Start the New Year off on the right paw with these tips and tools,
perfect for keeping old (and new) acquaintances happy and healthy all year long.


Trim the Fat - Make 2011 your family's fittest year ever - physically and fiscally. If you're looking to trim the fat this coming year (whether on the treadmill or in the budget), look no further than your four-legged friends. Overweight pets cost Americans tens of millions of dollars annually in medical bills. Keep your fur friends fit to reduce unnecessary expenses and keep your dollars - and your pets - at home where they belong. Should anything unexpected arise, your Petplan pet insurance will afford your pet the best treatment available without busting your budget.

The Dry Season - A common (albeit, unwelcome) winter ailment, dry skin can wreak havoc on even the healthiest pets. To keep your pet looking and feeling his best, brush his fur regularly, bathe him using a moisturizing shampoo and feed a quality pet food rich in fatty acids. If your pet's itchy skin worsens or is causing him discomfort, schedule a visit to the vet to rule out any underlying conditions.

Tasty but Treacherous - One of the biggest dangers to pets during the winter months is antifreeze. It tastes like a sweet treat to furry friends thanks to the ethylene glycol it contains, but it is actually highly toxic. Using an antifreeze that contains a tasteless ingredient called propylene glycol - a common food additive - may deter your pet from sampling off the garage floor.

Vets for Pets
(December blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Thirst For More - Chronic renal failure is one of the most common diseases in cats over 10 years of age. Drop by the Petplan blog to read Dr. Benson's latest post and learn how routine blood screenings can help catch this age-related kidney disease before it progresses.

Plants: The Naughty and the Not-So-Naughty - If you're the type of person who leaves their Christmas dcor up until well past the holidays, make sure you're not accidentally putting your pets at danger. Learn why traditional holiday foliage such as mistletoe and holly can put your pets at risk.

When You Gotta Go - Older pets are prone to accidents - especially those involving incontinence. Find out why bladder problems are a common issue for aging friends in this blog post from Dr. Benson.







Petplan Extends Hours - Starting in January, Petplan representatives will be available until 10:30pm EST Monday-Friday and 8:30am-8:30pm EST on Saturdays. In addition, the Petplan team will be on hand to take your calls on Sundays! (10am-6pm EST) The extended weekday and weekend hours give working pet parents the flexibility to contact Petplan at a time that is most convenient to them.

Breathing Easier - Thanks to nearly 4,000 downloads of our pet rescue alerts, Petplan pet insurance donated 40 Wag'N Oxygen Mask Kits to fire and rescue teams in need. To see a full list of the departments which received masks, visit GoPetplan.com. Missed out on the campaign? Our free, customizable pet rescue alerts are available at any time, so if you haven't yet, create yours today!

Puppy-proof your home - Recently invited a new friend into the family? An important part of puppyhood is prepping your home for your new best friend. Petplan's Dr. Jules Benson has a few words of advice for new puppy parents in FabulousLiving.com's article "How to Puppy-Proof Your Home." Check it out here.

fetch! your iPad - If your iPad is as much part of your daily life as your furry companion, we've got good news! fetch! is now available through the iBooks app, purrfect for tech-savvy touchpad users and pet parents on the go.

Doctors' Orders- An apple a day keeps kitty at play - especially when it's filled with catnip! This feline-friendly fruit is fun to bat and whack; top your table with a bowl-full next time you invite your cat pals over for a party.


Catch Me If You Can - Give your pet something fun to chase (besides her tail) with this interactive rotating laser toy! The FroliCat™ DART™ features variable speeds and timer settings that offers your best friends up to 16 exciting play combinations. Simply set it up and watch it (and your pet) go!



 


December Poll Results
What gets your pet into the howliday spirit?
Unwrapping the presents: 49%
Stealing Santa's milk and cookies: 43%
Spinning the dreidel: 8%


If you're happy and you know it - tell your friends! If they get a policy, you get a $25 Amex Card (and there's no limit to how many friends you tell)! >>click here<<


Ground Control to Major Tomcat - Before you jet off in January with your pet, check the forecast - winter temps could keep his paws grounded. Airline policies restrict you from checking pets for air travel when temps drop below 20 degrees at any location on your itinerary. Travel is even restricted at temps below 45 degrees. To learn when you can and can't take flight with your feline (or canine) friends, visit pettravel.com.

Rules of the Road - Breaking down in bad winter weather can be a nightmare for any traveler, but it's even worse for our best friends, who are ill prepared to wait it out in the cold for a tow truck. Plan for the unexpected and pack some extra blankets, a warm pet coat, pet boots and extra food and water before hitting the road.

Crossing the Line - Next time you take a trip across state lines, don't forget to pack your pet's papers. Some states, such as Oregon, require that family pets coming across state lines have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued less than 30 days prior to entry. They also require that all dogs and cats four months and older be current on their vaccinations. Requirements vary from state to state, so it's best to check with that state's Department of Agriculture before the trip.


Dollars and Sense - Taking care of our pet's health is a priority - a $12.79 billion dollar priority, to be exact. Research published by the American Pet Products Association shows that pet parents spent an estimated $12.79 billion on veterinary care for their furry family members in 2010 - a 9.78% increase over 2009. Good thing for pet insurance!

Fur-thering Medicine - Veterinary medicine is often on the forefront of medical breakthroughs that impact not only our best friends but us, as well. A recent trial investigated the use of a vaccine on some canine patients with brain tumors. Researchers are hoping the vaccine, when coupled with surgery, will prevent the cancer from recurring and will one day help humans diagnosed with cancerous brain tumors as well. Learn more about the trial at the Discovery Channel Canada website. For more stories on groundbreaking veterinary research, check out our latest issue of fetch!.

The Social Network - The human-animal bond is a critical relationship in the lives of many pet parents and pet health professionals. Recognizing this, the University of Tennessee recently launched a new certificate program dedicated to the discipline of veterinary social work. The certificate program provides education in counseling for pet loss, animal-assisted interactions, the management of "compassion fatigue" for those whose jobs involve animal care and more. Graduates of the certificate program can go on to work at veterinary colleges, private practices or in any aspect of the animal-care field. To learn more about the program, visit the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine website.









New Year, New Life - One hundred dogs are on their way to a better life thanks to the efforts of a dozen organizations, including The HSUS, after they were saved from a Bloomfield, Indiana puppy mill. The dogs were transported to a temporary shelter set up by the United Animal Nations in a space provided by the Pets Alive Spay/Neuter Clinic, and received much-needed supplies from PetSmart Charities. Learn more about The HSUS's fight against puppy mills at humanesociety.org.

"A New Year's Tail"
Tell us what you and your pet are doing this year to stay happy and healthy for a chance to win your choice of a Kong Wobbler or a Planet Dog Fetch Ball!

December's "A Christmas Story" Contest Winner
"The holidays were an especially thankful time for us this year. My husband returned home just before Christmas from his tour of duty in the Middle East, the first time we have had the opportunity to spend the holidays together in four years. Our Golden Lab, Tabor, was just a tiny puppy when my husband was deployed. Imagine his surprise when he came home to a nearly 70lb. best friend! We spent the snowy weeks surrounding the holiday playing fetch as a family and going for walks to see the neighborhood holiday decorations, and on Christmas Eve, we all donated our time handing out blankets for Help the Homeless - Tabor included!"
- Amy F. - Washington, DC

The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each state's approval and coverage may vary by state. Pet insurance policies are issued by AGCS Marine Insurance Company and administered by Fetch Insurance Services, LLC (Fetch Insurance Agency, LLC in Michigan), d/b/a Petplan (Petplan Insurance Agency, LLC in California). AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2010).

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