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Spring has sprung, but before you stop to smell the flowers, celebrate with these pet
health tips and eco-friendly products perfect for keeping your pet's green paw entertained.

The Lyme is Now - May is the peak month for ticks, but this winter's warm temperatures have prompted tick populations to swell early. To stay ahead of trouble, protect your pets with a preventative such as Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix II now - if you aren't already - and be diligent about checking your pet after trips to the park or walks around the block.

Chipping In - April 15-21 is National Pet ID Week. Keep your pet's vital information within paw's reach by getting your pet microchipped. In addition to the traditional collar and tag, a microchip can help ensure that if your pet (and their tag) is ever lost, a quick scan can help rescuers put your furry family member on the path to home. And because microchipping your pet is so important, Petplan offers a 10% discount on veterinary pet insurance plans for all microchipped pets!

Don't Litter - Looking for a creative way to go green this Earth Day? Take a look in the litter box. Some commercial cat litter substrates contain impure clay, called bentonite, which is readily mined and cheap to use. Sadly, over two million tons of cat litter ends up in landfills each year. To help reduce your kitty's carbon pawprint, switch to an all-natural, planet-friendly litter such as World's Best Cat Litter, made from whole kernel corn.

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

Scratch Off - Cat scratch fever isn't just a hit 1977 song from Ted Nugent. It's also a real disease carried by cats and spread by fleas. Learn how to protect kitty (and yourself) from scratching up a storm at the Petplan pet insurance Vets for Pets blog.

Pupularity Contest - When it comes to being popular, the Labrador Retriever reigns supreme as the most commonly registered dog breed in the United States. Learn what other breeds round out the top 10 - and some of their common health conditions - in this blog post from Petplan pet insurance veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth.

Pick Your Poison - If you've got a pet with a curious taste for trouble, protecting a prying mouth from danger can be tricky. Read about the common household poisons Dr. Smyth recommends keeping far away from Fluffy and Fido in this blog post from Petplan pet insurance.

Kennel Club International Canine Health Awards - Petplan Chairman Vernon Hill was on hand (or paw, if you count his four-legged companion and Twitter star Sir Duffield) at Crufts this past March to help launch the Kennel Club Charitable Trust International Canine Health Awards, which will celebrate and provide funding for individuals carrying out innovative research to improve canine health. The awards, which are supported by Vernon and Shirley Hill, will identify and encourage visionary thinking, ambition and life-changing accomplishments in the field of veterinary medicine. Click here to learn more about the Kennel Club Charitable Trust International Canine Health Awards, the largest veterinary awards in Europe.

Petplan on Pinterest - Petplan is proud to announce we've been named one of the top 20 companies on Pinterest by Social Media Delivered! The selections, which were based on numbers, interaction and quality, also include social-media friendly companies such as Whole Foods Market, Southwest Airlines, Bergdorf Goodman, The Today Show and others. Click here to see the full list of companies chosen. If you haven't yet, drop by our Pinterest page to see our fun and informative boards featuring pet health tips, pawsitively cute pets, homemade treat recipes and more.

Collared Greens - Help your best friend go green in style on Earth Day with this woven fabric collar from Dublin Dog, made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles and printed with water-based ink.

Bowls on Parade - Dish out dinner with this sensibly sustainable dog bowl from Harry Barker, constructed from natural bamboo fiber and rice husk.

Abstract Fun - Make an artistic splash with kitty's playtime thanks to this cleverly-designed Pollock cat toy, filled to the gills with 100% organic catnip.

Heroes Furever - Last month The Humane Society of the United States announced the winners of the fifth Dogs of Valor Awards, which recognizes brave best friends who went the distance for their two-legged companions. Taking home this year's Valor Dog of the Year and People's Hero Award was Hank, a courageous family pet who risked his life and suffered serious injuries to help save his owner, McKenzie, from an abusive boyfriend's angry rage. Thanks to Hank, McKenzie was able to escape and seek help from the police. Click here to see the rest of the best friends honored with this year's awards.

Your pets shower you with love - now show them just how much you care. Protect your best friend with Petplan today and we'll send you a FREE $25 AMEX gift card! Simply quote FHAPR12 when you enroll!

Leader of the Pack - For many families, the spring and summer months equal vacation and travel. But before you head out on your spring break, take a moment to review your pet first aid kit, which you should always pack when you travel with best friends. A basic pet first aid kit should contain gauze, nonstick bandages, towels, adhesive tape, milk of magnesia, activated charcoal, hydrogen peroxide, a digital thermometer and a medicine dropper. For a more complete kit, consider including these items recommended by the Red Cross.

Mush Love - April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. First aid is an important tool for any pet parent to know, as one Iditarod racer recently proved when his family pet and sled dog, Marshall, collapsed on the trail. The racer dropped to his knees and administered mouth-to-snout CPR in order to resuscitate his furry friend, and then carried him away on the sled to the nearest vet. You too can learn the basics of pet first aid by visiting the Red Cross website to find a pet first aid class or purchase the materials to learn at home.

Purrfect Health - A 10-year study conducted by the University of Minnesota Stroke Center recently revealed that cat owners were 40% less likely to suffer from heart attacks than those who don't have a feline friend at home. The reason? It may be behind the purr!

Barks vs. Meows - When it comes to dog people vs. cat people, which side of the paw are you on? According to recent research, the type of four-legged friend you favor may be influenced by your personality, upbringing and geography. For example, those who define themselves as "dog people" are typically regarded as more extroverted, while those who prefer feline friends often consider themselves more creative.

Help your best friends enjoy the fruits of spring with this fresh and healthy snack from Rachael Ray.

Puddy's Fruit Salsa

You'll need:
1 mango, chopped
1 banana, chopped
½ cup berries such as blackberries, raspberries or chopped strawberries
½ cooked chicken
Juice of ½ lime
5-8 fresh mint leaves, chopped

To make this recipe:
Toss all the ingredients together and serve!

Serving size: 1

Recipe reprinted from Rachaelraymag.com. Read our interview with Rachael from the Heart Issue of fetch! magazine here. And for more healthy snack ideas, recipes and nutrition advice for furry friends, check out our Treat Them Well board on Pinterest!

Win a free Thundershirt! April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring lightning and thunder, which can easily scare an anxious pet. To help keep your best friend at ease, we're giving away a free Thundershirt for your dog or cat. To enter, write to us at petplantails@gopetplan.com and tell us how you keep your pets at ease during anxious times.

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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