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Service Dog Health and Safety

  /  Service Dog Health and Safety

This year, select Anthem Medicare Advantage plans will offer members the option to receive support for their service dog (food, leash, vest) as part of their health insurance plan. Anthem, Inc.’s affiliated health plans in more than a dozen states will offer wellness, social and support benefits, including support for service dogs, in many of their 2020 Medicare Advantage plans. Consumers who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans that offer these benefits and qualify for the service dog support benefit can select this benefit, at no additional cost to them. This benefit includes an annual allowance for up to $500 to help pay for items used to care for their service dog, such as food, leashes and vests. Consumers must have a qualifying chronic condition and service dogs must meet the requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and have approval from their healthcare provider. Other social and support service options offered as part of the benefits package in these Medicare Advantage plans include transportation, nutritional support, a fitness device, pest control, and sessions with a dietitian and home-delivered pantry staples. These benefits are part of Anthem’s commitment to whole-person health – an approach to healthcare that takes into account the drivers of health, including medical, behavioral, and environmental obstacles. “When we looked at the underlying medical, behavioral, and environmental obstacles our members face, we designed an expanded menu of wellness services,” said Josh Martin, President of Anthem’s Medicare West Region. “Last year, we led the industry in offering robust Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits, and saw strong demand for services such as alternative medicine, transportation, and the allowance for assistive devices. Our 2020 benefits will help remove hurdles to healthier living for our Medicare Advantage members – from nutrition counseling and fitness tracking to pest control and service dog support – by expanding our social and support benefits.” Members who are enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plans will have access to this package of wellness benefits, at no extra cost. Members should consult their Evidence of Coverage document for specific benefit details as benefits may vary by plan. Pest Control: Quarterly preventive treatments to regulate or eliminate the intrusion of household pests that may impact a chronic condition. (New in 2020) Prescribed Meals: 2 meals per day for 90 days delivered to home. Based on qualifying clinical criteria, health plan consumer receives a prescription for meals and periodic appointments with a registered dietitian. In-Home

Halloween 2013 is tomorrow and with it comes fall festivals, parties and trick-or-treating. While Halloween events are fun and exciting for the entire family, this most spooky of nights also carries many dangers, particularly for four-legged pack members. Before heading out to celebrate Halloween 2013, review our list of precautions to learn how to keep you and your Service Dog safe and your night of frights as trouble-free as possible.

Puppies need exercise and activity. However, growing puppies, especially large breed puppies, should avoid heavy, jarring activities or exercise including lots of twisting and turning. Too much jumping and turning can injure growing bones. In order to preserve your puppy's joint health and structure, avoid these 5 activities. Running on Hard Surfaces Repetitive impact on hard surfaces, like running, can jam a puppy's long bones and prevent proper joint development. While puppies often enjoy wrestling and zooming about, such activities should be age-appropriate and kept to softer surfaces, like grass. Puppies naturally run and shouldn't be limited. However, they shouldn't be forced to run or walk long distances. Jumping Jumping results in huge amounts of force being distributed across growing joints. Young puppies should keep four on the floor as much as possible. Injuries to knees, ankles, hips, or shoulders can result in malformation or lasting issues later in life. "Jumping" includes things like jumping out of the car, off the couch, or in agility training. Frisbee Frisbee involves lots of running, jumping, twisting, leaping, and hard landings, often while in a hyper excited state. As such, full-on disc play should be avoided until growth plate closure can be confirmed. if you'd like to introduce your puppy to frisbee, learn to throw rollers along the ground for them. Treadmilling Treadmilling is the epitome of repetitive activity. It also forces the puppy or dog into a fixed gait or movement pattern. Puppies should avoid treadmilling outside of some very light introductions to moving surfaces. Forced exercise does nothing good for puppies, especially not for their growth and joint health. Walking on Slippery Surfaces Slippery surfaces can cause puppies to splay out, slide, or land in puddled heaps while running. While adorable, this activity isn't safe for developing joints. If you have hardwood or tile floors, consider putting down runners or rugs.  

