Missouri pet owners: Whether you’ve got a Komondor in Kansas City, or a Saint Bernard in St. Louis, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll take you through the hidden gems and insider tips of being a Missouri 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.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance assists in covering the costs of your veterinary bills. You pay a premium each month to the insurance company, and in return, you can care for your canine or feline fur family members without having to worry about how much it will cost.
With Lemonade pet insurance, there are numerous ways to customize your policy with our coverage options:
To begin with, a base Lemonade pet health insurance policy will assist in covering the costs of medication, exam fees , and treatments if your cat or dog has an unexpected accident or illness.
A base policy is excellent for the unexpected things in your fur family’s future. Still, Lemonade also offers preventative care packages, which are designed to keep your pet healthy and help cover health care expenses you’re probably paying for anyway, such as routine care. By adding this package to a Lemonade policy, you’ll also get access to a live medical chat option and will get covered for all kinds of things—like your annual blood tests, vaccinations, wellness plans, and more. There may be some applicable exclusions.
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.
You can also customize your Lemonade policy with a mix and match of optional add-ons like: physical therapy, vet visit fees, dental illness, behavioral conditions, and end-of-life and remembrance—to help take the bite out of pricey treatments, services, 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, Archie, and build your pet’s policy with the help of our friendly AI chatbot on our mobile app. The monthly insurance premium you pay is determined by various factors, primarily things that you can customize, like your annual deductible, co-insurance, coverage package, and the annual limit on your plan. (If you would like, you can take a deeper dive into how pet insurance works to help you create your perfect policy.) Pet insurance coverage with Lemonade can cost as low as $10/month. Here’s a handy breakdown of the whole (simple) process.
- Go to the vet. You rush Archie to your licensed veterinarian after he broke his bone playing too rough at the dog park. The exam, x-ray, and cast cost you $1,000 upfront. Woof. But since you have pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about the total amount. Find out what we cover here.
- Get your money back. Archie 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, treatments, and thus more vet bills 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 for cat insurance or dog insurance.
Protect your pet from Missouri threats
Coyotes, bears, and extreme weather oh my! If you’re a Missouri pet owner, here are a few local dangers to be aware of so you can avoid an emergency trip to the vet and move around the state with peace of mind.
Coyotes can be found throughout Missouri in brushy country, around farmland and at the edges of timber woods. Because their numbers are increasing and because people are encroaching on their natural habitat, coyotes can also sometimes be found in the suburbs and less urban areas as well.
Coyotes like to eat small animals, such as rabbits and mice, some plants, and even the occasional pet in the wintertime when food is scarce. In the summer they may get into territorial disputes with local dogs, as they recognize the dogs as fellow canines, and thus a threat to them and their young.
Coyotes are mostly nocturnal. So it is important that you keep your pets under supervision if they are out at night. Keep your dogs on a leash at all times when you are walking them at night. The good thing is that coyotes are easily scared off by noise, so if you do see a coyote in your vicinity—get loud. Bang some pots and yell.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep garbage and other potential food sources locked up and inaccessible to coyotes. Essentially you want to make your home and its surrounding area as unwelcoming as possible to coyotes. A high wooden fence is also helpful. (Coyotes are less likely to jump over a fence they cannot see through).
As usual, as with most wild animals, the best way to avoid a coyote attack is to give them a wide berth, and leave them alone.
As most residents could tell you, Missouri gets cold during the winter. On average, Missouri has 110 below freezing days a year. For humans and pets alike, this type of weather can be difficult, and even dangerous, with risks of hypothermia, accidents on ice, and more. So what can you do to protect your pet during harsh winter weather?
Firstly, you should get to know your pet. Some animals have greater cold-tolerances than others. A husky will do better in the cold than a saluki, for instance. In addition, pets with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease or other diseases may have a harder time tolerating the cold than a healthy pet would. So, keep an eye on your pet and look out for signs of discomfort in the cold: shaking, slowing down, and looking for warm places to burrow could all be signs of hypothermia. If you notice any of these behaviors, get your pet inside and warmed-up as quickly as possible. If your pet does seem to be intolerant of cold, dress them up: get them a nice warm coat, or even booties, if necessary.
Strange as it seems, another danger to pets during cold weather is cars. A car engine often serves as a heat source—especially for stray or outdoor cats. It’s a good idea to bang on your car’s hood and make some noise before starting your car in the winter. This will scare your little trespassers out from under the hood and prevent a car ride from turning into a tragedy.
In addition, antifreeze is incredibly poisonous. Clean up any antifreeze spills immediately, and wipe down your pets paws when they come inside to remove any residue they may have picked up while walking.
