Scare up a festive good time this month with these spooktacular pet health tips,
news and paw-picked products perfect for a happy Howl-O'-Ween.

Fungus Among Us - Fall is in full bloom, so are the mushrooms. It can be hard to distinguish between the tasty and the toxic when it comes to fungi, so don't leave your pet's health to chance. Last November, Petplan pet insurance reimbursed the pet parents of Mickey, a three-year-old Pug from Maryland, more than $2,000 after he ingested a mushroom from the yard and needed emergency treatment. Mushrooms feed off waste and debris, such as old tree stumps, so keep your yard clean to keep the spore count down and supervise your pets when they're outside.

Scared Stiff - Think twice before taking Franken-Poo or Count Dogula trick-or-treating. Crowds of screaming kids could cause your pet undue anxiety and Halloween décor could scare best friends into the street. Sniffing around lit pumpkins may yield accidental burns or unintentional fires if they get knocked over. Likewise, candy sacks contain lots of tasty treats, but a binge on toxic chocolate or sugar-free xylitol-filled nosh could lead to a bout of pancreatitis — or worse.

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

Set in Stone - Bladder stones are a common and problematic condition for many best friends, especially cats and certain dog breeds. Learn how veterinarians battle these bladder bad guys in this blog post from Petplan expert vet Dr. Kim Smyth.

Buzz Off - Temperatures are dropping in many states but the threat of mosquitoes can linger until the first frost.  Follow along on our blog to learn the best ways to protect your furry friends from these hungry blood suckers and the diseases they carry.

Under Pressure - Sleeping on the couch all day long may not be the most stressful way to go through life, but pets are still prone to bouts of high blood pressure. Learn how to tackle this silent killer in Dr. Smyth's blog post about hypertension in pets.

The Buzz Around Town - Petplan has been making headlines this past month, appearing on Fox News, and in the The Philadelphia Inquirer and SmartCEO, to name a few. But there's no need to set your DVR; you can catch up with the latest Petplan news, press releases and TV appearances in the Petplan Press Room all at!

Home Grown - On the heels of being named to the prestigious Inc. 500 list of America's Fastest Growing Companies, Petplan is proud to announce we're continuing to expand our team to better serve pet parents everywhere. We're honored to welcome four new team members - Michael Miller, Jaime Bochet, Donna Finnegan and Natalia Serejko - to the Petplan team. Michael is a seasoned business executive whose solid background in both financial services and e-business are the perfect combination for his role as Petplan's Director of Business Development. Jaime will lend her way with words and significant media experience to the Petplan Communications team. Donna and Natalia both join the Petplan Claims team and will further assist in helping provide exceptional service and support to the Petplan family.

Mutt Strut - Petplan pet insurance will be on hand (and paw) at this year's Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Mutt Strut, taking place Saturday, October 29 at FDR Park in Philadelphia, PA. The annual dog walk and adoption festival features veterinary advice, training tips, pet portraits, obstacle courses and a pet costume contest - not to mention, music, food and fun for the whole family. Stop by the Petplan booth to meet our team of two- and four-leggers! Learn more about the event at the PAWS Mutt Strut website.

They Say It's Your Birthday - Eight is great, especially when you're Petplan Dog-in-Chief Wellington, who will be celebrating his eighth birthday on October 18th!  Stop by our Facebook page to see what sort of office fun - and trouble - Welly and his four-legged friends get into on that day and leave your birthday salutations!

Dino Might - Take your pets back in time with these durable dental Dinosaur Chew Toys from Nylabone.

Prehistoric Fun - Put a ceratopsid spin on frilly fun with this Triceratops costume perfect for instilling some prehistoric fun on Fright Night.

Scary Cute - Black cats and frisky felines will enjoy this Plunky Pumpkin Cat Toy made from recycled fabric and stuffed with 100% organic catnip.

Do you love fetch! magazine or have a question about something you read? Then write us! We're accepting Letters to the Editor for the upcoming Brainiac issue of fetch! magazine, due out in November. Write to us at and if we publish your letter, we'll send you a $25 gift card!

Northern Exposure - If you're planning on bringing your best friend along to hit the slopes (or more likely, lounge in front of the fireplace) on a Canadian ski trip this winter, make sure you're prepared.
While there is no quarantine period for pets entering our northern neighbor country, there may be an inspection fee (usually waived for dogs coming from the US) and dogs eight months or over must be
accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate. Pick up pet passport forms for Canada at

Glow in the Dark - Mayo Clinic researchers recently shed light on a new strategy to combat both feline AIDS and human HIV/AIDS. Using a technique called gamete-targeted lentiviral transgenesis (say that two times fast), they inserted a rhesus macaque restriction factor protein and jellyfish gene into feline eggs. The macaque protein factor blocks FIV - the feline immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS in cats - and the jellyfish gene, used for tracking purposes, actually made offspring cats glow green! Researchers are hopeful the study will foster understanding of how restriction factors can be used in advance gene therapy for both cats and their two-legged counterparts.

Ear ye, Ear ye - If you think your pet is all ears, wait until you hear about Harbor. An eight-year-old Black and Tan Coonhound from Colorado, Harbor recently entered the Guinness World Book of Records for having the World's Longest Ears. His left stretched the tape at 12.25 inches and his right measured in at a whopping 13.5 inches - which is taller than the average Bichon Frise!

It's Only Human Nature - Next time you pick out a product based on your love of their four-legged mascot, you'll know why: Researchers from Caltech and UCLA have found that our brains are hardwired to respond preferentially to images of animals. According to the study, neurons in the human amygdala respond more actively to pictures of pets than those of buildings or people. Then again, who wouldn't respond to this face?

Just because your fur kids can't have any Halloween candy doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed a special treat. Whip up a batch of these healthy bites from Dr. Ernie Ward to satisfy your pooch's pallet.

Quiche Bites You'll Need:
½ cup minced vegetables (celery, carrots, zucchini, spinach)
2 medium eggs
Pinch of kelp

To make the bites:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a non-stick miniature muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs. Add vegetables and kelp and blend.
3. Evenly distribute the mixture into the mini-muffin pan.
4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Makes 16 treats (11 calories per treat).

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

Recipe from Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs are Getting Fatter - a Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives (2010 HCI).

The Humane Society was on hand in Saratoga Springs, New York in September to conduct training at the State Sheriff's Association Conference after The Empire State passed legislation increasing the penalties spectators to dogfights face. Introduced at the urging of The HSUS, the new bill increases the penalty for animal fighting spectators to a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to three months in prison and a $500 fine. Engaging in dogfighting itself is still a felony offense in New York and Congress is considering a house bill that would further up the punishment to spectators by including them in the federal animal fighting law. Learn more about The HSUS's campaign to end animal cruelty and fighting.

"A Scary Tail"
The misadventures of our four-legged scaredy cats and pumpkin-shaped pooches can certainly give us a fright. Tell us about your pet's most hair-raising tale for a chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card!

September's “A Lesson in Life” Contest Winner
"I have a Beagle and two cats. They have taught me patience, unconditional love and that I can get more in life with a wag than a bark. That there is joy in a normal routine and a good nap; a long walk with a good sniff; and just hanging out with those you love. They've taught me there is warmth in a cold nose, and that I may have tiffs with people in my life, but they should be short-lived and quickly forgiven. But most of all, my pets have taught me that when I thought I was rescuing them, they in fact were rescuing me, pushing me from a ho-hum life to a life of purpose."
- Cindy Phillips, Columbus, OH

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).

join us on facebook     follow us on twiter     contact us  |  unsubscribe