense, which is where providing a sanitary environment is the best insect repelling choice you can make.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Dog-fish?

Porch Potty: Rocky Adventure

I love our car rides. Those loveable journeys across the land, through the hills, and just about anywhere else that I can see myself standing with the old man are places that I’m completely unafraid to go. But, I don’t really “sea” myself standing out here in my current predicament, now do I? I can barely keep my balance, let alone my stomach on this odd piece of land that seems to bounce with the horizon.

This morning was great, especially since both the old man and I had a hearty breakfast that consisted of my regular, plus a few parcels of table-top extras that were completely out of the ordinary. Only on special occasions, or at least when the old man is extra-exuberant, would I find such luxuries in my food bowl. But I did, and there is no way that I would be complaining about that.

But, I am complaining about what has seemingly forced me to lose what I had so graciously received this morning. I hate bouncing. If I had wanted to bounce, I do believe I’d have found my way into a Kangaroo’s pouch, just like on Izzy’s favorite picture-box. They hop around, erratically racing through fields as they play “tag” with a few odd-looking dogs that never seem to be as fast. “Dingos” as they are constantly referred to, and always reflecting the same ideology of a dingo in their pursuits. I’d have gone about my game’s tactics from a completely different view, but I’m not chasing that kind of strange looking rabbit through an open field. I stick to what I know, but that isn’t exactly what we’re doing here today.

Nope, and in fact, this very situation has caused me to lose that very breakfast that I had enjoyed so incomprehensibly. An extra slice of bacon and a parcel of toast had said to me, “you’ve been a good boy today, and it’s not to go unrewarded.” It had, but now it’s all gone. Over the side of this “boat” and into the blue waves of a vast body of water I couldn’t have ever begun to imagine actually existed.

I’ve seen the pond at the “duck” park, where there are just about a katrillion birds and bugs that swarm around the water and even swim around in its dark currents. But, this is completely different. This is a world of water that tosses our “boat” thingy around, and seems to spray a salty smell into my nose and upset my belly.

Since we first got on board, I’ve managed to lose all of my tasty treats (luckily, I didn’t bring my special one aboard- if you know what I mean) in a constant and unstoppable sensation that filled my belly with upsets. Usually, I’d have to eat something really bad to be this sick, but everything that ended up in my bowl smelled just fine. Nope, it’s definitely the rolling of this very big and very upset “ocean” as the old man has dubbed the water.

I’m pretty sure that we’re safe, especially since the old man took the time to strap us in to these cushioning devices. I’ve taken a few bites out of mine, but it turned out that it simply tasted like the couch cushions, which I never really liked. But, they’re supposed to keep us from getting lost, so I left it alone.

At this point, the old man is struggling with a stick that is tied to the ocean. He’s been fighting it for what seems like a dog’s year, and even his fellow two-legged companions have come to his aid. Everyone’s paws on the same stick, it almost appears that they’d be fighting each other rather than the water. But, seeing as how the ocean appears so very angry at our presence, I’d have to say that they’ve teamed up against it. Even I’ve jumped in to play a part. I hold the old man’s leg in place and push back towards the boat’s cabin, afraid to let him go and be lost to the water. I can feel him step back, so I push harder against him, forcing him closer to the wall of the boat. That’s when I feel the salt and wetness of the ocean’s water spray me as another creature joins me on deck. I’ve seen them at Izzy’s house, small creatures that float around in a glass box. This one is as big as me and is seemingly a little out of its place. The creature flops around on the deck while all the other men stare at it in wonder.

The others simply look at each other, almost as if they never believed they’d actually be here right now at this very moment. Or maybe they’ve just never seen a fish before. Well, maybe they’d just better go pay Debbie and Izzy a visit if they want to see what it looks like beneath an ocean of dark waves the next time they take a dog out onto the ocean. And since none of them will, it’s up to me. I nudge the flopping creature back towards the edge of the boat and send it out to sea. I don’t want to have anything else to do with something that smells as fishy as that thing did!

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

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