The leaves are starting to change, there's bit of a chill in the air, and many people are pulling out their trusty hoodies and apple cider recipes. Fall is a beautiful time of year, but it also heralds the holiday season. Here are 10 autumn safety tips to keep in mind for your Service Dog as you both begin to enjoy this wonderful time of year.

Some variation of the "DO NOT DISTRACT" patch regularly appears on Service Dog vests, jackets, and harnesses. However, Service Dog handlers still report that members of the public frequently ignore the patch. Distracting a Service Dog is dangerous for both the dog and handler. Frequently, though, people don't know what distracts Service Dogs! Keep reading to learn more about distractions, Service Dogs, and how to avoid causing problems for working Service Dog teams you see in public. Every Service Dog handler, trainer, and puppy raiser has dozens of stories about members of the public distracting their Service Dog or Service Dog in Training (SDiT). Dog lovers often see a Service Dog working in a store and want to engage with the dog or handler. Many don't realize, though, that touching, talking to, making noises at, or offering food to a Service Dog is not only annoying but can also be dangerous. Distracted Service Dogs pull their focus away from their handler and their job to focus on the person engaging them. For some teams, even a split-second shift in focus can result in falls, injury, or other issues. What's the Rule About Interacting With Service Dogs? A simple rule exists for engaging Service Dogs in public: don't. Avoid talking to them. Don't use a baby voice or make kissy sounds. Don't crouch down or try to make them look at you. Resist petting them without explicit permission from the handler. Don't offer food, treats, tidbits, or toys. Don't block their way or try to scare them. Basically, pretend the Service Dog doesn't exist and you'll be doing just fine. Everything someone does that is intended to get a reaction from the dog counts as a distraction. The solution is simple: just let the Service Dog work in peace. Engage directly with the handler if necessary for everyday interaction or business. What Are Common Distractions? Service Dog Distractions: Touch and Petting Americans tend to be a bunch of dog-loving people. Many people enjoy interacting with dogs and like petting them. When these people see a dog in public they often assume the dog is friendly and immediately reach out to pet or touch them. One of the most common complaints Service Dog handlers and trainers voice is that people ignore their "DO NOT PET" patch. They often report that people ignore the patch no matter how big or brightly colored it appears! Touching, petting or patting Service Dogs

Like human beings, animals also need proper diet and nutrients. All dogs need a balanced diet, but working dogs often have a more active lifestyle than the average pet. It's vital they get the nutrition they need. It's important to provide a certain combination of fats, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, and water every day to function normally. Feeding your dog healthy food requires a proper understanding of what dog food is suitable for their health. Learn what a balanced diet really means for dogs. Reading the labels on your dog food can help you choose the best balanced diet for your dog for each specific stage of their life. Pet food manufacturers can also provide hypoallergenic nutrition to control particular health conditions like kidney and heart diseases. Every nutrient in dog’s food plays an essential role in the development. Without adequate nutrients, your dog would not be able to build and repair muscles, bones, and teeth. They may not perform daily activities with ease. Fats provide them energy, help to keep their skin and hair coat healthy and shiny, also improve their brain functioning. Minerals and vitamins are necessary for nerve conduction and muscle contraction, and they also work to prevent disease. Carbohydrate is a source of quick energy and activeness. Proteins provide energy and help with muscles growth and functioning. If you want to learn more about the needs and proper and balanced diet of your pet you can visit zooawesome.com 1.    What is a Healthy Dog Diet? There is a common question that every pet owner ask that a wide variety of dog foods available in the market which they should buy for pets. Nutritional diet is a critical component for dogs, and what you choose to feed them is not a decision that you can take lightly. Generally, there are two types of foods when it comes to selecting a healthy dog diet commercially available vs. home-prepared food. In the commercially available menu, there are several canned foods and variety of kibbles and some raw-diets. On the other side, in a home-prepared diet, there are raw feeding and home-cooked are available. 2.    Commercially Available Dog Diets Most people prefer canned food and kibble. When you are buying food for your pet, keep one thing in mind that dogs love to eat meat. If you are not sure about what your pet likes to eat, look at the dog's teeth. Dogs that have canines they are

In America, the 4th of July is a day full of celebration. With cookouts, parades, sparklers, crowds, fireworks, noise, activity, events and chaos galore, Independence Day can be difficult not only for pets, but also for working K-9s, Service Dogs, and their handlers. Before joining a holiday celebration with your canine partner, here are some points to consider.

