Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween can be an extra-scary time for our four-legged family members. Our pets don’t understand why the doorbell keeps ringing or why strange creatures- that kind of resemble humans- keep yelling and trying to come into their house and yard.

These factors and more can cause our pets to become anxious and start acting out of the ordinary with their behaviors like, panting, crying, running, jumping, and even becoming aggressive. That is why it is important to keep your pet (and Trick-or-Treaters) safe this Halloween by following these Five Simple Halloween Safety Tips for Pets.


1. Keep Your Pet in a Separate Room

Bring pets indoors and lock them in a separate room, far away from the commotion, with a TV or noise machine on during prime trick-or-treating hours (6pm- 8:30pm). This will give you peace of mind that your pet will not harm or scare away trick-or-treaters and you don’t have to worry about your pet escaping every time you open the door.

2. Keep the Candy Out of Reach

Most Halloween candy is toxic to pets, especially chocolate, so make sure bowls of candy are stashed in a cupboard or a shelf high enough where they cannot reach them. If your dog or cat does ingest any candy or wrappers contact your vet immediately.

3. Don’t Put Your Pet in a Costume Unless They Love It

Dressing your pet up could cause extra anxiety for them, and if they try to escape their costume and get stuck, they could seriously injure themselves. If you decide to dress them up, keep it comfortable for them and let them try on their costume before Halloween to make sure they love it and have time to get used to how it feels.

4. Watch the Decorations

Using a real flame to light a Jack-O-Lantern is rare these days, but if you do make sure it is placed somewhere your pet can’t accidentally run into it. Be sure to also keep any decoration that could harm your pet like, plastic, fake spider webs, and lights/electrical cords out of your pet’s reach.

5. Keep Your Pets Identified

Always make sure your pet is wearing a collar with tags that are up to date and that they are microchipped, just in case they do happen to escape.


Have a safe and Happy Halloween with your fur-babies! 🙂


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.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe This July 4th

How To Keep Your Pets Safe This July 4th

It’s that time of year again — time to light up the grill, gather family and friends and celebrate American Independence. If yours, your neighborhood’s or your city’s plans include fireworks, then there’s one group that won’t necessarily be in a celebratory mood: household pets.

Every year, July 5th is the busiest day at animal shelters across the country. They receive an influx of dogs and cats who fled their homes the night before, trying to escape the sound and explosions of fireworks. When scared and pumping adrenaline, pets can scale high fences and break loose from leashes and chains.

If your pet is scared of loud noises, take these precautions to ensure that they stay safe and sound this July 4th.


Before the Holiday

    • If your pet is especially nervous, consult your veterinarian about tranquilizers or drugs that can help with anxiety. Talk with them about giving a “practice” dose of medication before the event to see how your pet responds.
    • Work with an animal behaviorist or trainer. For some pets, positive reinforcement and behavior modification training around their fears can make all the difference.
    • Make sure your pets’ ID tags are updated with your current contact information and that tags are securely affixed to their collar.
    • Update their microchip registration and pet license information. If they aren’t yet chipped, this is a good opportunity to do so.


On July 4th

    • Move them to a room and put on soothing music. Cover windows to minimize the sound and flashes of light.
    • An anxiety vest — or even a snugly fitting t-shirt — could help calm them.
    • If they are especially anxious, make sure someone checks in on them frequently. That person should act calm and reassuring — animals look to their humans to gauge danger.
    • Noise anxiety is not as common with cats as it is with dogs, but it can happen. Cats tend to hide (very well) when scared, so make sure you check in on them too. Keeping them indoors (and in a room of their own) is a good idea.
    • If for any reason your pet is outside during fireworks, keep them away from any lit fireworks, which can result in burns to the face, nose, lips, eyes, or inside of the mouth.


After the Festivities

Whether or not you ignited fireworks on your property, search your front and back yards for unignited fireworks or spent remnants. Remember that some may have landed in your yard from neighbors. Immediately remove any you find — fireworks contain many chemicals and heavy metals that are toxic to animals. Do a second cleaning sweep in the morning before letting animals access your yards.

If you’re not sure if your pet may have been exposed to or ingested fireworks — lit or unlit — watch for the following signs, which vary depending on the type and amount ingested. Contact your vet immediately.

    • Abdominal Pain
    • Vomiting
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Shallow breathing
    • Jaundice
    • Acute kidney failure

Having a game plan to keep your pets safe during the holiday ensures that you won’t spend July 5th searching the streets and shelters. If your dog or cat could talk, they’d thank you for it.



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.

Heat Safety for Pets

Heat Safety for Pets

Just as hot summer days can be dangerous for people, they also put our 4-legged companions at risk of heat stress.

When the temperature soars this season, follow the 9 tips below to keep your pets safe and healthy.

  1. Never Leave Pets in a Parked Car

In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside your car rises almost 20°F. In 20 minutes, it’s up by 30°F, and in 60 minutes — it’s almost 40°F hotter than the temperature outside. So, even when windows are cracked, your car’s in the shade or “it’ll just take a minute,” never leave your pet in a parked vehicle.

