Winter worries may be melting away, but before your four-legged “leprechaun” leaps into spring, check out these helpful health tips!

(Don't) Leave it to Luck - This Saint Patrick's Day, don't rely on the luck of the Irish to see your pet safely through your party plans. Leaving alcoholic drinks around for pets to sniff and sample can pose serious problems, and a trip to the emergency vet is no way to celebrate any holiday. And think twice about letting your pet “go green”; hair dyes can irritate skin and if ingested, make your pet truly green with illness. Likewise, when it comes to your Mardi Gras plans, don't forget Fido. Loud noises and parades can spook pets, while sweet and fatty King cake may taste dreamy but can be a nightmare for best friends. Fatty foods (such as the kind you'll find a plenty on Fat Tuesday) have been known to trigger bouts of pancreatitis, and the toy trinket inside can easily cause choking or obstruction.

Daffodil Days - There's no better sign that spring has arrived than the appearance of daffodils. The March birth flower, the daffodil signifies rebirth, respect and regard, and is symbolic of cancer campaigns such as the American Cancer Society's annual Daffodil Days. Unfortunately, this heralded spring saluter also signifies a serious health threat for pets; if ingested, daffodil bulbs can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and worse.

Spring Fling - With the first day of spring right around the calendar corner (March 20), you're bound to see some green return on your lawn - and a few other things, as well. Sharp twigs, glass shards and other yard debris missed by a late fall rake could puncture paws or make for an unexpected (and unsafe) snack. Frozen animal waste and carcasses of critters that didn't make it through the colder months may become exposed once the snow and ice recedes and seem like an inviting meal. Sweep through the yard and make sure it's safe and secure before letting your best friend out for a long spring romp.

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

Knowledge is Pawer - February was Responsible Pet Owners Month - a great time to revisit those New Year's Resolutions you made regarding your pet's health and happiness. In this blog post, Dr. Kim Smyth discusses ten ways you can make those resolutions a reality with tips on how to be a responsible pet parent the entire year.

Spay Day - Part of being a responsible pet parent is to spay/neuter your pet. Even though Spay Day (Feb 22) has come and gone, Dr. Smyth explains how fixing your best friend today can prevent pet overpopulation and unnecessary medical problems later in life.

The Tooth About Dental Disease - One of the most common health problems found in pets is dental disease. Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed until it is too late. Follow along with Dr. Nina Mantione as she discusses the signs of dental disease in pets and how dental disease can impact your pet's health as a whole.

Go fetch! - Bark all about it... the latest edition of Petplan' fetch! magazine (the Survival issue) is due in homes and at select Barnes and Noble stores across the country starting March 1st!

Treated Right - Congratulations to our five winners of The Hungry Puppy Giveaway - Josie Norman, Liz Freedman, Trisha Closta, Victor Cardamone and Kym Manglona! Their hungry pooches will be receiving their choice of The Hungry Puppy woofderful treat flavors! Stay tuned for more awesome giveaways in future editions of fetch! and on our Facebook page.

Loved Dogs™ - And congratulations to our five winners of The Loved Dog Giveaway - Lyn Oswald, Cassandra Santor, Bill Tobin, Nancy Battles, and Jillian Niedman. These lucky pet parents will be receiving a copy of Tamar Geller’s new book, 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog: The Loved DogTM Method.

Sustainable Fun - Treat-dispensing, gum-massaging interactive Gourdo dog toy made from eco-friendly materials does it all - AND makes a great tool for training.

Celtic Pride - Show off your pet's Irish heritage - or just her sense of style - with this emerald green Irish Shamrock Dog Collar. Optional stainless or enameled clover charms add blarney-like bling.

Blame It on the Rain - Love spring rain showers but hate the wet dog smell? Outfit your dashing doggy in this bright, light Bumblebee Rain Coat, sure to generate buzz on your next walk.

