9 Ways to Save on Your Vet Bill

9 Ways to Save on Your Vet Bill

We love our pets like family, but if we’re being honest, they can be quite expensive. That’s not only in treats, household items, and little splurges but also in veterinary care.

Vet costs can add up quickly, especially if your pet has a health issue or if you have multiple pets. But taking your animal to the veterinarian is an important part of being a responsible pet owner and making sure your pet stays at its healthiest.

Here are some tips to give your fur babies, feathered friends, and reptiles the best care possible without a huge bill.


1. Shop around.

Not every vet charges the same, so it’s a good idea to shop around. Vets in smaller towns may charge less than in more populated urban areas. Call and get costs for exams, vaccinations, and standard procedures such as teeth cleaning, spaying, and neutering. Ask if they give multi-pet discounts if you bring pets in together. You don’t have to choose your vet solely on cost, but keep that in mind when you make your selection.

Pro Tip: Reach out to the local Humane Society or vet school clinic. They may have low-cost options for veterinary care or procedures.


2. Know your vaccines.

Some vaccines like rabies are required by law. Others are optional. Assess whether your pet needs a vaccine based on their potential risk for the illness. For example, if you don’t board your dogs, they may not need Bordetella to protect against contagious kennel cough. But if they’re frequently at the dog park with other dogs, you’ll want them to have it.

Pro Tip: Check with your municipality. They may hold a free rabies shot clinic annually.


3. Research prescription options.

You’ll likely give your fur babies flea and tick medications. You may need to treat your bird or your lizard with an antibiotic. You might need a prescription to calm your pet during a storm. You could get these medications through your vet, or you can get the prescription and shop around. Contact your local (human) pharmacy. If there is a human equivalent to the pet medication, they may be able to fill it for a lower price. You can also enroll in a prescription discount plan like GoodRx or WellRx. Some plans cost but you’ll still realize the savings in discounts.


4. Ask about referrals and specials.

Veterinary offices often run specials. They may discount dental procedures for National Pet Dental Health Month, for example. They may give you a credit for referring a friend. Ask your vet for their schedule of specials and discounts for the year, and plan your pet’s care around that calendar.


5. Don’t automatically say ‘yes’.

Your vet may recommend treatments for your pet. Ask why they’re necessary and what the alternatives are to doing them. Sometimes these recommendations may be precautions but not absolutely necessary. Other times, they may be to rule out issues, but the treatment may be the same. If there is a high cost for treatment, you can hold off and research other places that may be able to provide it at a lower cost. Then take that quote to your vet and ask if they will match the price.

6. Talk to an online vet first.

You can sometimes save on an in-person vet bill by talking to an online vet first. Telemedicine options have increased for veterinary care. For just about $30 or so, you can talk to a vet, have him/her examine your pet virtually, and answer medical questions. For example, if your pet was exposed to a potential household danger, the online vet can let you know if you need to bring your pet in for treatment. Just know that online vets cannot prescribe medication if your pet hasn’t been seen in person by a vet recently.


7. Consider help from a pet charity.

You may qualify for help with your vet bills from an animal welfare charity. These are nonprofit associations that provide assistance for specific types of situations, such as donating wheelchairs for disabled pets, care for cancer treatment, and help for elderly, disabled, or low-income families.


8. Keep up with preventive care.

Nourishing food, regular exercise, and annual vet visits will help keep your pet healthy. Heartworm testing, stool screenings, dental care, parasite control, and bloodwork are all part of regular preventive care. Keeping your pet active and healthy, and checking in regularly on their health, will help reduce vet bills in the future.


9. Purchase Pet Insurance.

Pet Insurance can help offset some of the larger costs of pet care. For a nominal monthly fee, you can have access to coverage that will help if your pet needs surgery or has health issues. Shop around for a pet insurance policy that fits your needs.

Before you purchase, make sure you understand the deductible, the coverage limits, and the exclusions. Some policies do not cover pre-existing conditions or wellness care.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Camping & Your Mental Health

Camping & Your Mental Health

Ah, the great outdoors. What is it about being out in nature that makes us feel free and more alive?

Not only is camping refreshing, but did you know that it actually has multiple mental health benefits? Read on to learn more about the positive effects of camping—and our special Work Hard/Play Hard Camping Giveaway for First Responders!


1. Camping reduces our stress.

Face it. Even if you love your job, all jobs come with their own stressors, and stress can be harmful to your mental, physical and emotional health. While one camping trip may not completely reduce your stress, you’d be surprised at the impact it can make.

    • Nature is associated with higher levels of serotonin, a chemical produced by our body that boosts our mood.
    • Nature provides a relaxing “soundtrack” that is soothing and peaceful. There’s a reason sleep apps are full of noises from nature. Studies have shown that the babbling of a brook or the sound of wind through the trees promotes relaxation and feelings of well-being.
    • From a practical aspect, you can escape the “to do” lists and pressures of work and home. You have less to worry about.


2. Camping provides a digital detox.

As a population in general, we spend too much time indoors in front of our screens. This can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, lack of focus, and sleep problems. It also can be a contributing factor to obesity. Camping gives us a much-needed break from our digital devices.

