May is here, which means summer is just a whisker away! Grab a seat near the flower garden
and catch up on the latest pet health news and tips to ensure a safe and sunny season fur all!

Fiesta Bowl - When it comes to your Cinco de Mayo party plans, don't forget to include your four-legged roommates in the preparation. Popular snacks like chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins are all dangerous to dogs and can lead to an unwanted trip to the emergency room, so keep them out of paws reach. Likewise, alcoholic drinks can cause central nervous system problems and serious health risks, so ask your guests to keep an eye on their cups at all times.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy - May 20-26 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Most, if not all, dog bites are preventable with proper training and intervention. Training your pet from a young age to understand basic obedience commands, keeping your pet on a leash during walks and avoiding situations that your pet finds fearful can all help lessen the chance of an accidental bite. In addition, pets that are in pain may feel the need to react defensively, so if you notice an aggressive change in your pet's behavior, schedule a trip to the vet for a checkup.

Screening Process - Hot temps and longer days are coming soon, but you don't need to wait for the dog days of summer to protect your pet from the sun's harmful rays. Even furry friends can benefit from a protective 40-45 SPF pet-safe sunscreen during days spent outside with the family, especially those with short, white coats, light-colored skin and sparse tummy fur. Apply evenly to exposed areas such as the bridge of the nose and tips of the ears, as well as any exposed skin, and follow with a treat for good measure!

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

Vacation Preparation - Before you head out on the road with your four-legged traveler this summer, brush up on these tips for a safe vacation from Petplan pet insurance.

Holiday Hazards - Still have Easter lilies around the house? While their fragrant aroma may provide the sweet in "Home Sweet Home," they can also put your feline friends at risk. Find out why at the Petplan Vets for Pets blog.

Red Flags - Seeing red when your best friend does "their business" can be a scary sight for any pet parent. Learn what can cause this — and why it is always worth a call to your vet — in this blog post from Petplan veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth.

All in the Family - Last month, members of the Petplan USA team hopped across the pond to gather at a black-tie gala awards ceremony with global Petplan family members to honor Dr. Alan Stewart of San Francisco Veterinary Specialists as he received the Petplan 2012 Vet of the Year Award. Our paws are now busy preparing for the 2013 awards, which will honor veterinary professionals in three categories: Vet of the Year, Vet Tech of the Year and Practice Manager of the Year. Visit www.GoPetplan.com/2013-vet-awards to learn more, and keep your paws tuned to our website, Facebook and Twitter for the latest news — nominations will open in July!

Float On - Let Fido float the day away whether in the pool or on the porch thanks to this versatile, floating pet bed. For more aqua-approved pet products, stay tuned for the "Water Works" issue of fetch! magazine, in homes and stores at the end of the month!

Mother Love Bone - Let your best friend show his love for mom on Mother's Day without losing his cool thanks to this funky Tattoo Dog Collar.

Dish It Out - This playful polypropylene and stainless steel Tigrito food and water bowl adds feline fun to any mealtime.


Red Carpet Purrade - This past March, The Humane Society of the United States hosted the 26th Genesis Awards, which recognized news and entertainment efforts to raise awareness of animal issues. Hosted by "Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba (with help from furry movie star Uggie from "The Artist"), the awards honored films, television shows and animal lovers such as "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "Born to be Wild 3D," "The Colbert Report," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and Wyler Award winner Ian Somerhalder, to name a few. To see the full list of winners, visit The HSUS website. And don't miss the one-hour Genesis Awards special, airing May 5 on Animal Planet!

Help Petplan support the military community and homeless pets! May is Military Appreciation Month. To honor two- and four-legged heroes everywhere, Petplan will donate $1 to Pets for Patriots for every new "like" we receive on Facebook. Pets for Patriots is a nonprofit that helps current and former members of the military adopt homeless adult dogs and cats. Visit us at Facebook.com/petplan to show your support today!

Doggone Tired - Research recently published in Springer's Psychonomic Bulletin and Review suggests that best friends who are mentally fatigued tend to act more impulsively, which may put them more at risk for harm.

Over the Hill - At what age do you consider your furry family members, well, old? According to American Veterinary Medical Association labels, cats and small dogs become geriatric at age seven, while larger dogs are considered senior citizens a year earlier. But now some pet health professionals are challenging the notion of when exactly our best friends turn the corner to their senior years.

Unpopular Recall - Last month, Diamond Pet Foods voluntarily recalled Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice food due to the potential of salmonella contamination. Pets exposed to salmonella infection may exhibit decreased appetite, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea and worse. For a full list of the product codes involved in the recall and further information regarding the product's distribution, visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

Roll up some tasty fun to share with the four-legged guests at your Cinco de Mayo party thanks to this delectable recipe from Rachael Ray.

K-9 Ingredient Meatballs

You'll need:
½ lb ground beef
½ cup cooked brown rice
1 carrot, shredded
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbs parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 large egg
2 tsp ground turmeric

To make this recipe:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan or a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Fill each muffin tin with about 1/4 c mixture, or form the mixture into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Serving size: 12

Recipe reprinted from Rachaelraymag.com. For more homemade pet food recipes visit Rachaelraymag.com or our Treat Them Well board on Pinterest.



Help connect pets and veterans! May 28th is Memorial Day, a time to remember and honor those brave two- and four-legged service members who served, as well as those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. To honor best friends this Memorial Day, tell us your favorite memory of a pet who has passed. If we choose your story, we'll make a $50 donation to our friends at Pets for Patriots in the name of you and your best friend.

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 (2011).

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