Trupanion Pet Insurance: Vet Direct Pay

Trupanion Medical Insurance can pay your veterinary bill in minutes

When your pet gets ill or injured, we want you to be able to focus on the health and well-being of your pet. Medical insurance can help you deal with unexpected veterinary expenses and provide your pet with the best medical care. Trupanion can cover a significant portion of your veterinary bill (up to 90% of eligible costs*) in minutes. With a Trupanion policy, our clients often pay only their part of the bill at checkout and leave the hospital without waiting for claim approvals and reimbursements. You can learn more about Trupanion coverage and direct payments at Trupanion.com/

Trupanion medical insurance for your pet

*Terms and conditions apply. Please see the policy for complete details at Trupanion.com/pet-insurance. **Trupanion will process the claim according to the terms of the policy. Actual claim payment may be different from the estimate you provided to your client. Trupanion is a registered trademark owned by Trupanion, Inc. Underwritten in Canada by Omega General Insurance Company and in the United States by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100-4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. Please visit AmericanPetInsurance.com to review all available pet health insurance products.

New Puppy or Kitten?

      It finally happened. Your children won the argument and you came home with a new puppy or kitten. Everything was peachy – then it all started to happen: the kitten decided to use your great-grandmother’s rug as a litter box and scratching post, or the puppy found your beloved vinyl records of Elvis or the Beatles and destroyed them with such efficiency, that an industrial shredder would be jealous. You’re now over your head with this young creature. Now what?

     Bringing a new puppy or kitten into the household is not as simple as walking down to the shelter, picking out the cutest animal, and then bringing it home. Time must be spent before ever bringing a new pet home. Most parents don’t have a baby without some sort of pre-planning and preparation, right? The same applies here.

     Research the breed that you are interested in getting. Some breeds are better suited to your family’s lifestyle than others. An owner who doesn’t like to walk or can’t exercise will not fit well with a dog who likes to run a lot. The same is true for certain breeds of cats: some cats require a lot of attention and talk a lot, and some owners might not like that.

     Make sure you have all your supplies beforehand. Crates, chew toys / scratching posts, water / food bowls, appropriate food for the age of the animal and grooming supplies. A leash, collar and ID tags are a must.

     Is your house set up properly? You need to find a place for the crate and sleeping areas. Designating a potty area should be done as soon as your puppy comes home. Kittens need to be introduced to their litter box right away. Put away items that you do not want destroyed.

     Routines work well with animals. Work with your puppy or kitten from the beginning to establish a routine for eating, playtime and exercise. Establishing good habits early on will save you trouble later on down the road.

     Your first visit to the vet can be overwhelming with the amount of information you will receive. The following is a list of typical topics:
          1.Vaccines and diseases
          2. Controlling parasites, both internal and external
          3. Nutrition
          4. Insurance
          5. Behavior – house training, biting, contact with children / other pets
          6. Problems commonly associated with certain breeds
          7. When to spay / neuter
          8. Dental care and grooming
          9. New puppy / kitten kits

     Vaccines are obviously an important topic at the beginning of any puppy or kitten’s life. While there are some risks involved with giving vaccines, the benefits far outweigh the risk. However, anytime an animal receives a vaccine, regardless if it’s the first time or the 10th time, some signs may occur, such as swelling, pain, a low grade fever, or lethargy. More serious reactions, such as anaphylactic shock, can also occur. In cats, a reaction called a vaccine associated sarcoma (a cancerous tumor) may also occur, but this is also infrequent.

     There are a number of required, or core vaccines given to puppies and kittens. Additionally, there are other vaccines that can be given, based on you and your pet’s lifestyle (close contact with wildlife, frequent boarding, for example).

The core vaccines and their schedule for dogs:
          1. DHPP – distemper, canine infectious hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza virus
               a. These viruses can attack the liver, heart, respiratory tract, central nervous system and the intestinal tract
               b. Initial vaccine at 8 weeks, then boosters at 12, 16, 1 year 4 months, and then every 3 years after that.
          2. Rabies – a virus that attacks the brain, spread by being bitten by an infected animal
               a. Initial vaccine at 16 weeks, a booster at 1 year 4 months, and then every 3 years after that.