    • Camping allows us to be social. It can promote face-to-face conversations, form bonds, and strengthen relationships.
    • It also allows you to be solitary if you prefer, and spend time with your own thoughts. Nature offers the perfect setting for reflection and meditation.
    • Unplug during your camping trip. Keep the digital devices to a minimum, set designated phone-free zones, and you’ll enjoy more of what nature has to offer.


3. Camping gives us sunshine and fresh air.

The sunshine and fresh air on your camping trip not only feel good, they have real health benefits. That will make you feel even better about being outside.

    • If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t get enough Vitamin D, important for bone growth. Sunshine helps our bodies make Vitamin D, so being outdoors is a natural vitamin boost.
    • As you breathe in fresh air, your oxygen levels increase. This helps you to feel more energized. It improves your ability to concentrate and remember.
    • Fresh air also can help lower blood pressure, help in digestion and boost your immune system. Enjoy that breath of fresh air. It’s good for you!


4. Camping promotes exercise and resilience.

Camping doesn’t have to be a survival test; you don’t even have to camp in a tent! You can plan your camping trip around your family’s needs and choose enjoyable exercise and favorite recreational activities. This is a chance to try new things and feel good about all you’ve accomplished.

    • Choose a favorite outdoor hobby or explore a new one. Examples include fishing, biking, hiking, or orienteering (using a map or compass to navigate between points).
    • Plan to make your own food over an open campfire, even if it’s just hot water to pour over Ramen noodles. Not only will it be fun, you’ll be building confidence with your newfound skills. Just remember to keep campfire safety in mind.
    • If you brought the kids along, this is a great time to teach them personal responsibility.


5. Camping improves sleep patterns.

Because your days and nights will be guided by nature, you’ll escape the light pollution and sleep patterns associated with life back home. And getting an adequate amount of sleep each night has been proven to have a positive impact on your mental health.

    • The sun emits short-wave blue light in the morning and long-wave reddish-orange light in the evening. This signals our bodies when to sleep and when to wake up.
    • Camping allows you to get in touch with your internal clock and natural sleep cycle. A weekend camping trip can move you closer to the ideal sleep-wake time.
    • Unlike your normal workday, when you are camping you make your own schedule, meaning you can get rest and wake up whenever you would like. No morning alarms = automatic stress reliever.
    • Pro tip: Don’t skimp on sleeping gear. Bring that inflatable mattress for an extra cozy night.


6. Camping brings you home with a new perspective.

You’ll return home with your mind and spirit recharged. You will also appreciate the comforts of home more. Here are just some of the added mental health benefits after a camping trip:

    • Improved focus, higher levels of confidence, and self-esteem
    • Reduced levels of stress and anger
    • Stronger family bonds and good memories


California Casualty’s 2022 Work Hard/Play Hard “$10,000 Camping” Giveaway will award one lucky First Responder $10,000 for outdoor gear that lets them disconnect from the daily grind and reconnect with friends, family, and nature.

Firefighters, EMTs, and Law Enforcement officers can enter by clicking here. The deadline to enter is November 18, 2022.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

New Employee Spotlight: Erin Halvorson

We have amazing employees at California Casualty. The New Employee Spotlight is a series aiming to highlight the talented individuals that are brand new to our team. Please help us give them a warm welcome!

Today we’re spotlighting Inbound Sales Representative, Erin Halvorson

Let’s get to know, Erin!


new employee spotlight


Where are you from?

All over, I was born in Oklahoma, but I’m an Air Force brat.  My dad served for 21 years, I had the pleasure of living all over the place!

Now I work in the Colorado Springs office.


What is one interesting fact you want us to know about you?

I love bowling and when I was in 5th grade, I bowled my best game yet a 200!


If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?



What do you like to do on the weekends?

 Anything with my family.

Disc Golfing with my husband.

Girls Night’s with my close group of friends.


What made you want to start your new career with California Casualty?

The culture, the people, and my husband.  He was hired here, and raved about it.  I decided I couldn’t let him have all the fun without me! 


If you want to learn more about Erin or are interested in a career at California Casualty, connect with her on LinkedIn! Or visit our careers page at https://www.calcas.com/careers

California Casualty Elects Jonathan D. Adkisson President and CEO

new CEO

Jonathan D. Adkisson, FCAS, has been elected President and CEO of California Casualty Management Company (“CCMC”) effective June 1, 2022.

In this role, Adkisson will run the operations of the reciprocal California Casualty Indemnity Exchange (“CCIE”) as CEO of its attorney-in-fact, and Adkisson will serve as President of CCIE’s four insurance company subsidiaries, which together are known as the California Casualty Group.

Adkisson has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, with a majority of his career spent as an executive in the personal lines direct-to-consumer segment. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Virginia and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. Adkisson was most recently General Manager for Allstate Direct Distribution, a combination of Esurance and Allstate’s direct operation. Adkisson was President of Esurance from 2015 until its integration with Allstate in 2020. As Esurance President, he was responsible for all functional departments of the wholly-owned subsidiary including over 3,000 employees in 17 offices. Earlier in his career, he held several actuarial roles at Farmers and GEICO.

