Illinois pet parents: Whether you’ve got a Chinook in Chicago, or a Pug in Peoria, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through the hidden gems and insider tips of being an Illinois pet parent, and while we’re at it, we’ll go through the ins-and-outs of pet insurance so you can keep your furry companion (and your wallet) covered from hefty veterinary bills.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance helps cover the costs of your vet bills. You pay a monthly premium to the insurance company, and in exchange, you can care for your canine or feline fur fam without stressing about the costs.

With Lemonade pet insurance, there are a few different ways to customize your policy with our coverage options:

For starters, a base Lemonade pet health insurance policy will help cover the costs of tests, treatments, and medication if your dog or cat has an unexpected accident or illness.

A base policy is great for the unexpected things in your fur fam’s future, but Lemonade also offers preventative care packages designed to keep your pet healthy and helps cover expenses you’re probably already paying for. By adding this package to a Lemonade policy, you’ll also get access to live medical chat and be covered for all kinds of things—like your annual wellness exam, blood tests, vaccinations, and more. Some exclusions may apply.

 Lemonade offers a Preventative, Preventative+, and a Puppy/Kitten Preventative package. Depending on your pet’s age, this package covers things like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, microchipping, and flea and tick treatments.

The fun doesn’t stop there. You can also customize your Lemonade policy by adding a physical therapy or vet visit fees add-on to take the bite out of pricey treatments and trips to the vet.

Here’s an example of how a Lemonade pet insurance policy works:

  1. Buy a policy. You answer a few quick questions about your German Shepherd, Wrigley, and build your pet’s policy with the help of our friendly AI chatbot. The monthly premium you pay is determined by a few factors, mostly things that you can customize, like your coverage package, your annual deductible, your co-insurance, and the annual limit on your plan. (If you want, you can take a deeper dive into how pet insurance works to help you build your perfect policy.) Pet insurance coverage with Lemonade can cost as little as $10/month. Here’s a handy breakdown of the whole (simple) process.
  2. Go to the vet. You rush Wrigley to the vet after he broke his leg from going too hard at the dog park. The exam, x-ray, and cast cost you $1,000. Woof. But because you have pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about the full amount. Get the scoop on what we cover here.
  3. Get your money back. Wrigley is safely on the mend, and you get up to a $900 reimbursement back in your pocket from Lemonade!

It’s worth noting that as your dog ages, they will require more veterinary care and treatments, which is why it pays to take out a pet insurance policy for your dog as early as possible. If you try to sign your 13-year-old dog up for insurance for the first time, they might be declined due to their age; either way, they’re more likely to have pre-existing conditions that won’t be covered by insurance. But if you get your new puppy a Lemonade policy right away, you’ll be able to continue renewing their policy as they age.

Apply now to get your free pet insurance quote.

Safeguard your pet from Illinois threats

Snakes, spiders, plants, oh my! Illinois might enjoy a balanced continental climate without the threat of too many natural disasters. Still, if you’re an Illinois pet parent, to avoid an emergency trip to the vet, you should be aware of the local dangers.

Snakes

Illinois is home to forty native snake species, four of which are venomous, the cottonmouth, copperhead, timber rattlesnake, and the massasauga. The best way you can prevent your pet from getting a snake bite is by paying attention. If you’re hiking in nature, keep your dog on a leash so you can pull them back quickly if a snake is in the area. During daytime hours, snakes love basking in the sunshine on rocks and logs. Piles of timber and leaves are ideal hiding places for a slithering visitor so keep those off your property. If you know that a snake has bitten your pet, don’t waste a moment trying to figure out whether it was venomous or not. Take them to the vet asap. Don’t try to kill the snake to bring with you either—it’s unnecessary to determine the bite’s toxicity and dangerous for you as well. Keep your pet calm, and keep the bitten area below the heart if you can. Some of the options for snakebite treatment for cats and dogs include antibiotics, pain medication, intravenous fluids, and antivenom for the occasional severe case.