  1. Keep the Water Dish Full

Making sure your pet has plenty of fresh, clean water is important all the time, but especially when it’s hot or humid out. They can get dehydrated quickly, so keep an eye on their bowl (or put an extra out). And on the topic of pet bowls, what’s the gold standard for cleaning? A daily wash with hot water, air-dry, and once-a-week sanitizing.

  1. Watch the Asphalt

On hot days, a rule of thumb is to put your hand on the pavement and wait 7 seconds. If it’s too hot, that means it’s unsafe for your dog’s paws, which can suffer burns. Also, remember pets’ bodies are much closer to the ground, so absorb more of the radiating heat and can overheat.

  1. Mind the Fireworks

They’re why the Thundershirt® was invented. Though some pets are oblivious to fireworks, many are scared and some even terrified. During fireworks-heavy holidays, keep your pets in a quiet, secure area of your home (not outside). And never use fireworks around them, as they can potentially get burned or traumatized.

  1. Don’t Shave Your Dog

Owners of long-haired dogs sometimes get side-eye while out for dog walks in the summer months, but it turns out that dogs’ coats have evolved to protect them against cold and hot temperatures. Leaving his coat au naturel will help him better regulate his temperature and protect against sunburn. For cats, you can brush them more often during hot weather to help them shed.

  1. Know How Pets Cool Themselves

Dogs use panting, not sweating, to keep cool. They’ll also seek shady spots and drink a lot of water to replenish moisture lost through evaporation. A cat’s first line of defense is finding a cool surface or dark place to wait out the heat. They’ll also lick their coats more often, which allows saliva to evaporate and cause a cooling effect.

  1. Watch for Signs of Overheating

Symptoms of overheating include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, weakness or collapse, glazed eyes, increased heart rate, excessive drooling, or vomiting. Their body temperature rises above 104°F and their gum coloration turns bright red, pale or blueish purple. If your pet is overheated, take steps to cool them down (douse them in room temperature water, move them to shade or A/C) and contact your vet immediately. Animals with flat faces (e.g. Persian cats, pugs) are more susceptible to heat stress.

  1. Keep Exercise Light

Limit your pets’ exercise on especially hot days. Shift walks to the early morning or evening and always carry water to keep your dog from dehydrating.

  1. Mind the Humidity

It’s not just the temperature, but the humidity, that affects animals. They pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs (thus cooling themselves), so when the water content in the air rises their cooling system is affected. The more humid, the greater risk they face for overheating. Use extra caution on humid days.


Once you know what to look for and pay attention to, keeping your pets safe in the heat becomes second nature.



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.

What To Do Before Bringing Home a New Pet

What To Do Before Bringing Home a New Pet

It’s no secret that we love our pets.  A study done by The American Pet Products Association (APPA) found that 68% of households in the United States owned at least one pet. These furry family members not only keep us company, but they are also linked to many other health benefits like bringing happiness,  lowering stress, and even increasing fitness levels.

So, when you decide it is time for you to get a pet of your own, it’s important to do your research on what to do before you bring a new four-legged (or 2 legged) friend into your life.

Whether this is your first pet or your 4th, follow these tips to make sure you and your family are ready for your new arrival.


Check Your Budget

American’s spend about $52 billion annually on their pets and that number continues to rise by the billion every year. Broken down the costs include pet fees, food, supplies, medicine, vet care, and other services like grooming and boarding. That’s not even including all of the extra toys and accessories you might buy or the cost of pet insurance.

Before you get a pet, make sure you factor all of the associated costs into your budget and make sure you will be able to keep and financially supporting it long-term.


Do the Research

Many municipalities, HOA’s, and rentals have strict rules regarding pets and different breeds of pets. Before you go out and search for a pet, get the proper approval first.

It is also a good idea to research the different breeds of an animal that will best suit you. For example, if you are active and want a pet to exercise with, you might want a larger dog that has a lot of energy, like a Border Collie or an English Setter.

Lastly, research highly-rated veterinarians or animal hospitals in your area. If your pet is extremely young, numerous vet visits are likely in your future, so find a vet that is close by and highly trusted. If you can’t find one reach out to an animal shelter near you, and they should be able to assist.


Make Sure It Will Fit Into Your Lifestyle

If the lifestyle you live has no room for a pet, do not get a pet. We cannot stress this enough. If your life is extremely busy and you are not home enough to take care of an animal or properly train them, do not get one. Animals need time and attention, just like humans, and it will take them a while to develop good habits; so if you don’t have the time or money, save getting a pet for the future.

Before you adopt or purchase a new pet, go together as a family to meet it and see if it would be a good fit. You can even bring older pets to see if they get along. If a meet and greet is not possible, introduce new pets to other pets slowly, and teach children how to properly interact with the new animal.

If you really want a pet but aren’t sure which one would fit into your family you could always reach out to your local shelter and ask staff members what kind of animal would fit your needs.


Pet-Proof Your Home

When you get a new pet, it’s safety becomes your responsibility. That means you will need to pet-proof your home. Get down to your pet’s eye-level and move objects that could cause them harm like, wires, cords, cleaning supplies, hazardous plants,  food, plastic or glass décor, trashcans, etc.