February Poll Results
How do your pets factor in to your Valentine's Day Plans?
They are my Valentines: 91%
They make great conversation on dates: 6%
I'll save their kisses for another day: 3%

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<<

Dublin Down - Considering a last-minute flight to the Emerald Isle for Saint Patrick's Day with your pet? In order for your pet to avoid a six-month quarantine, Ireland requires that incoming pets be outfitted with a 15 digit ISO microchip, current on their Echinococcus vaccine and receive a blood titer test six months in advance of the trip. Planning ahead for 2012? Pick up a pet passport and find pet regulations for airlines servicing Ireland at

Lay it Down - Heading down to Daytona Bike Week for Spring Break? Before you consider bringing your furry cycle buddy, understand that traveling on two wheels poses even greater risks for four-leggers. The weather down in Florida may be friendly, but you can easily face shifting temperatures, cold winds and sketchy roads on the way which can put your pet's health in peril, even if he's in a crate or carrier. It's harder to control pets that squirm free from restraints on motorcycles and should you get into an accident or need to lay it down, there's less material between him and the asphalt for protection.

Buckle Up - If the spring thaw has you and your four-legged companion itching to hit the highway, make sure to properly restrain your pet in the car. Almost 5,500 people were killed (and another 448,000 injured) in crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2009. Pets don't fare well in collisions; a pet weighing 50 lbs. can hurdle forward with 1,500 pounds of deadly force in just a 35 mph crash.

Dinner Decree - Pet health professionals are hoping new legislation recently signed into law by the President has a pawsitive effect on pet health in the coming years. The controversial Food Safety and Modernization Act gives (among many other things) the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate to impose preventive measures and controls over pet food manufacturers. It also allows the FDA the ability to recall any pet food products found to be unsafe or unfit for consumption. The hope is that the Act will improve the quality and safety of pet food produced, leading to less health food scares and healthier pets!

Historical Hounds - Love a dog or cat and they'll be your friend for life... just as they have been for the past 9,400 years! Scientists recently uncovered bone fragments from a domesticated canine that suggests we've been sharing our roof (or in the past, cave) with dogs for longer than we thought. Genetic tests showed that the bone was roughly 9,400 years old - predating previous ideas of when domestication of canines arose by nearly 8,000 years!

Age of Confusion - Veterinary visits have declined over the past few years, and a new study by the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study reveals a few of the reasons why. The most shocking? Perception. According to the study, respondants believed their older pets required fewer veterinary visits than their younger counterparts. Regular annual wellness exams are critical in keeping your pet healthy and become even more important as your pet ages. See how else you can help your pets live up to their fullest - and longest - potential in Dr. Ernie Ward's “ 7 Rules for the Over 7 Set.”

Celling Technique - Sam, a 13-year-old Border Collie, recently became Georgia's first ever recipient of in-office stem cell surgery. The procedure was completed in just one day as opposed to multiple days (and at half the cost), thanks to advances in veterinary medicine.  Doctors are hopeful the procedure increases Sam's mobility and range of motion without the recurrence of pain he was previously experiencing. Learn more about how stem cell therapy (which is covered by Petplan) and other advancements in medicine are helping pets like Sam enjoy a longer, more fulfilling life in the Survival issue of Petplan's fetch! magazine.

Fighting for Reform in Philly - HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle was in Philadelphia at the beginning of the year to help launch a new initiative in the fight against animal abuse, The HSUS End Dogfighting Program. The program works with kids involved in dogfighting or at-risk for involvement and helps to teach them to think of animals in a different light - one that involves training pit bulls for more humane purposes, such as to be loving companions in homes. Learn more about The HSUS End Dogfighting Program at The HSUS website.

"A Spring Tail"
Tell ushow you plan to celebrate the arrival of spring and you could win some treats from The Hungry Puppy!

February's "Fetch" Contest Winner
"My husband and I show our love for our sweet nine-month-old Golden Retriever, Zora, by promising ourselves to be better pet parents each passing day. As first-time dog parents, we researched a lot before bringing her into our family, but of course we keep learning as we go (and as she grows!) Whether it's brushing her teeth every night, taking puppy training and nose work classes, baking her healthy homemade treats, playing her favorite game (digging a squeaky octopus out of a wrapped-up towel), or  a bunch of other things that have become part of our routine, we just have fun doing it. We show her love by investing ourselves in her training and socializing because we see that it makes her happy and balanced, and we love having her as part of our family."
- Lisa Nersessian - Jessup, MD

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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