When temperatures soar, keeping your Service Dog cool, comfortable, and safe often proves challenging. Here are 6 ways to help your Service Dog beat the heat this summer.  Cool Treats Dog ice cream offers tons of options to help cool your dog down. It's easy to make at home and there's a recipe for everyone and every need. At its simplest, you can freeze kibble and water into cubes or into Kongs. You can bend peanut butter and bananas into a cream or purchase pre-made ice creams that are dog safe. However, you do it, have fun! Frozen Busy Buckets What do you get when you put stuffed kongs, swirls of peanut butter kibble, chunks of fruit and veggies, cloth strips, and other durable toys into a bucket, fill the bucket with water, and then freeze it? A ton of fun, that's what! These fun DIY enrichment toys are often called "busy buckets" and they keep dogs happy for hours! Stick a rope into the bucket through the middle with 2-3 feet sticking out the top before you freeze it. When it's frozen, pull it out of the bucket and hang it up. Your dog will work to get the goodies as the water melts, revealing them bit by bit. Pool Swimming provides great exercise and a good way to cool down! From a baby pool full of water or a bag of ice to creeks to full-size swimming pools, lots of dogs enjoy taking a dip. Be safe while swimming. Take appropriate breaks, use a life jacket in unfamiliar water, and don't make a scared dog get in the water. Paw Protection Hot pavement, asphalt, and other surfaces burn paws. Boots, eye protection, cooling coats, and other tools help keep your Service Dog more comfortable while out and about during the summer. Read more about summer safety for Service Dogs. Vehicle Safety Dogs should never be left in a hot vehicle. Many tools exist, though, to make vehicles safer for dogs who need to stay in one. Wifi dongles allow visual monitoring of your vehicle and dog while you're indoors. Specialize crate fans and nozzles that pull cold air from the front into the back of the vehicle help prevent hot spots and lack of circulation. Temperature regulation units keep your A/C running and alert you if the internal temp of the vehicle rises beyond a certain level. If you use a temperature regulation system, purchase one that alerts

There has been a lot of talk about vaccinations lately. People are arguing whether or not they are necessary, questioning if they harm children and adults and what happens after you are vaccinated. It’s difficult because the facts are often treated as if they're up for debate. They are not. Vaccinations are overwhelmingly positive and extremely beneficial for our society. But how important is it to vaccinate your pet? Statistics are showing that not only are people refraining vaccinating themselves and their kids, they are choosing to keep their pets from being vaccinated as well. While it may be up to an individual whether or not they want to be vaccinated themselves, it is irresponsible when people don’t vaccinate their children and pets who cannot choose to make that decision for themselves. The Decline of Pet Vaccinations The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled the anti-vaccination movement the top threat to global health. This may seem like an over-exaggeration, but it it’s really not. Modern medicine and the health of our society has depended upon vaccinations to mitigate diseases like measles and polio, and this is at risk when people avoid vaccinations. The decline of vaccinations doesn’t just concern humans — now some pet owners are choosing not to vaccinate their animals either. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has reported that the number of pet vaccinations have gone down, and they worry that this threat will continue to affect animals. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association has made a statement saying that vaccines prevent millions of animal diseases and deaths every year. The annual report from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals surveyed over 4,600 pet owners. The study found that about a quarter of dogs, or 2.2 million, were not vaccinated as puppies. The people said that the most common reason they did not vaccinate their dog was that it "isn’t necessary." This couldn’t be further from the truth. Vaccinations have already prevented the spread of disease and now that is being put at risk. It may be difficult to convince people to get vaccinations, but we can start by encouraging people to vaccinate their pets. Vaccines & Pet Insurance Many people avoid vaccinations because of the cost. If your pet is not insured, it can become very expensive according to MoneyPug, a site used to compare pet insurance. If you have pet insurance, you may be more inclined to visit the vet which