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Double, double, toil and trouble – October is here! Put the hocus-pocus aside and scare
up a ghastly good time this month with these spooktacular pet health tips and treats!

Fall in a Heap - Autumn’s arrival signals the changing of leaves, the start of football season and the smell of warm apple cider – but it also brings a host of allergies, which can really put a scratch in your budget without pet insurance. Ragweed and mold spores love leaf piles, so steer your pet clear and bathe him more frequently to avoid any unnecessary itch.

The Dark Night - If your four-legged friends are dressing up as Count Dogula or Barkenstein to join the ghouls and boys for trick-or-treating, be aware that strangers, traffic, sweets, glow sticks and loose costume bits can all cause problems for those with paws. Keep your festive pets safe on Howl-o’-Ween with these pet health tips from Dr. Kim Smyth at the Petplan blog.

Spooky Statistics - October is National Pet Wellness Month. While veterinary visits for canine companions are up 9.2 percent since 2006, trips to the vet for kitty cats have declined a chilling 4.4 percent – despite the fact that there has been a 90 percent increase in overweight cats during that time. Help celebrate National Pet Wellness Month and National Cat Day (October 29) by scheduling a wellness check-up for your feline friend today.

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

Doctor’s Orders - How often do you follow through with your vet’s prescribed treatments and medications at home? Although it can be a tough task at times, Dr. Nina Mantione reminds pet parents that keeping up with compliance has a profound influence on your pet’s response to therapy.

Joint Discussion - Your pet’s immune system is designed to protect your furry best friend from illness, but what happens when that same immune system turns on your pet? Dr. Nina Mantione explains that in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, it can lead to inflammation, pain and eventually joint damage.

Saving Face - If your kitty’s behavior makes her a candidate for a guest appearance on “The Itchy and Scratchy Show,” she may be suffering from feline facial pruritis, or itchiness of the face and head. Learn more about this pesky condition in this blog post from veterinarian Dr. Nina Mantione.

That’s the Spirit! - We’re proud to announce the winners of our “Hurley” toy and John Paul Pet contests from the Waterworks issue of fetch! magazine! Congrats to “Hurley” winners: Autumn Galloway, Jessica Heroux, Jennifer Cerrito, Shawn Mathiesen and Cheri Accetta.

Congratulations are also in order for our John Paul Pet winners: Senya Speaks, Jillian Zielinski, Nicole Miranda, Cayli Leamont and Tania Bikerman!

There’s always an opportunity to win a great prize for your pet in every issue of fetch! magazine, so check out our current Gourmet issue and enter today!

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Among the lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac is that being prepared for disaster can make all the difference – especially when it comes to being a pet parent. In her latest blog for The Huffington Post, Petplan Co-Founder and Co-CEO Natasha Ashton explains how planning ahead with pets in mind can help protect against the unexpected.
Master of Disguise - There’s no need to fear how cute your pet will look on Halloween with this officially licensed Underdog costume.

Going Batty - Scare up some fun for Fido this season thanks to this Bats-in-Tree Dog Toy from Martha Stewart Pets.™

Masq-Purr-Ade - Let kitty enjoy a spooky treat on All Hallows Eve when she patrols the house in this Black Cats Halloween Cat Collar.

Superhero Response - When Hurricane Isaac struck the Gulf Coast states this past August, The Humane Society of the United States was there to lend a paw. From assisting PetSmart Charities Emergency Relief Waggin’ program in the delivery of much-needed pet supplies, to moving 161 cats and dogs from flooded areas to adoption shelters outside the storm zone and updating pet owners on the latest news via their @HumaneSociety Twitter account, The HSUS teams worked tirelessly to assist both pets and pet parents through this disaster. Learn more about their efforts and how you can help support The HSUS Disaster Relief Fund on their website.

Attention patriots: we're looking for paws-itively presidential pets to lead the pack this fall. Enter Petplan's Wag the Vote video contest for the chance to win $5,000 for yourself, PLUS $5,000 for your favorite animal charity! If your pet is ready to clean up America – one table scrap at a time – grab your camera and capture that presidential personality on film. Enter the race in three easy steps: upload your video to YouTube, fill out the form to nominate your pet, and rally your friends and family to Wag the Vote. The most popular tails from the campaign trail will be named finalists for the grand prize, so vote early and often!

Sky High Travel - Planning some autumn air travel with your four-legged frequent flier? Be sure to budget for the costs. MSN Money reports the cost of flying Fido can range from $75 to $650 or more depending on the size of your pet and how they are transported (in-cabin or via a temperature-controlled cargo section). Since most airlines combine the weight of your pet and the carrier into their pricing factors, you could pay up to $659 if the combined weight is over 201 pounds.
Morbid Growth - To help combat the growing problem of pet obesity (literally), the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts has opened the nation’s first obesity clinic geared toward pets. The clinic will be overseen by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and aims to provide services for more than 600 clients annually by the year 2015. For more on the latest pet nutrition and obesity news, check out the buffet of pet health features in our Gourmet issue of fetch! magazine.
Out for Blood - A new human tick-borne virus, dubbed the “Heartland virus,” has made an appearance in the Midwest. Learn more about this new disease and how to protect both you and your pets from ticks and the frightening diseases they carry in this blog post from Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board member Dr. Ernie Ward. You Play, Animals Win! - Love playing games online? Join the fun at Joykingdomgame.com where you play and animals win! Install the game for free and Sojo Studios will donate 10 gallons of water to The Humane Society of the United States to help with their animal relief efforts! Play for free and help animals today!
Serve up some autumnal flair for your pets this Halloween with this Pumpkin Dog Biscuit recipe from our Vets for Pets blog, sure to make your best friend howl with delight!

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

You'll need:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup water + 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/3 cup corn meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup oats
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
To make this recipe:
Mix all the ingredients together to a thick consistency. Then roll it out about a quarter-inch thick. Cut the dough into two-inch long strips and arrange them on a cooking sheet. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees F. For extra crunch, turn off the oven and allow the biscuits to sit overnight (out of paw’s reach, of course).

Recipe reviewed by Dr. Nina Mantione, one of Petplan's expert vets. Check with your veterinarian before trying a new recipe for your pet, to ensure your efforts – and your furry friends! – are appropriately rewarded. For more inspiring ideas, click here.

"A Scary Tale"
Tell us your pet’s most frightening tale or hair-raising adventure for a chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card!

September Story Contest Winner
(we asked for your pet’s favorite school subject)

“If my two-year-old boxer, Boris, was to go to school, he would love gym class best. Boris is 85 pounds of muscle and playfulness. He loves to run and takes off like a rocket at the dog park. At home, Boris is quite the gymnast. He balances on the arm of our sofa or loveseat to get a better view of the dog shows on TV. He sometimes leaps from the sofa to an armchair to the loveseat to reach our kitchen. He enjoys playing with his football, soccer ball and baseball when he is outdoors. Boris is always active and has a friendly, outgoing personality. He would probably be a popular "jock" by the time he gets to high school!”
– Clare Nowlan, Fair Haven, NJ
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 (2011).
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