Finally, avoid ice. As much as possible, stay away from icy sidewalks, and frozen lakes and ponds to avoid taking a tumble. It’s also very difficult to know how much weight the ice on a frozen body of water can take before cracking. Don’t take the risk.
The American Black Bear can mostly be found in the southern part of Missouri (south of I-44). For the most part bears are pretty shy and non-aggressive. However, they do not like being cornered and can be dangerous if they are protecting their young. Though it may seem to you that a barking or snarling dog isn’t much of a threat to a bear, a bear would think otherwise.
Here are some tips to keep your furry family members safe from bears.
If you live in bear country, always keep your dog on leash when out and about. Carry bear spray around with you if you can. If you do see a bear, turn around and leave. Do not let your dog bark or otherwise harass the bear.
Do not feed your pets outside. Consider placing motion sensor lights around your property, and have a good look around before letting your pets out into the yard in the evening and at night. If you do see a bear, bring your dog in even if they are in a fenced-in area. Bears can jump fences.
As mentioned above, black bears are mostly shy and non-aggressive. However, dogs and bears can be a dangerous mix. According to BearWise, dogs were reported as having been involved in more than half of all incidents between black bears and humans between the years 2010 and 2015. So it pays to take extra care when you are with your dog in bear country.
Top Missouri dog parks
Energetic pup? Let them run wild in one of Missouri’s many off-leash dog parks. Just make sure your doggy family member is up-to-date on their vaccinations and spayed or neutered before you let them cut loose.
- Twin Lakes Recreation Area. The Twin Lakes Recreation Area in Columbus is not just one dog park, but actually houses three dog parks. The Lakeside Dog Park is four acres and opens up onto a sixteen-acre pond, and is meant for large dogs. The Paws Pond Dog Park is meant for small dogs, and features a small pond. It is open from spring until fall. The Off-Season park is open during the winter, and is for dogs of all sizes and is three and a half acres.
- Fast Lane Dog Park. Right off the I-70 in Kingdom City, this dog park is for travelers. It’s a great place to take a pit stop with your dog. The fenced-in park has fresh water, artificial turf, lighting so it can stay open 24 hours, benches for pet parents, and video surveillance for safety. The Fast Lane convenience store nearby also stocks lots of pet treats and pet toys to keep your pup happy while you are on the road.
- Bar K Dog Bar. This unique Kansas City dog park and bar (yes, you read that right) features a two-acre dog park for your pup to run around, as well as an indoor bar, restaurant, live music, and a host of other weekly activities. It features a view of the beautiful Missouri River and the Heart of America Bridge. In addition to the dog park, they also offer grooming and training services.
- Garth Nature Area. This three-acre dog park is located in Columbia. It features a pond and benches, as well as an on-site restroom. Beyond the dog park, the nature area also has a few beautiful hiking trails: a 1.6 mile wetland trail and a longer 4.8 mile trail all the way to Bear Creek.
Support Missouri-based pet businesses
- Busch Pet Products – Located in Cape Girardeau, Busch Pet Products is the first holistic and all natural pet supply store in southeastern Missouri. This family-owned pet store specializes in pet nutrition, but the staff can also help you with training and behavior. In addition, the store is also affiliated with a groomer, a boarding facility, and a doggy day-care. Truly a one-stop-shop with everything your pet needs.
- Kennelwood Pet Resorts. With facilities throughout Missouri, Kennelwood Pet Resorts really know how to pamper your pets. They offer boarding, doggy day camp, award-winning groomers, training, professional dog photography, and even adoption consultations.
- PetsWay. Founded in 1955, PetsWay now has four locations in Springfield and Nixa. They offer pet supplies for dogs, cats, fish, birds, and small animals. They also carry some pets such as fish, birds, small animals, and reptiles. PetsWay also hosts adoption events, and holds fundraisers for their local ASPCA. Some PetsWay locations also offer self-service dog washes, training, and even vet clinics.
- All Pet and Equine Supply. As their name suggests, this West Plains store has everything you may need for any type of pet care. From livestock feed to dog toys, they’ve got it all. They also offer nutritional counseling, dog grooming, and curbside and pickup services.
- Petropolis. Opened in 1988, Petropolis is the first all-inclusive pet center in the country. With two locations in Chesterfield and St. Charles, respectively, they offer grooming, boarding, training, and day care. They have a force-free philosophy that permeates everything aspect of their business, and they seek to educate, enrich, and empower both their human and animal clients.
Before we go…
Isn’t being a pet owner just the best? The companionship, the kisses, the laughter! Pets really add so much to our lives.
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.