Understanding Pet Insurance with Veterinarian Charles L. Starr III

Charles L. Starr III

Charles L. Starr III

Should I get pet insurance? That’s a question veterinarian Charles L. Starr III is asked weekly. Health care for humans is quite the topic of conversation these days. But according to Charles L. Starr III, when it comes to pets we tend to look the other way. Many times a client tells me, “Our pets are our kids!” shares Charles L. Starr III.  If we truly feel that way, shouldn’t we rethink their coverage?

Health changes over time. Accidents happen. Charles L. Starr III acknowledges when exorbitant bills hit unexpectedly, we’re in shock. Pets can also live a very long time. It’s not uncommon to see pets in the 13 -18 year range, states Charles L. Starr III. One of his patients recently had lost the use of its back legs, and Charles L. Starr III says that x-rays could not locate the problem. It was the CAT scan that discovered a moth-eaten looking tumor on the spine. That procedure allowed the patient the knowledge and confirmation needed to make final decision, explains Charles L. Starr III. While the cost of the treatment was high, their tax refund was used to cover their bill.

Although pet insurance may not be for everyone, Charles L. Starr III offers some basic considerations. First, insurance providers should provide details about limitations and exclusions of routine coverage, wellness, emergency treatments and conditions that require extensive care. Charles L. Starr III encourages asking if premiums will increase as your pet ages or if you place claims. Charles L. Starr III advises to also check for add-on options such as travel insurance or dental care.

In addition, says Charles L. Starr III, ask about pre-existing diseases or conditions. Some providers do not accept specific pets or breeds while others limit the number of insured pets. Inquire about multiple pet discounts, offers Charles L. Starr III. Be sure you fully understand the policy and any limitations. Is it a reimbursement plan? Are you allowed to select the veterinarian? Charles L. Starr III suggests asking about co-pays, deductibles, add-on charges and other fees. Most veterinarians offer payment options, reminds Charles L. Starr III, so ask about these ahead of time in order to prevent last minute stress.

Delectable Dangers for Dogs and How to Keep Them Safe

Even the most ardent dog lover has to admit that when it comes to our beloved canine companions, they think more with their stomachs than their heads. So if you have guests coming over who don’t know your dog’s routine, it’s vitally important to keep an eye on pups of all ages.

During special dinners, people tend to serve richer foods, and that food may tempt a pet to the point of obsession. It wants to eat that entire ham, turkey or chicken. So, keep main dishes up high where dogs can’t get a hold of them. And inform guests that feeding dogs under the table isn’t a great idea, too. If a dog eats too much fatty food it can get ill. Signs of pancreatitis are vomiting, diarrhea along with abdominal pain.

Also, don’t let anyone give a dog a leftover bone. Bones can splinter and puncture the stomach or intestine because they become brittle when they cook. They also pose a chocking hazard for dogs. The only bones that dogs should be offered as treats are the big and meaty bones from a butcher – not something from the dining room table.

Chocolate also poses a potential health threat for pups. Chocolate toxicity can occur within a day, and it can be very serious. The darker the chocolate, the more danger, especially in relation to the dog’s weight. So, make sure the kids (and adults) consume chocolate away from dogs. It’s not a bad idea to place the leftover wrapper as far down in the trash as possible to keep dogs from smelling the chocolate. Also many chocolates come wrapped in foil, which cannot only be a potential choking hazard – it can also get stuck in a dog’s intestines.

Another thing to watch out for is bread dough. Dough will expand in a dog’s stomach and can make it very ill. Also, the gas that it will produce in the digestive system could even potentially rupture a dog’s stomach or intestines. So when baking, it’s important to keep dough far out of a dog’s reach. Instead of letting it rise on a cutting board, it may not be a bad idea to put it on top of a shelf. (Bonus: it will probably be warmer the higher it is in the kitchen, which will make it rise faster!)

Hosting guests can be a happy and hectic time. But it’s important to keep an eye out for the furry members of the household, so that they stay safe, too.