Summer is slipping away. Don't fall into autumn unprepared. Rake up these handy September
pet health tips and advice to keep your best friends bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all season long.

Did you know that adult female fleas can lay more than 40 eggs1 per day on your pet? When you consider that a flea could live 100 days under the right conditions1, that's a lot of fleas (and many itchy days for your four-legged friends)! Flea bites can cause itching and irritation, especially if your pet suffers from flea allergy dermatitis. To help keep fleas at bay all year long, use a monthly topical product that provides continuous protection, such as Frontline® Plus. Frontline Plus contains an active ingredient called fipronil which is stored in oil glands in your pet's skin after application and then distributes continuously to the skin and hair of your pet via the hair follicles. It kills fleas within 12 hours of application2 and breaks the flea life cycle to prevent future infestations. It's even waterproof, so it will stay effective on your charismatically clean feline and water-loving outward hounds during grooming and playtime!

Barking Up the Wrong Tree - Dogs eat the strangest things, and sometimes that includes trees (and the fruit they bear). Bark eating is a behavior that should be curbed, especially since some tree bark is poisonous to best friends. Cherry tree bark contains cyanide-like components, and avocado, locust and umbrella trees (to name just a few) also contain toxins. Be especially vigilant around trees that yield stone fruits, such as apricots and plums. Dogs have been known to gobble up these fallen fruits, only to have the pits cause an obstruction - and an unexpected vet bill.

Rabid Response - September 28 is World Rabies Day, a day created to help raise awareness about this deadly yet preventable disease. According to Global Alliance for Rabies Control, 95% of human rabies cases come from infection by a domestic dog. Thousands of dogs die every year from rabies - and thousands more are needlessly killed due to the fear of spreading rabies. Protect your pets - and your family - by having your pets vaccinated. Learn more about the threat of rabies in this blog post from Dr. Kim Smyth.

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

Getting the latest pet health news has never been easier thanks to the brand new blog. Featuring expert veterinary advice from Petplan pet insurance vet bloggers, our blog is packed with information on common injuries and illnesses, health tips and cases from the clinic. Log online to learn more today!

Knee Deep - Knee injuries are a common problem in both big and small dogs. In this blog post, Dr. Kim Smyth looks at one of the most common knee problems - luxating patellas - and how to give this condition the slip.

Tough to Swallow - Some pets live to eat (and their waistlines show it). Others eat to live. Join Dr. Smyth as she examines anorexia in pets - a condition that Petplan co-founders Chris and Natasha Ashton and their 11-year-old Birman cat, Bodey, know all too well.

Petplan Lands on the Inc. 500 List - Petplan pet insurance is proud to announce that we've been named to the list of Inc. 500's fastest growing companies for 2011, coming in at #123. The Inc. 500 list is published annually and recognizes America's fastest growing, privately-owned companies, as well as those poised for the greatest growth. Despite the slowly-recovering economy, Petplan pet insurance has experienced unprecedented growth, having tripled its workforce in size since 2008. Fueled by rising costs in pet care and the growing demand for the best treatment possible for best friends, Petplan pet insurance is primed to continue to grow and will look for ways to improve the lives and health of pets everywhere.

Bonding Time - Congratulations to our five winners of The Bond giveaway - Debbie Claire, Gloria Harmon, Jillian Niedman, Susan Cameron and Lori Scott. These five lucky bibliophiles will be receiving a copy of HSUS President Wayne Pacelle's new book, The Bond.

Fresh From the Farm - Congratulations to the five winners of the Innova Adult Dog Food giveaway - Erin Suydam, Lisa Nersessian, Renato de Moraes, Jillian Niedman (two in a row!), and Christina Diedrichsen. These lucky pet parents will be receiving some Innova Adult Dog Food Large Bites to help satisfy their hungry pup's palates.

Can You Here Me Now? - Track your pet wherever he goes with just your cell phone or computer! The water-resistant Tagg™ Pet Tracker attaches to your dog's collar and uses a combination of GPS and the Verizon nationwide wireless network to keep a virtual eye on Fido's travels.

Tail-Gait Approved - Football season is back, and so are the tailgating parties. Let your best friend sport his love of sausage in a safe way with this Hot Dog Leash, sure to garner laughs (and probably a few hungry followers).

Dream On - Don't let chilly September nights keep your four-legged snoozers from a restful sleep. Give them a soft - and snazzy - place to park their paws at night on the Metro Le Pet Lounger.

Join the Conversation - Do you like to bark with friends online? Head over to the virtual dog bark and give us a shout! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and add us to your circles on Google+ for helpful pet health advice, exclusive pet product giveaways and cute photos of our four-legged family members!