Lifestyle vaccines for dogs can include:
          1. Leptospirosis – a bacterial disease that is spread by contact with urine from infected wildlife. Can be spread to humans. Can cause liver and kidney disease.
               a. Initial vaccine at 12 weeks, then boosters at 16, 1 year 4 months, and then every year after that.
          2. Bordatella (kennel cough) – a bacterial disease that can cause respiratory illness, commonly caught at dog parks, grooming facilities or kennels.
               a. Initial vaccine at 12 weeks. Boosters every 6 – 12 months.
          3. Rattlesnake – helps decrease the severity of rattlesnake bites.
               a. Initial vaccine at 12 weeks. Boosters every year thereafter.

The core vaccines and their schedule for cats:
          1. FVRCP – feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia virus
               a. These viruses can attack the respiratory and intestinal tracts. They are spread in the air or by close contact with an infected individual.
               b. Initial vaccine at 8 weeks, then boosters at 12, 16, 1 year 4 months, and then every 3 years after that.
          2. Rabies – a virus that attacks the brain, spread by being bitten by an infected animal
               a. Initial vaccine at 16 weeks, and then every year thereafter.

Lifestyle vaccines for cats can include:
          1. FELV – feline leukemia virus
               a. This virus can cause immunosuppression (decreased ability to fight other infections) and death in cats of all ages. It is spread by contact with infected individuals.
               b. Initial vaccine at 12 weeks, then a booster at 16, and then every year thereafter.

     Getting a new puppy or kitten can be stressful, but don’t worry, you’ll get through it. It requires patience, discipline, and sometimes the ability to step back and calm down. Don’t worry, you’ll do great with a new member in the family!

Byron Bowers, DVM

Indroducing Monthly Paid Wellness Plans at Encina Veterinary Hospital

        Encina Veterinary Hospital is proud to now offer Monthly Paid Wellness Plans for both cats and dogs. We believe that with a Basic or Deluxe Wellness Plan from Encina Veterinary Hospital and your veterinarians recommendations, we can work together to ensure that your pet enjoys a long and happy life with you.

        Our four keys to a happy and healthy pet:
            Comprehensive physical examination
            Protecting your pet against preventable diseases by measuring their immune status and if needed, administering the appropriate vaccinations
            Regular diagnostic testing to ensure your pet’s body systems are functioning optimally and to compare test results over time
            Internal and external parasite screening and prevention

The Wellness Plans at Encina Veterinary Hospital offer these services in the convenient packages that ensure your pet gets the care they need and you get the peace of mind you deserve.

        Wellness Plans at Encina Veterinary Hospital feature:
            Customized services for both dogs and cats based on their age
            Basic and Deluxe plans are available
            Services can be used throughout the plan year, and fees for services can be paid on a monthly basis instead of one lump sum

Do you have a Trupanion Pet Insurance Policy? If so, you’re half way to our Platinum Paw Club! The Platinum Paw Club is an exclusive club designed to reward pet owners who have chosen to protect their pet’s health with a Basic or Deluxe Wellness Plan at Encina Veterinary Hospital and with a Trupanion Pet Insurance Policy which covers unexpected illnesses or injuries. We at Encina want to reward and celebrate your devotion to your pets!

Our wellness plans start as low as less than $16/month, depending on your pet and their age. If you would like more information on our plans, please give us a call and ask for a Doctor’s Assistant: (925) 937-5000

Pet Insurance 101

As you may know, we’re BIG fans of pet insurance here at Encina, but we’re the biggest fan of Trupanion. We make it a point to talk about pet insurance with every person who comes through the door because we know how hard it can be to come up with a large lump sum of money to treat, care or even save the life of your pet, and we don’t want anyone to not be able to help their beloved furkid.

Here’s why we love Trupanion and what you should know:

Trupanion allows you to choose how much you would like to pay a month and how much of a deductible you would like.
     Example: Sally finds it easier to pay $56/month for her dog Rover, and has a deductible of $250 while John finds it harder for month to month payments so his monthly payment is only $35 with a deductible of $750.

Trupanion pays up to 90% of the bill back to you
     Here is a real claim from Trupanion:

Harmony the 5-year-old mixed-breed dog recently experienced some serious health complications. She was rushed to the emergency vet for lymphocytic/plasmacytic gastroenteritis, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Secondary issues with this condition were septicemia and bacterimia which are conditions in which the bloodstream becomes infected by bacteria and can be life-threatening.

