Bark all about it: Our August newsletter is hot off the press.
Strap on a doggie life vest and dive on in for some cool pet health tips and news!

Outta Site, Outta Mind - You may not like to leave the litter box in plain sight, but it's important to keep an eye on the action that takes place there. Cats are excellent at hiding ailments, but their litter boxes don't lie and can provide early clues to kitty health problems. Increased volumes of urine or increased size in urine clumps could indicate renal problems, especially if accompanied by increased thirst. Likewise, changes in stool could indicate parasites, dietary problems or even disease. If you notice anything odd, consult your veterinarian.

The Buzz Around Town - Some parts of the country are reporting higher mosquito populations than normal this summer, especially those areas hard-hit by flooding or storms. Mosquitoes spell trouble for pets because they can spread heartworm, a deadly disease in best friends. Make sure your pets are protected against heartworm with a monthly preventative and avoid exposing your pet to swampy areas plagued by biting insects for added safety.

Hard Cold Truth - Ice is a popular and low-cost summer treat for pets, but it comes with a chilly warning: hard ice cubes can chip or crack sensitive teeth, or even cause painful cuts in the gums. A cool solution? Homemade “hospital ice.” If your pet enjoys icy treats, play it safe and crush the ice into tiny, mouth-safe pieces first, or set your fridge’s ice maker on “shaved ice” and fill up a bowl with a frosty treat.

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

Brand New Blog - Getting your paws wet with the latest pet health news has never been easier thanks to the new and improved Petplan blog. From expert profiles to expanded commenting and sharing features, our brand new blog helps keeps you - and your pet's health - in the conversation at the dog park.

The Road Less Traveled - Summer vacations are always more fun when they incorporate the whole family (four-leggers included), but traveling with pets comes with unique challenges. Before your next adventure, check out Dr. Nina Mantione's latest tips to make your next family trip a success.

Welcome to the Club - The American Kennel Club recently welcomed three new dog breeds to its list of registered dog breeds: The American English Coonhound, the Finnish Lapphund and the Cesky Terrier. Learn more about these newly registered breeds before you see them at Westminster in this post by Dr. Smyth for the Petplan pet insurance blog.

Pet Lovers Wanted - Our family is growing! Due to our unprecedented growth, Petplan, America's #1 rated pet insurance provider, is looking to add two web developers and a Happiness Manager to join our rapidly growing team in our Philadelphia Headquarters. If you've got a love for technology or customer service that is only rivaled by your love for pets, we want to hear from you!

.NET Software Engineer - This selected candidate will be responsible for developing new web-based applications and implementing software improvements to the systems, including the development and enhancement of the company's existing platforms and other applications, in addition to other responsibilities. Minimum of a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science or related field and three or more years of experience in web application development required. Learn more about this position.

Front End Web Developer - The Web Developer will interact with content authors, editors, project managers, and technology staff in designing, developing and maintaining high quality electronic products such as websites, e-mail newsletters, e-mail marketing messages and other digital media, in addition to other responsibilities. Bachelor's Degree in Web Development, Interactive Media, Graphic Design or related field and three years related experience required. Learn more about this position.

Happiness Manager - As a Happiness Manager, you'll bark with pet parents to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services, as well as handle customer service inquiries, ranging from billing issues to claims. If you're a passionate pet lover with a willingness to get your paws wet in the animal health market, a diverse experience (and your own personal candy jar) awaits you at Petplan! Interested candidates should have excellent communication skills, a relentless attention to detail and be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite. A Bachelor's degree and two years of experience in a call center is preferred, but not required (a sense of humor, however, is non-negotiable). Learn more about this position.

Man's Best Friend Overboard - If your hound is water-bound, pack this fun, floating doggie life preserver toy, perfect for a fetching good time at the pool or lake.

Soft Shell Crab - Even summer nights at the beach can get cool. Keep your pet comfortably “crabby” and warm with this terry crab hoodie from Martha Stewart Pets™ (bonus: doubles as a Halloween outfit!)