If you are getting an animal with sharp claws, like a cat, make sure you have scratching posts available and use the right protection for your furniture.

You should also pet-proof the outside of your home. Make sure your fence is sturdy and no poles need to be replaced, check window screens, and pick up all trash and debris.


Find A Pet!

          Go find your new best friend!

If you plan on adopting you can find a shelter near you on petfinder.com or adoptapet.com



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.



Pet Safety Tips for Winter

Pet Safety Tips for Winter

Even though they are covered in fur, pets still feel the effects of winter weather. Temperatures below freezing with wind chill can cause serious harm, sickness, or even death to domesticated animals, like cats and dogs.

Animals need protection from the cold, just like humans. If you aren’t sure whether it is too cold for you pet to be outside, a good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you to stay outside for long periods, then it is probably too cold for them as well.

Keep your pet safe and warm all winter long by following these pet safety tips for winter.


Give Them Shelter

If your pet doesn’t live inside already, bring them inside for the winter and create a space for them in an area of your home that is not drafty. If this is not an option for you, then you must create a shelter for them where they can escape the elements. The shelter should be raised and waterproof, faced away from the wind, and either insulated or packed with plenty of blankets and straw.


Protect Their Paws

If there is snow or ice on the ground make sure the de-icing chemicals you use are not harmful to your pet. If your dog is indoors, it is also important to wipe its wet paws when it comes inside to avoid the ingestion of those chemicals and to prevent redness and irritation. If you go on winter walks, put Vaseline or snow booties on their paws to protect them.


Know Their Limits

Dogs and cats are susceptible to Hypothermia and Frostbite, so even if your pet is having fun playing in the snow, it is important not to keep them outside for long periods. Set outdoor limits by assessing their age and breed, for example small, short-haired dogs cannot spend as long of time outside as large, long-haired dogs, and the same goes for old or very young dogs.


Keep Away From Anti-Freeze

Anti-freeze is in abundance during the winter, but as little as a lick can cause kidney failure in your pet. Keep your anti-freeze stored away out of reach and be sure to immediately clean up any spills or leaks in your garage. When on walks, beware of unknown puddles in driveways or parking lots.


Check Food and Water

If your pet is indoors, it will typically be getting less exercise during this time of year. So if you feel like your pet is gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, monitor its food consumption. On the other hand, if your pet is outdoors, it will need to burn more calories to keep warm. Make sure you are feeding it frequently with more hardy meals. Also, be sure to check their water dish every few hours to make sure it has not frozen over.


Be Prepared

If a snow or ice storm knocks out your power or makes travel impossible, make sure you have stocked up on the proper food and medication for your pet. In the event of an emergency, be sure to also include supplies for them in your Emergency Preparedness Kit.


We know how much your pets mean to you. That’s why California Casualty automatically includes free Pet Injury Coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. Get a free coverage comparison today! Contact a California Casualty adviser at 1.866.704.8614 or https://www.calcas.com.


Related Articles:

Disaster Preparation for Pets

Questions to Ask Before Boarding Your Pet

Pet Passenger Safety Tips


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.



Disaster Preparation for Pets

Disaster Preparation for Pets

Our pets are precious members of the family. We take them on adventures and shower them with treats and love. However, when it comes to disaster situations, our fur babies are often an after-thought, and sadly, many suffer and are left behind when a natural disaster hits.


disaster prep for pets


September is National Preparedness Month. Each year we are reminded to prepare ourselves for emergency disasters in our home and communities. So, while you get your emergency plans in place, don’t forget to include your animals!

Take these actions and precautions before a calamity strikes to put your mind at ease and save your pet’s life.

  1. Have an evacuation plan that includes your pet and it’s necessities. Include food, leash, medications, a blanket (with your scent), water, and copies of vet records and vaccinations.
  2. Bring your pet inside. If you need to evacuate, have a crate or duffel on hand that you can easily transport them in.
  3. Place a rescue alert sticker on home door or window. This should be visible to rescuers, in case you are unable to get home. Available online, at pet stores, veterinarians, or from the ASPCA.
  4. Microchip your pets and update collar tags. Make sure the microchip is registered and up-to-date with your current information.
  5. Keep in mind many evacuation shelters do not take pets. Research pet-friendly hotels, shelters, and family/friends who will take in you and your pet in a disaster.
  6. Carry recent pictures of your pet. In case you get separated, keep a good photo of them sitting and standing for size/coat reference.

Save My Pet!

Having a disaster preparation plan in place for your pets will play a key role in saving their life in the event of an emergency. If you need help putting a plan in place, contact BringFido’s Canine Concierge. They will contact hotels and shelters across the nation to help you find somewhere for your pet. Plus, they will even give you advice on disaster preparation for pets!

Remember, pets can sense anxiety and become nervous, especially during high stress times like emergencies. It is important to give them TLC and let them know they will be ok.

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. In the event of a disaster know you and your pet are taken care of by adding Pet Insurance by Pets Best to your existing California Casualty policy and save up to 90% on all emergency vet bills. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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