Summer has arrived — and so have the hot temps! Grab a spot in the shade and check out
these pet health tips designed to help you keep your pet's paws cool all season long.

open your home and heart to a new cat, spend some time researching common kitty health conditions, stock up on essentials and plan for the costs of caring. Since cats can live 20 years or more, it might be a good idea to provide kitty with a cat insurance policy from Petplan, which can help protect your friend at any stage of life.

Water Hazard - If your pet loves to make a splash, watch out for a warm weather hazard that may be lurking in the water. Higher temperatures can cause blooms of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), which can be toxic to pets, especially in fresh waters exposed to agricultural run-off or stagnant or unmaintained backyard ponds. Two of the most common toxins produced by blue-green algae are microcytins — which can affect the liver — and anatoxins — which target the nervous system. To keep your pets protected, avoid letting them near algae-covered freshwater and check your state's Department of Natural Resources website for any blue-green algae advisories before diving in.

In the Hot Seat - If you think cracking your car windows is enough to keep your pet cool while you run into the store, think again. Leaving your pet in a warm car is dangerous to their health, and in some states, it's against the law. A study from Stanford University famously shows that even on days as cool as 72 degrees, temperatures inside a car can rise to 116 degrees within an hour — even with the windows cracked open. On warmer days, the temperature inside your vehicle can skyrocket even quicker. If you must bring your pet along to run errands, consider calling ahead to see if your pet would be welcome in the store or bring a friend who might be willing to walk your best friend around while you do your shopping.

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

Dinner Disaster - Follow along as Dr. Ernie Ward delves deeper into the food bowl to take a look at the Diamond dog food salmonella outbreak that sickened 14 humans.

Emergency Response - To go to the vet, or not to go? That's the question many pet parents face when their pet suffers an unexpected illness or injury. Learn which conditions you should never ignore at the Petplan blog.

Out of Joint - Just like us two-leggers, our pets can suffer from arthritis as they get older. Learn how to help your aging friends cope with creaky joints in this blog post from Dr. Kim Smyth.

Cats in the Cradle - Show off your planetary purr-ide on World Environment Day (June 5) with this cat cave woven from natural banana leaf material.

Close to the Bone - Posh up your pup's playtime with this stylish toy dog bone from Jonathan Adler.

Glory Days - Help your patriotic pet show off his stars and stripes with this lighted LED dog collar, perfect for adding some Flag Day (June 14) fun.


Take Shelter - According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, only 24% of cats that enter animal shelters are adopted. Thankfully, a collaborative effort between The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund and The Ad Council, called The Shelter Pet Project, is working to make shelters the first place adopters turn when looking for a new family member. If you're looking for a new best friend, visit TheShelterPetProject.org to search for an adoptable shelter pet, locate a shelter near you and learn more about pet adoption.

Help your friends point their paws to Petplan and earn $25! For every friend that you refer in June that signs up for a policy, Petplan will send you a $25 AMEX gift card! To refer a friend, simply log in to your account and use the "Refer a Friend" widget on the right side of the page to spread the word!

Dogging it at Work - June 22 is PSI International's Take Your Dog to Work Day. Research from Virginia Commonwealth University reveals that bringing pets to work can not only positively impact your stress level, but it can also increase employee satisfaction. For proof of that, just look at all the smiling faces at Petplan, where every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day!

Lend a Paw - Heading out of town and looking for a pet sitter? Need someone to watch your best friend while you run to the store? Why not use your social network to enlist the help of your friends? A new website called Spotwag is making it easier than ever to find help for your pet (or likewise, lend a helping paw yourself) by turning your email, Facebook and Twitter accounts into a support network for pet parents. Simply schedule a date and time when you could use some help, and share with people you know across your social networks. Visit Spotwag.com to give it a sniff today.

Pit Stop - Perhaps no dog breed is as familiar with headlines as the Pit Bull. A recent ruling by Maryland's Court of Appeals deeming Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes as "inherently dangerous" has sparked outrage from Pittie owners in the Old Line State, while in Boston, a Pittie parent is thankful to be alive after her eight-year-old Pit Bull pulled her from the path of an oncoming train (suffering severe injuries herself in the process). To learn more about this amazing and often misunderstood breed, visit their breed profile on GoPetplan.com.

Bust out the berries to whip up these tasty Yogurt Berry Chicken treats from DoggyDessertChef.com for your next afternoon at the park.

Yogurt Berry Chicken Treats

You'll need:
1 Chicken breast, cooked and chopped
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup frozen mixed berries, thawed
2 tbsp butter
½ tsp dried parsley
½ cup oats
1¼ cup whole wheat flour

To make this recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Knead dough into a ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/4 inch thick, or thinner if you can. Cut with the cookie cutter of your choice. Place on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.

Makes 4 to 5 dozen treats

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



Lights, Camera, Action! June 19 is National Pets in Film Day. Help celebrate the four-legged stars who love to take their walks of fame by telling us about your favorite pet film (or four-legged movie star). Every entry has a chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card — perfect for catching the next fur-filled summer blockbuster at the cinema!

May Story Contest Winner "Mack, my friend of eight short years, left me with so many memories. He was a special dog, maybe because of all of the different breeds in him. He had a Boxer face, Great Dane size, Black Lab color and Greyhound speed. By the time we rescued him at seven months old, he had already been in three homes. We were told he was not good with children because he was filled with so much energy, but we gave him a chance. As we soon found out, he was great in the house and loved children! Some of my favorite memories are of him running and being happy. One special memory involves the time we took him to the Willow Flowage, where there are miles of beach. There was a huge tree stump that had washed up on the beach. When Mack saw it, he ran from one end to the other as fast as he could and then he sailed right over it. He did this several times, entertaining everyone around. I can still see his ears flopping in the wind and a smile on his face. He was so happy when he was running, and I was so blessed to have him in my life." — Kelly Holder

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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