Don’t tread on me

Black widow and brown recluse spiders

Most of the spiders native to Illinois are not poisonous. However, you need to watch out for the black widow and brown recluse spiders. It is well-known how poisonous the female black widow is. However, she will only bite under provocation. The brown recluse spider is nocturnal and is also not aggressive unless agitated. Dark and warm environments are favorite spots for both black widows and brown recluses, such as your shed, garage, or attic. Your feline could end up with multiple severe bites if they try to “catfight” with a dangerous spider, especially since they love playing with their prey. 

A brown recluse bite can lead to necrosis, which is severe local tissue destruction. Symptoms of brown recluse bites include swelling, blistering, pain, and a bullseye pattern around the bite (this is the cells dying from the venom). Black widow bite symptoms include tremors, extreme pain, muscle stiffness, and even paralysis. Both spiders can cause disease in cats and dogs, and both have the potential to be fatal in pets. If you suspect a spider attack, take your pet to the animal hospital ASAP.

Black widow bites can be treated with pain medication, IV fluids, muscle relaxants, and antivenom. Treatments for brown recluse bites include antibiotics, a drug called Lepsone, and thorough antiseptic cleaning. 

Toxic plants

Most fur parents are aware of the dangers of chocolate, onions, and tomatoes being toxic foods for their fur babies. But how many take into consideration the toxic plants found in nature?

When your four-legged family member hangs out in the backyard, or goes for a walk, keep your eyes peeled for these toxic plants, commonly found in Illinois. Your pet should immediately be taken to the vet if you suspect they have ingested a harmful plant. The ASPCA animal poison control is also a good place to turn to. Here is their phone number: (888)-426-4435. You can also contact the Illinois Poison Center. Their poison center helpline number is: 1-800-222-1222. 

The list of toxic plants that are native to Illinois is long. This is not a comprehensive list of plants that are poisonous for your pets, but a few that are highly toxic are listed below. Contact your local veterinarian immediately if your fur babies ingest any plant that you are unfamiliar with.

Name of plantToxic to dogsToxic to cats
St. John’s Wort
European Yew
Hyacinth
Azalea Baneberry
Hydrangea
Lantana
Lily Of The Valley
Hydrangeas are a danger for your pets

Top Illinois dog parks

Energetic pup? Let them run wild in one of Illinois’s many off-leash dog parks. Just make sure your pup’s vaccinations are up-to-date and that they are spayed or neutered before you let them cut loose.

  • Friends Forever Humane Society Dog Park. There is a reason this dog park has been recognized as one of the top dog parks in the country by the State of Illinois, as well as by Pet Fancy Magazine. Located in Freeport, it is much more than just a place for Fido to play. The Friends Forever Humane Society is also a non-profit organization that has been saving pets in need since 1953 and has programs to adopt, foster, and sponsor pets. In a place that promotes animal welfare and educates the public, your pup can enjoy ten acres to romp and play. There is even a large pond only for dogs where your best friend can do laps or make a splash! This is a dog park that makes the world a better place. 
  • Jackson Bark. Explore, climb to new heights, take a dip, and walk your talk at Jackson Bark. This dog park, one of the largest in Chicago, is unique in that over 90% of the park was built using recycled materials! It is full of agility training equipment, so your pooch can run up and down and all around. There are plenty of amenities such as watering stations and a homemade fire hydrant that spills into doggie pools. In the summer, they host a “Picnic” and in October a “Howloween Pawty.” It is rated five bones on Bring Fido with raving reviews, calling Jackson Bark “one of the coolest dog parks in the area,” “doggy heaven,” “a pup amusement park,” “a doggie wonderland”, and a “Chicago pup paradise.”   
  • Wiggly Field Dog Park. Located in the Oregon Park District of Chicago, Wiggly Field Dog Park was the first of its kind established in the area. The one-acre park is divided into two areas: an agility training area, and an open running design where your furry friend can run wild from dawn until dusk. While you are in the area, go on a geocaching adventure, bike on the Oregon Park trails, or take a dip in the Nash Pool. 
  • Wag’ N Paddle. Who said only humans need a membership to the pool? A 9,000 square foot indoor dog park, Wag’ N Paddle is the first of its kind. Located in the Naperville area, Wag’N Paddle features climate control and heated swimming pools! More than a pool and a park, they offer training sessions with qualified dog trainers or swimming lessons for senior dogs. This place has been thought out with such care, even the flooring is designed with special impermeable material with an antimicrobial layer, which inhibits bacterial growth and keeps your pooch’s paws cushioned and joints well-supported. Splurge on a membership to enjoy unlimited access for your best friend. They also offer daycare services, boarding facilities, and training
  • Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve. Explore the woodlands of Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve with your pup. Bisected by the West Branch DuPage River, pet parents and pups alike can wander the thirty-four acres of this picturesque off-leash dog area. The entire Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve is an impressive expanse of 1,172 acres with 5.6 miles of beautiful trails that connect to Mallard Lake, West Branch, and the Bartlett Park District trail system. If you prefer to wind down and be renewed by the sights and sounds of nature, this is the dog park for you. 
Some Chicago pups trying to beat the summer heat