“I am humbled and honored to be asked to serve as the next president and CEO of California Casualty,” Adkisson said. “California Casualty has a rich tradition of serving those who are heroes in our communities. I am excited at the opportunity to continue that legacy of service as I lead California Casualty’s team of capable insurance professionals.”

Robert R. Nicolay III, CCMC’s interim CEO and member of the CCMC Board and CCIE Advisory Board stated, “I view Jonathan’s experience and industry knowledge as a significant asset to California Casualty and the executive management team. He will be instrumental in building a future of growth for the company.”

Founded in 1914, California Casualty is an affinity-based auto and home insurance provider with group partnerships across the nation, offering the highest level of care, service, compassion, and understanding, to people who make a difference for our communities – educators, education support professionals, peace officers, firefighters, and nurses.

Karen M. Padovese, CCIE Advisory Board Chair, commented: “Jonathan’s focused customer orientation and his demonstrated ability to lead and inspire employees will ensure that California Casualty continues to deliver uniquely for the dedicated public servants we exist to serve.”


About California Casualty: Founded in 1914 and headquartered in San Mateo, CA, California Casualty has service centers in Arizona, Colorado, and Kansas. The company provides auto and home insurance with special rates, generous discounts, and unique benefits not available to the general public to educators, education support professionals, peace officers, firefighters, and nurses across the country. To learn more about California Casualty, or to request an auto insurance quote, please visit www.calcas.com or call 1.800.800.9410.

Feeling Languished? What it Means and How it Affects Your Mental Health

Feeling Languished? What it Means and How it Affects Your Mental Health

It’s the end of the year and you’re feeling burnt out. You have no motivation to teach. At this point, you may be numb and simply just going through the motions, day in and day out. There’s a name for what you’re feeling. It’s called languishing, and you’re not the only one feeling it…


What is ‘languishing’?

Languishing is the opposite of flourishing. It’s a combination of apathy, restlessness, and an overall lack of interest in things that ordinarily would bring you joy. Languishing is not a mental illness; it’s a mental state of low energy.


What causes languishing?

For many people, languishing was brought on by the uncertainty and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s as if we’ve been on high alert for two years and we’re simply running out of mental energy. It’s a feeling not limited to teachers or to U.S. citizens. An international study

of nearly 10,000 people in 78 countries found at least 10 percent were languishing.


Are you languishing?

Maybe. See if you share any of these common signs and symptoms:

    • Isolating yourself from friends and family
    • Going through the motions
    • Struggling with basic tasks
    • A feeling of numbness
    • A lack of self-worth
    • A feeling of restlessness but not knowing what to do
    • A tendency to miss work lately

If you are susceptible to anxiety and depression, you might be more prone to languishing.


Is languishing the same as depression?

No. Languishing and depression share many of the same characteristics but they are not the same. Depression is a mental illness. With depression, you may experience fatigue. You may sleep too much or too little, and have negative emotions and suicidal thoughts.

Languishing is not a mental illness; neither is it a description of mental health. It’s somewhere in between. With languishing, you experience negative emotions. You feel as if you’re not in control of your life. You may feel empty. For some people, languishing could be a risk factor for a mental illness like depression.


What can you do about languishing?

No one wants to feel empty and numb. It’s exhausting and not good for your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to recognize your feelings and do something about them. Fortunately, there are simple self-care strategies that you can take to recharge your emotional batteries and restore your spark. Here is a sampling.


    • Take time off. You probably work a lot, after school, evenings and weekends. Give yourself a break. If you can’t take a couple of personal days, then at least give yourself weekends off. Take the time to recharge so that you can come back reenergized.

    • Find your happy place. Spend time doing what makes you happy, not what should make you happy. Carve out some time each week for a favorite hobby, a coffee date with a dear friend, or simply some precious alone time with a favorite book. Choose something that you look forward to doing, and that will be the right thing for you.

    • Practice self-care. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Taking care of your body will help put you in the right place to support your mental wellbeing.

    • Change your scenery. Take a walk in the park. Stroll along a body of water. Find a quiet place to enjoy nature. Just getting away from your normal daily scene can do wonders to perk up your thoughts. Bring a friend and you can enjoy wonderful social connections, too.

    • Perform acts of kindness. Make someone a cup of coffee. Help a work colleague. Pay the toll for a stranger. Volunteer in your community. The simple act of doing things for others will boost your spirits.

    • Practice gratitude. Remember that you have a lot for which you are thankful. Make a list. Include your thanks for the physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of your life. Do this daily, and you’ll start to see a difference in how you view your life.

    • Try something new. Get yourself out of the languishing rut by working on a new skill. Seek out a new interest. Invite a friend to join you, and you’ll get the added bonus of time spent together.

    • Consult a therapist. If you cannot shake the feeling of languishing on your own, ask for help. A licensed therapist is there to help you navigate through this mental state and emerge on the other side more confident, energized, and in the perfect mindset to flourish.


It may be hard to push through right now, but the end of the school year is in sight. And if there is anything we have learned over the past two years, it’s that teachers can do anything they set their minds to. Go on! You’ve got this!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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