Before Bringing Home A Puppy-Be Ready

There are necessary items that you must have at home before bringing home a puppy or a new adult dog for that matter.  Life would have been difficult when I brought Simba home if I had not been prepared.  Simba, like my children when they were babies, was a very active puppy.  I was glad that a friend gave me ideas of what I would need ahead of time because it was one less thing on my mind while getting her acclimated.

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Pet Insurance Limitations and Pre-Existing Health Conditions

by Andrew Rombach

Pet insurance is a rapidly growing industry. In 2017 the pet insurance industry was worth more than $1 billion, and that’s expected to double to $2 billion by 2022, based on data forecasts from the market research firm Packaged Facts.

pet insurance

The estimates indicate pet insurance will grow by more than 14 percent annually, largely because consumers are becoming increasingly aware of these offerings and the benefits available if their pet gets sick or injured.

Increasing consumer awareness is coupled with the fear many pet owners have that they couldn’t afford medical bills if something unexpected were to happen. An Associated Press survey showed 41 percent of pet owners are extremely or somewhat worried they wouldn’t be able to afford the medical bills for a sick dog or cat.

Some pet owners feel the peace of mind and the potential protection of pet insurance is worth the additional cost, but as with health insurance for people, there are limitations including pre-existing conditions.

What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?

In terms of insurance, a pre-existing condition is simply a health problem that exists before enrolling in an insurance program. If you have a pet with a serious pre-existing condition, then you may have to disclose this to the insurance company. To receive coverage, it may be required that your pet is examined by a veterinarian. Companies will have their own set of conditions that are considered pre-existing.

Examples of pre-existing conditions for pets include cancer, allergies, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.

Insurance companies see pre-existing conditions as costly and likely expensive investments. Pre-existing conditions can also lead to a host of other medical complications in the future, which the insurance company doesn’t want to pay for.

Many insurance companies will also consider something that comes up or is diagnosed during the insurance waiting period as a pre-existing condition. The waiting period for pet insurance can be as long as a year after signing up. A waiting period is the time you have to wait before coverage begins. Every company has different guidelines for waiting periods, and some make a distinction between illness and injury waiting periods.

How Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered by Pet Insurance?

Typically, pet insurance companies will refuse to insure an animal’s pre-existing condition. Even if your pet didn’t show symptoms of a condition during the waiting period, or you didn’t know about the condition before you signed up, it’s still possible for the insurer to refuse or limit coverage.

As an example, most pet insurance companies consider cancer a pre-existing condition no matter when it’s diagnosed since it develops slowly.

There are a few examples where you may be able to find coverage even with certain pre-existing conditions. First, if the condition is curable, an insurance company may provide coverage. The specifics will vary depending on the company and the policy, but as an example, if the animal was unwell because of the condition but now hasn’t shown any symptoms of the condition for at least six months to a year, they may receive coverage.

If the condition is considered a hereditary disorder, the insurance company may cover the pet as well.

Some insurance companies may have a list of pre-existing conditions they will cover such as urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal disorders.

An animal with an incurable pre-existing condition is not likely to be eligible for coverage. For example, incurable disorders can include diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.

Pet owners tend to have questions about coverage for bilateral conditions. Bilateral conditions affect both sides of an animal’s body, and one of the most common is hip dysplasia. Some insurance companies will not cover this condition and some will, so you’ll have to check with the specific insurance company.


While it’s very unlikely a pet with a serious or incurable pre-existing condition will be covered by an insurance company, there are other options. One option is to enroll in a veterinary discount plan.

Veterinary discount plans offer discounts on the cost of veterinary care for pets, and pre-existing conditions are irrelevant. All pets are covered under most of these programs, and there isn’t the need to submit vet records or show proof of a healthy pet.

Another option is using a medical financing company geared toward healthcare and more specifically, pet health care.

