Maryland pet parents: Whether you’ve got an akita in Annapolis or a balinese in Baltimore, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through the hidden gems and insider tips of being an Maryland 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, and enjoy peace of mind.
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:
- Buy a policy. You answer a few quick questions about your German Shepherd, Terp, 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.
- Go to the vet. You rush Terp 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.
- Get your money back. Terp 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.
Protect your pet from Maryland threats
With its temperate climate, more than 140,000 acres of state parks, and 95,000 miles of coastline to explore with your furry family member, Maryland is a great place to be a pet owner. To keep your furry pal in tip top condition, it’s best to be aware of some of the threats they can face when exploring the natural world, and how to keep them safe.
These ugly critters are a particular concern in Maryland for dogs, cats, and their humans alike. In people, the incidence of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease more than doubled in the Maryland area between 2004 and 2016 according to the CDC, and our furry friends are no less susceptible.
There are six tick species commonly found in the state: American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, deer ticks, lone star ticks, gulf coast ticks, and asian longhorned ticks, which are a newcomer to the region. All are most active between spring and fall, although they can occasionally be found in winter too.
As ticks lurk in brush, woodland, and long grass, pets should be checked over regularly to make sure they haven’t picked up any of these parasites. Ticks favor warm, dark areas, so particular attention should be paid to the inside of ears, around the eyes, under collars, between toes, under tails, by their ‘elbow’ behind front legs, and on the inside of back legs.
If you do find a tick, use tweezers or a tick removal tool to grasp the tick tightly by the head, and pull straight upwards. Carefully dispose of the tick to make sure it doesn’t reattach to anyone in the household, and clean the area with soap and water.
Maryland is home to 27 species of snakes, of which two are venomous: the copperhead, and the timber rattlesnake.
Dogs and cats alike love to explore their surroundings, especially the undergrowth, which is a snake’s natural habitat. While snakes are naturally shy, they will strike if they feel threatened. Unfortunately some 150,000 dogs and cats are bitten each year.
It’s important to recognize a snake bite, as you may not see the snake at all unless it’s out in the open. Signs to look out for are puncture marks, vomiting, diarrhea, an unsteady gait, weakness, and unconsciousness. A venomous bite will also cause swelling.
It’s not a good idea to put ice on the swelling, apply a tourniquet, or make an incision near the wound, all of which can cause complications. Instead, take your pet to your vet as quickly as possible. It’s also not necessary to kill the snake for identification; not only is this dangerous, but the venom can be identified and treated using urine and other tests. However, if you can safely take a photo of the snake to aid identification, that will help your vet.
Maryland enjoys a temperate climate with few extreme weather events, but counter-intuitively, this can leave our furry friends at greater risk, as pet owners are less likely to remember to take precautions against hot or cold weather.
We all love the summer, but hot days can cause animals to suffer heat stroke and dehydration. The ASPCA advises that pets have ready access to plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outside, and that they be kept indoors on particularly hot days.
Pet breeds with flat faces, such as pugs or Persian cats overheat faster than other breeds, as their short snout makes panting harder. Elderly, young, or overweight animals are also more at risk, as are pets with very thick or dark coats. That said, fur can be clipped but shouldn’t be shaved, as it offers protection from sunburn.
And it should go without saying that dogs should never be left in cars on hot days. The average temperature in Maryland in the summer months is in the mid to high 80s. On an 85 degree day, it takes just ten minutes for the inside of a car to reach 102 degrees, and within half an hour the temperature reaches a scorching 120 degrees.
At the other extreme, winter weather poses a problem of its own. Pets left outside can freeze to death in cold weather, despite their furry coats. The rule is: if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. The ASPCA advises that pets not be left in cars in the winter either, as the metal frames can act as refrigerators, dropping the temperature inside even further.
For dogs, regular walks in muddy, slushy conditions can cause paw pads to become dry and chapped. For healthy paws, washing and towel drying your dog’s feet to clean off ice, mud and anti-icing chemicals should be part of your pet’s routine care following each walk. Give regular check-ups to ensure the skin on paw pads is in good condition, and consider applying petroleum jelly to paw pads before walks if winter weather is taking its toll.
Top Maryland dog parks
Every city dwelling dog-owner knows that access to parks is a must for our four-legged family members, and Maryland is not short on options. Just don’t forget to make sure your pooch us up to date with vaccinations and spayed or neutered before letting them mingle with their canine pals.
Quiet Waters Dog Park: This dog park offers something for everyone: separate areas for large and small breeds, a beach for water-lovers, surrounding trails for wider adventures, and after you’ve had your fill of fun, a dog wash and coffee shop to relax.
Locust Point Dog Park at Latrobe Park. An astroturfed surface helps maintain healthy paws, especially in winter, and while there are plenty of tree trunks and rocks for playful pups to explore. There’s even a waterslide for more adventurous canines, while for small and senior dogs have their own quieter hours between 9-10am and 3-4pm daily.
Cabin John Dog Park, Bethseda. This park has a more natural woodland design, with over an acre of space covered by a mulch flooring for dogs to gambol around in. As well as the trees providing plenty of shade, it also features rock formations for dogs to climb and explore, and fresh water to keep them hydrated.
Patterson Dog Park. Another one for Baltimore-based dog lovers, Patterson was voted “Best Place for Fido” by Baltimore Magazine. This is another astroturfed park, keeping the mud at bay in winter, and features a creek, rock bridges, buckets of water and hills to romp on. There is also a set aside area for smaller and older dogs.
Support Maryland-based pet businesses
The Green K9. A one-stop shop for dog-lovers, this store offers dog food and products with an emphasis on holistic, natural, US-manufactured products, in addition to grooming and a doggy-day care center. They also offer same day delivery on food and products within a five mile radius.
Baron’s K-9 Market. Northern Maryland’s leading independent retailer for natural and holistic food, supplements and herbal remedies for pets, with over 50 years experience in the industry.
Canine Fitness Center. A custom-built facility for all dog health and rehabilitation needs. The centre offers aqua therapy, acupuncture, and massage to help post-operative dogs, or just to keep your dog in tip-top condition.
Chesapeake Pet Resort. Your furry companions can vacation in style on the Chesapeake Bay in these luxury cabins, featuring an outdoor patio with swimming pool, and a cozy indoor environment with throws, rugs, and cushions to curl up in and relax. Dog and cat guests get regular playtime with staff. There’s also a grooming spa on site.
Puptrait. An internationally recognised pet photographer with a twist: Puptraits is known for its fun costumes and quirky styling using ecologically friendly, upcycled materials, creating pet portraits with a difference.
Before we go…
Isn’t being a pet parent just the best? The companionship, the kisses, the laughter! Pets really add so much to our lives. The love that Maryland pet parents have for their furry companions is real.
We love our pets, but sometimes those vet bills can take a real bite out of our wallets, which is why more and more pet parents are choosing to get covered with pet insurance. Learn more about how much pet insurance costs, and whether or not pet insurance is worth it for you.