May is here, and so are a host of spring hazards for your pets.
Catch up on these healthy tips to keep your furry family happy, healthy and safe!

Check, Please - National Pet Week is May 1-7! Founded in 1981 by the AVMA, National Pet Week aims to promote responsible pet ownership, celebrate the human-animal bond, and promote public awareness of veterinary medicine. National Pet Week is a great time to reevaluate your pet's current care and make improvements where necessary. If your best friend hasn't been to the vet in a while, schedule a routine checkup; early diagnosis is crucial to catching and treating any problems which may have developed. During your visit, you can also review your pet's vaccination schedule, diet and preventive medications with your vet to make sure your pet is set for a happy, healthy summer.

Party Animals Beware - If you and your pets are hosting or traveling to a Cinco de Mayo party, play it safe by keeping dangerous snacks like candy and guacamole away from curious paws. A sweet candy snack could lead to a bout of pancreatitis, while avocado contains persin, which can damage heart, lung and other tissues. Also, if your bash features piƱatas and streamers, keep an eye on kitty. An accidentally ingested streamer could cause issues, not to mention a hefty vet bill.

Ticked Off - May is the peak month for ticks in most parts of the United States. Ticks can spread a host of nasty diseases to your pets, from ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis in dogs to Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease in both dogs and cats. Luckily these diseases are preventable with simple monthly protection. Your best bet against these bloodsuckers is a monthly preventive such as Frontline Plus, which not only battles fleas and ticks but also chewing lice as well. If you're unsure which option is best for your pet, consult with your veterinarian.

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

Take Heart - April was Heartworm Awareness Month. As temperatures rise around the country, so do mosquito populations. Heartworms are spread by mosquitos and can cause a serious and potentially fatal disease if our pets are not properly protected by preventives. Learn more about heartworms and how they can plague our pets in this blog by Dr. Kim Smyth.

Breathing Easy - It's kitten season, so it is a great time to discuss a common issue faced by many young cats - upper respiratory infection. Similar to the common cold, this infection attacks the immature immune systems of kittens, but can affect cats of any age as well. In this blog post, Dr. Smyth offers some tips to help your favorite fur friends breathe easier this spring.

Itching for Relief - Spring is in the air, and so are pollens and other potential allergens - just ask Wellington, Petplan Pet Insurance fetch! magazine Dog-in-Chief and chronic allergy sufferer! Follow along with Dr. Smyth as she discusses canine allergies, otherwise known as atopy, and how to help our pets find relief.

Adopter's Advantage - Petplan pet insurance and North Shore Animal League America have joined forces to provide all newly adopted pets from the Animal League 30 days of free pet insurance from Petplan. With Adopter's Advantage, pet parents have the peace of mind that their pets are protected during the critical first month in their new home - leaving their only concern to be how to spoil their new best friends! To learn more about the benefits of adoption, visit the Animal League website.

Allianz in the Family - As part of our continued efforts to provide the most comprehensive coverage for our policyholders and their pets, Petplan is proud to announce that all new and renewing pet insurance policies will be supported by our new underwriter, AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, rated A+ by A.M. Best (April 2011). Policies underwritten by AGCS Marine include several enhancements for policy holders and pets, including increased coverage for specialist treatment; increased coverage for behavioral conditions; coverage for all cats and dogs over six weeks of age; and increased payment flexibility for all policies. Basically, Petplan's great coverage for your pet and your budget is now even better!

Strawberry Fields Fur-ever - If your dog loves to dig up the garden and snack on your berry bushes, give him a colorful, fun alternative to trampling your fall jam supply, perfect for stuffing with healthy treats for squeezing fun.

Howling Wind - Keep your pooch protected from the elements on spring hikes with a colorful, all-weather windbreaker from Martha Stewart Pets, which conveniently folds up into its back pocket when sunnier skies appear.

Let it Roll - Keeping kitty entertained just got easier with this interactive 5-in-1 track toy featuring a rolling ball perfect for batting and chasing around the track.

Fighting Fur Justice - In April, The Humane Society of the United States teamed up with the Union and Bradford (FL) Sheriff's Office and others to help bring down an alleged dogfighter in Florida. In total, 24 dogs were rescued from the Lake Butler, FL, property and given a new lease on life. The investigation was a result of a tip that came from The HSUS' national animal fighting tip line, which offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in illegal animal fighting - a felony in all 50 states. If you ever suspect animal fighting is happening in your area, you can call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787) to file a report.

Petplan policyholder Carrie Willis referred five of her friends to Petplan and got $125 worth of Amex gift cards in return ($25 for each pet enrolled)! Take advantage of our Refer-A-Friend program. There's no limit to how many friends you tell! Click here to get started!

Hot Rod - If the warmer weather has you and your pet itching for a ride in the car, don't let the spring temperatures fool you into forgetting some basic travel safety rules. Cars can heat up quickly, even when it seems cool outside. A study from Stanford University shows that even in 72 degree weather, a car can heat up to 116 degrees in just 60 minutes, putting your pet at severe risk. Be safe: never leave your pet in your car unattended, even on a cloudy day.

Beantown Bound - Boston's Logan International Airport recently improved its ability to care for pets who take to the sky, outfitting two ambulances with pet oxygen masks and specially trained staff to better respond to pet medical emergencies. In addition, paramedics, firefighters, state police troopers and even airline baggage handlers are receiving first aid training so that they can bandage wounds, provide CPR and more safely handle pet passengers should they face peril during travel.

No Buddy Left Behind - May 30 is Memorial Day, a time to honor those who have served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. (Petplan's own co-founder Chris Ashton was an officer in the British Royal Marine Commandos!) This Memorial Day, Petplan encourages everyone remember our four-legged companions in conflict and maybe even support great organizations like Operation Baghdad Pups, which provides veterinary care and helps coordinate transportation to reunite service men and women with the pets who provided them with emotional support and companionship while serving our country overseas. Join Petplan on Facebook on Memorial Day and share your pictures and stories of service men and women and their best friends.

Targeted Approach - Researchers at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Veterinary Medicine are studying dogs diagnosed with breast cancer to shed light on how to better treat mammary tumors - in both dogs and humans. Canine tissue samples collected show canine mammary tumors to be very similar at the genetic level to human mammary tumors, and researchers are hopeful their study reveals a better way to target the tumors through drug therapy - leading to more effective treatment for both four- and two-leggers!

Butt Out - May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. Research indicates that cats and dogs who live with smokers are at a higher risk for cancer, allergies and other health problems caused by second hand smoke. In addition, a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology also notes that cats who live with smokers are twice as likely to develop feline lymphoma. Learn more about how smoking and other household hazards can affect your pet's health in the upcoming Green issue of fetch! magazine, due in homes and stores in June 2011.

April Poll Results
What's your favorite way to help your pets help the planet?
Use biodegradable waste bags or litter: 38%
Walk more, drive less: 33%
Buy organic pet food: 29%

"A Summer Tail"
Tell us how you keep your pets happy, healthy and entertained during summer for a chance to win A Pet's Eye View Camera.

April's "A Green Tail" Contest Winner
"My Miniature Poodle, Cooper, has a green ‘tail’! When I got him at four-months-old, his previous owner made sure he was raised green - which was great because I was already an eco-conscious pet parent! Here at home we make sure we treat our lawn with organic pet-friendly lawn care products so that he can enjoy the yard. We also use green household products to take care of any mess Cooper makes and feed him organic foods. However, Cooper is a very picky eater and what he prefers is his mom’s organic home-cooked meals! I have a spoiled little pup on my hands!"
- Aimee Rand, Kent, WA

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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