It can be scary to think about your pet needing care that you aren’t able to afford, but insurance comes with limitations. One of the most significant limitations are pre-existing conditions, and in most cases, with a pre-existing condition, you will have to find other options to cover the costs of your pet’s care.

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Whether To Buy Pet Insurance or Not

I get many emails from new GSP owners asking whether or not they should buy petGypsy insurance. Pet insurance is a personal choice that should be made after researching the subject well.  There are many questions you should ask not only about the pet insurance but yourself as well.  Sometimes the difference between having pet insurance and not is whether or not you would be able to afford a surgery or emergency visit on your own.  This could mean whether your pup gets to continue living or not.  I personally have always purchased pet insurance with a new young pup.  It makes sense financially because the pet insurance covers wellness checks and vaccines.  We all know that puppies get many vaccines in the first couple of years.  The cost of vaccines and wellness visits definitely outweigh the premium cost for those couple of years.

I was very glad I had the pet insurance when Gypsy almost died at 5 months old.  I woke up at 5am to find her lifeless in her crate. She had been scratching herself raw and now was barely breathing.  My first thought was that she was having an allergic reaction to something.  I put her in the sink to wash off anything that she had gotten into.  She was absolutely limp in my arms.  I rushed her to the emergency vet where they ran her to the back and worked on her several hours.  They put her on an IV and put her on oxygen among running a bunch of test trying to figure out what caused this reaction.  An added bonus was that the x-ray of her stomach had a zipper on it.  Now this did not cause the allergic reaction but could tear her intestines if she passed it.  It needed to come out.  After spending the entire day in the ER and vomiting a zipper, Gypsy was alert and breathing normally.

They could not tell me Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Simba; My Promise

Today, Simba, my best friend turns 11. She has been by my side every second my life’s greatest and the worst moments since she entered it. Always loving me unconditionally. It doesn’t matter my mood, she is always there full of love and patience.  If all humans had a heart like hers, what a wonderful world this would be.  I don’t mind the dirty paw-prints on the floor and on me, hair everywhere, the wet kisses on my face, destruction of furniture, walls, and carpet, because they have been outweighed by all the good companionship, laughs and giggles she has brought me.  I want to take this opportunity to share the promise I made to this exceptional creature of nature.


I will never hurt you or let anyone else hurt you

I will never let you starve before I starve

I will never drop you off in a shelter and leave

I will never move and not take you with me

I will never leave you tied up outside because you’re family

I will never desert you when you are old

I will never lose patience when you’re trying to communicate through unwanted behavior

I will never stop loving you even when you get all gray and slow down.

I promise to hold you and love you as long as our lives allow.


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This game will help train you pup to stop getting overly excited and jumping. A fun game you can use to teach your dog to control their impulse to jump on you and/or
guests coming into your home. This game will help teach your dog that it’s ok to be happy and excited when you or new people come into the house, but they’re to keep all four paws on the ground at all times. With this game, you will learn that you don’t have to tone down your excitement when you see your dog, and your dog will learn that they don’t need to jump on you to get your attention.

TOOLS: 4ft-6ft leash, a place to tie the dog, Space around the tie so the dog can move freely.

The goal of this game is to be able to walk up to your dog while they are contained and start to show them that its ok to be Continue reading

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Easy Healthy Dog Treats

Easy Dog Treats

Easy Dog Treats

2 Cups of rolled oats or whole wheat flour

2 (4 oz) jars of puree baby food

Pre-heat oven 350′

Mix flour and baby food thoroughly

You can roll out to 1/4″ on a floured surface if you want cute shaped treats.  My two don’t have a preference.  If I’m going to give them out as gifts to dog loving friends, then I use cute cookie cutters.  Otherwise, I rolled out into a ball and press them down with the spatula.

Lay out on parchment paper

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until no longer soft.

I also use different flavors of puree baby food like chicken & rice, sweet potato & apple, etc.