Harmony was at the clinic for 6 days receiving surgery, medications, fluids, and regular monitoring. Harmony was released and we are wishing her a quick recovery.

Costs can quickly add up in an emergency situation as you will see below. It’s fortunate that Harmony’s owner had her insured so that she could take care of all the necessary veterinary treatment without cost concerns.

     Total claim amount: $12,216.99
     Deductible applied: $500.00
     Exam fees: -$149.00
     10% co-insurance: -$1159.80
     Trupanion repaid: $10,411.19

Trupanion allows you to add on extra services
     Reward for a lost pet, boarding for your pet should you be hospitalized, acupuncture, physical therapy, feline kidney transplants and more are available through Trupanion

NO LIMITS!!!
     Other pet insurances may give you a yearly or lifetime limit of how much they will pay out, but Trupanion doesn’t! If you’re unlucky enough to have a dog who eats everything or a cat with a chronic illness, you may find that other pet insurances will say, “ok we’ll cover you but only up until we have spent $5000; after that, you’re on your own!” but that is not the case with Trupanion.

In the end, we feel that Trupanion is a simple plan that gives you the ability to customize it to your financial needs and your pet’s medical needs as well. We like the flexibility they give customers and we love that 90% coverage! If you’re interested in more information, be sure to let us know next time you are in.

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Pet Insurance 101
Pet Insurance 101 graphic created by Trupanion.

Better Safe Than Sorry – Trupanion


Similar to human health insurance, pet insurance provides peace of mind in case the unfortunate should happen with your pet. Its purpose is to help cover the costs of unexpected accidents and illnesses that may occur in the future.

When your insured pet becomes sick or injured, you bring him or her to Encina Veterinary Hospital. You then submit your invoice along with the pet insurance claim form to be reimbursed at a percentage, less your chosen deductible (you can choose your own deductible and even make it $0 if you wish!). Trupanion allows you to customize your own plan (your deductible amount and your monthly subscriber amount too).

Here is an actual testimonial from pet owner with an unlucky pooch …

Calypso the 2-year-old Boxer had some unfortunate luck recently. She had a run in with a porcupine and got to experience the frightening and painful quills. Sadly, one of the quills punctured her lung and caused pneumothorax which is a collapsed lung. Calypso spent time at the emergency veterinary clinic where she had surgery.

She is doing better since the attack and we are very glad that we could be there to help during such a scary time.
     Total claim amount: $7,852.67
     Deductible applied: -$0.00 ($100 deductible already met)
     Exam fees: -$165.00
     Unrelated charges: -$90.05
     10% co-insurance: -$759.76
     Trupanion repaid: $6,837.86

Trupanion Pet Insurance is now offering a FREE 30 Day Trial of Trupanion Pet Insurance with a complete physical exam! For dogs and cats between 8 weeks and 14 years old. Call us today to learn more (925) 937-5000

September is National Pet Insurance Month!!

Happy Pet Insurance Month!

Pet insurance is a much discussed topic these days, as people are looking to provide the best possible care for their pets in a mercurial economic climate. Financial analysts have been changing their tune on the topic, as Liz Weston from MSN Money puts it, “A few years ago, pet insurance would have ranked right up there with life insurance for children and dread-disease coverage on my list of policies you don’t need. Now I’m not so sure.” In fact, several companies such as Google and Office Depot are now providing pet insurance coverage as an optional employee benefit.

In order to help sort through the confusion, Encina put together a team of employees to specifically research different pet insurance policies in order to find one that would benefit our patients and clients the most. After months of pouring through policy information, we decided upon Trupanion Pet Insurance (www.trupanion.com). Trupanion provides coverage for 90% of veterinary costs for accident and illnesses, with no payout limits. Encina does not receive benefits from Trupanion for promoting their insurance, we merely hope to provide our clients with a way to save money on treatments for their pets.


For more information on pet insurance, feel free to stop in and chat with any of our client service representatives or doctor’s assistants, or call us at (925)937-5001.

Pet Health Insurance Comparison

The Veterinary News Network (VNN) did a direct comparison of one test case using four popular insurance companies.

There are many companies with many different coverage limits, deductibles, restrictions and even add on coverage. VNN only had time to look at four companies. But they gave them the exact same case for a head-to-head comparison. You may be surprised at what they found …

As always, Encina Veterinary Hospital only recommends only the best: Trupanion Pet Insurance. Click the image below to check out their website.