Give a Dog a Bone - Or better yet, a bone pool! This 85-gallon bone-shaped pool keeps Fido cool and makes a great display for doggie lawn paw-ties.

Barking News - Petplan pet insurance recently relaunched with a fun new design and even more great features for pet parents. At our new website, you can Find a Vet at home or on the road, make and check the status of your claims and get pet health advice from Petplan's expert veterinary team - plus more. Log on and learn more today.

Mele Kalikimaka - Hawaii is a popular vacation destination, but it is also the only state in the U.S. that has never had a recorded case of rabies, and Hawaii officials would like to keep it that way. As a result, they have strict entry requirements for best friends, which typically require a 120-day quarantine. In order to waive the quarantine, Hawaii state law requires incoming dogs and cats to be microchipped and to have at least two rabies vaccinations (with the most recent being within 90 days of arrival), as well as a blood test, prior to entry.

Bicycle Built for Who? - Classic commuter bicycles have made a comeback in the past few years, and so has one of their popular features: the bicycle basket. But before you consider toting Toto around Kansas, know that a basket is not a safe place for any pet. Pets can easily jump or fall from the basket and be injured by the wheels of your bike, the impact from the fall or oncoming traffic. If you must bring your pets along for the ride, a pet bike trailer offers added safety and reduces the chance of a run-away.

Fat of the Land - According to Banfield's 2011 State of Pet Health report, Iowa reported the highest number of cases of diabetes in dogs (62 per 10,000 pets). That's almost as much as the next two highest-reporting states combined. Massachusetts took the cake when it came to feline diabetes, with 137 reported cases. Given that an estimated 55% of dogs and 53% of cats are obese, it's no surprise that Banfield has seen a 32% rise in canine diabetes since 2006, and that diabetes continues to be a major health problem for cats.

Shedding Light on Hypoallergenic Breeds - A July study (“Dog allergen levels in homes with hypoallergenic compared with non-hypoallergenic dogs”) published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy analyzed dust samples from 62 dog breeds, 11 of which were considered to be hypoallergenic. Researchers found little difference in allergen levels between hypoallergenic and non-hypoallergenic breeds. The main reason, according to Mayo Clinic’s Dr. James T.C. Li, is that the source of dog allergies isn’t fur, but a protein found in dog saliva and urine. While the study doesn’t dismiss the benefits some allergy sufferers have found with hypoallergenic breeds, it does shed light on the subject Dr. Kim Smyth discussed in a recent Petplan blog post - that no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic.

July's Poll Results
What's your pet's favorite summer treat?
Ice cubes: 89%
Anything he can find!: 8%
Hot dogs: 3%

In addition to their efforts to help protect and rescue pets and animals in need, The Humane Society of the United States also offers a host of products purrfect for best friends in their Humane Domain online store. From their Keep Cool Mat to their Water Escape Safety Ramp, they have plenty of great gifts to help your pets stay cool - and safe - during the dog days of summer. Every purchase provides support for HSUS programs and the animals they benefit.

"A Rescued Tail"
August 20 is National Homeless Animals Day. If you've rescued a pet in the past, tell us why you made the decision to adopt and how your best friend has impacted your life and you could win 80 biodegradable PoopyPacks™ from MetroPaws (or an equally pawesome cat gift).

July's "A Patriotic Tail" Contest Winner
"We spent the 4th of July the best way possible: at a Quarter Horse Show outside Billings, Montana. We got trapped at the grounds because of the flood and oil spill [on July 2, an ExxonMobil pipeline running under the Yellowstone River ruptured, releasing oil into the river], so we put together a makeshift potluck. The dogs were all right there keeping us entertained!"
- Kelly Adams, Wapato, WA

#1 rated pet insurance provider, of those providers receiving more than 100 'Lifetime' reviews, on the independent review site, (July 9, 2011). For additional information, please visit or write to: 1268 Longs Peak, Longmont, Colorado 80501.

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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