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A Dog’s Separation Anxiety and Boredom Buster

A Dog’s Separation Anxiety and Boredom Buster

Simba and I have written many times about the separation anxiety that Simba suffers especially when she was younger and Gypsy’s boredom issues.  Simba has exhibited separation anxiety through numerous different symptoms.  These included IBS, hives, destruction, uncontrollable licking the air, etc.

These are just a few pictures of my life with my GSPs.  Now we all know that GSP’s need lots and lots of exercise or they become destructive but I assure you that these guys were getting their exercise.  The destruction on Simba’s part was due to separation anxiety and for Gypsy it was and still is at times due to boredom. I am so excited about having found an item that has pretty much eliminated the destruction by these two beauties.  It is the Interactive Treat Dispensing Pet Toy.  Before I came across this magical ball, Simba would follow me to the door whining and barking.  They would both try to squeeze of the door as I tried leaving for work in the morning.  I would come back after a long day at work to find some of the above sights.  Augh!  Now, right before I head to the door I fill their Interactive Treat Dispensers.  Gypsy waits sitting up tall in the living room and Simba whines next to me because she believes it’s taking me long.  They each get their own Interactive Treat Dispensing toy.  Sometimes, Simba’s ball ends up under furniture and she impatiently leads me to it by sitting their making little yelping sounds.  I’ll walk up to her and she squats down to show me where it is.  They look forward to this time so much.  It has made leaving so much easier for me.  Yesterday I was so surprised.  I gave them their Interactive Treat Dispenser, ran out and forgot my coffee.  I cringed since I had to go back in and worried it would throw them off.  Well, it was like they didn’t even notice I had ran back in, passing right next to them.  They didn’t stop rolling around and chasing the treat dispenser around the kitchen and family room.  I have tried other treat dispensers in the past, however, after the treats were gone they would move on to chewing up the dispensing toy to pieces.  This was has lasted two years now.  It has worked so well for me that I have decided to start selling it myself and spread the word.


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Train Dog Not To Pull

Train Dog Not To Pull

You know those dogs that pull hard, all the time no matter what lead or technique is used to train her to slow down.  Meet my sister, Gypsy.  She has actually pulled my mum off her feet Gypsy pulls on a leadlanding down on the payment with a thump.  The lead goes flying out of mum’s hand and only then does Gypsy stop, turns around to look at why mum isn’t playing pull anymore.  Mum has tried all kinds of harnesses and even tried a choke chain really scared her but not Gypsy.  Mum found this video and tried following the trainer’s advice for training a dog not to pull on a lead.  She took us out for a walk.  Every time Gypsy would Continue reading

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Simba has always had a very sensitive stomach.  I have to read labels making sure that there is no corn products ( a common filler in most dog foods) or peanut butter.  She absolutely loves peanut butter but her tummy hates it and so do I when I have to clean it up.  Like her mom, she also loves treats.  Buying healthy treats that don’t have a bunch of fillers that sound like scientific alien ingredients can be quite expensive.  I found this recipe on  and wanted to share it with other mom’s that need to watch what their pups eat.  Simba loves the Chicken & Wild Rice Treats!

Chicken & Wild Rice Dog Biscuits for recipe go to:


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Blaming The Wrong Dog

Blaming The Wrong Dog

Mum has been finding destruction in the house Sister GSP dogs when she gets home from work.  However, she is blaming the wrong dog, me!  My sister, Gypsy, is real good at being sneaky.  Mum never sees her digging at the furniture.  She doesn’t do it in front of mum.

I, on the other hand, do enjoy fluffing up my dog bed and my pillow but I don’t really scratch at it.  The trick is to carefully hook my paws into it and with an awkward jump up pull it up at the same time. Mum shouts out “Simba stop it, just lay down” and then I do.   Gypsy, on the other hand, goes at it like the pooch is digging to China.  I don’t hide my need for a fluffy bed; why would I. But mum keeps blaming the wrong dog, me!

A week ago, mum got real mad. Gypsy tore open the new couch, oooooo.  Mum pointed to the Continue reading

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