Practice Makes Purrfect - September is National Preparedness Month, the perfect time to review your home evacuation plans - especially those involving furry family members. In the event of an emergency, your entire family needs to be able to move quickly, so keep extra pet essentials handy (or packed in your car) to ensure your pets are provided for should you need to bolt unexpectedly. Here's a comprehensive list of items to consider packing in your pet to-go kit, courtesy of the Humane Society of Louisiana.

Shot of Hope - Researchers from the University of Georgia are testing a new drug designed to help fight feline injection-site sarcoma (ISS), an aggressive and deadly cancer, which affects approximately one in 10,000 cats. The drug being tested, masitinib, has already been approved by the FDA for use in treating dogs with a particular tumor type, but researchers hope the drug can also be used to treat cats suffering from ISS.

Dishing Out the Facts - recently partnered with Hill's® Pet Nutrition to launch MyBowl for Dogs, an interactive tool designed to help educate pet parents on how to better provide their pooches with balanced nutrition. Offered as part of PetMD's Dog Nutrition Center, MyBowl dishes helpful servings of information for pet parents, such as proper dinner proportions, a breakdown of nutrient benefits and tips for decoding dog food labels.

Hearts in Danger - In May of this year, the American Heartworm Society (AHS) released the results of their heartworm incidence survey, which revealed an unsettling trend: Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in almost every county in every state of the US. According to the AHS, an estimated one million pets in the US are heartworm-positive. Learn more about heartworm and the best ways to keep your pets protected in this blog post from Petplan pet insurance's Dr. Kim Smyth.

This month, we're introducing a brand new feature to our fetch! health newsletter. Every month, we'll bring you a healthy, homemade recipe for your best friends from Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board member, fetch! contributor and Chow Hounds author, Dr. Ernie Ward. First up: A sweet (and healthy) snack for dogs on the run.

Finding healthy food on the road is tough enough for two-leggers, let alone Fido. For your next trip, pack these phytonutrient-full Sweet Potato Cookies, which may even help soothe an upset travel tummy!

Sweet Potato Cookies

You'll Need:
1 large cooked sweet potato
1 banana
½ Tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup quinoa flour

To make the cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium bowl, mix cooked sweet potato and banana until well blended.
3. Add the vegetable oil.
4. Mix the quinoa flour with the wet ingredients.
5. Place one teaspoon of the dough on a nonstick baking sheet and lightly flatten.
6. Bake for 40 minutes.

Makes four dozen cookies

For more healthy recipes and nutrition advice for furry friends, check out Dr. Ward's Chow Down feature in every issue of fetch! magazine.

Puppies in Plight - On August 24, HBO aired the special "Madonna of the Mills", which highlighted the work of a NY woman named Laura who devoted the past several years to rescuing more than 2,000 puppy mill dogs in Pennsylvania. The film put in focus the plight puppy mill dogs face and their amazing stories of survival thanks in part to individuals such as Laura and organizations like The Humane Society of the United States - Puppy Mill Campaign, which is also featured. Learn more about The HSUS's fight against puppy mills.

"A Lesson in Life"
School may be back in session, but life offers lessons in any season, especially when you've got a four-pawed tutor to keep you on your toes. Tell us what your pets have taught you for a chance to win a FroliCat™ Dart™, the interactive laser toy that offers fun and plenty of enriching entertainment for dogs and cats of any age.

August’s “A Rescued Tail” Contest Winner
"I've been an animal lover all my life. As a little girl, I would bring home strays and beg my mom to let me keep them. Sometimes she let me, but not for long. Giving them up was very hard for me. A few years ago, my daughter came across two kittens for adoption in PetSmart and after checking with me, put in an application to a rescue group on my behalf. I went to see the kittens the very next day and fell in love with them. They are all grown up now and are a treasured part of our forever family, together with the Terrier mix dog, Twinkles, who I adopted via Petfinder last year. She came to me via the "Last Chance Highway" from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is the best thing that ever happened to me (besides my children and grandchild, of course!). Not only do I recommend adopting, I'm convinced it's the best way to go!"
- Alice Beeber, Plainview, NY

1. Dryden M. Biology of Fleas of Dogs and Cats. The Compendium. April 1993; 15(4): 569-574
2. Everett WR, Gross SJ, Tanner PA, Carithers DS. Immediate and Residual Speed of Kill of FRONTLINE® Plus (Fipronil + (S)-Methoprene) Against Rdl-Homozygous Fleas on Dogs Assessed at Twelve, Eighteen, and Twenty Four Hours Post-treatment and Following Subsequent Weekly Infestations. Intern J Appl Res Vet Med. 2011; 9(2):119-122.
®FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of Merial. ©2011 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. FLE11CNFETFL

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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