Support Illinois-based pet businesses

Support small Illinois businesses while keeping your best friend totally pampered!

  • Urban Pooch Canine Life Center. With a state-of-the-art 1,700 square-foot center, it is no exaggeration to say Urban Pooch has literally everything you could possibly need for your urban pup. Located in the vibrant Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago, they provide grooming, boarding, and daycare services, nutritional counseling, dog training, and even have a dog bakery and a self-service dog wash! You can order pet food and supplies in-store or shop online, and they offer local delivery. Your pet can get picked up and dropped off by their air-conditioned Playtime Express, get a canine massage, or get their Mugshot taken by onsite photographers to capture the love. It’s really no wonder at all that Urban Pooch was voted the best pet store in Chicago as part of the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago issue. 
  • Liz’s Pet Shop. Are you looking for a holistic approach to feeding your pets? Liz’s Pet Shop is an expert in nutritional support, emphasizing holistic natural care and the largest selection of raw diets in Chicago. This shop offers nutritional counseling, curbside pickup, local delivery, online shopping, and pickup services for your fur baby. Be an empowered pet parent by providing the highest quality diet you possibly can. 
  • Pets Etc. Pets Etc., located in Plainfield, has pet food, supplies, and offers grooming services. More than a food supply store, this shop also offers vacation services, aquarium maintenance, pet sitting, and dog walking. Satisfaction is guaranteed by their friendly staff. They are also proactive about helping the pet community. Check out their adoption events that they host with local shelters and rescues. 
  • Pampered Pet Services Resort & Spa. Located in Dundee, this full-service pet care provider offers dog boarding, dog daycare, dog training, dog swimming therapy, pet sitting, and dog grooming. They think of your pets as their kids! Pampered is not just a word for how your pooch will feel in their care, but an acronym for the quality of service they provide: professional pet services, accessible, much fun for your pets, pet first aid trained/certified, extras you will appreciate, ready 365 days a year, emergency service, dependable. The owner, Sandy Hendrickson, has been caring for an array of animals for her entire life as a labor of love. You can stop by anytime during opening hours for a tour of the Resort and Spa.
  • Tails to Remember Pet Services. This pet service provider offers affordable personalized care so that you can spend time with your furry family, and share the good memories that you had together. The area’s only exclusive pet service provider located in Springfield, they are a lifelong, full-service pet campus. They offer pet grooming and self-service wash, as well as memorials, gifts, and keepsakes.  

Before we go…

Being a pet parent is just the best, isn’t it? The companionship, the kisses, the laughter! Pets add so much to our lives. The love that Illinois pet owners have for their furry companions is real. In fact, an article from Illinois State University found that pets provide comfort even for those working remotely. It’s a real puppy love “tail of our times.”  

Of course, our pets are dear to us, but vet bills can really take a gnaw at our finances, which is why more and more pet parents decide that pet insurance is the best thing they can do. Learn more about whether pet insurance is the right choice for you and how much pet insurance costs. Learn more about whether pet insurance is the right choice for you and how much pet insurance costs, or just get a quote with Lemonade. It’s fast, easy—and fun! 

BTW, we just launched Lemonade Car in the Land of Lincoln. If you and your fur fam want to drive in style, go ahead and check out Lemonade’s brand-new car insurance, and get your free quote. Learn more about Lemonade Car here.

categories: #Pet

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