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The leaves are changing, and so are the potential problems your pet faces this time of year!
Thankfully, we’ve got a cornucopia of pet health tips to keep your pets from falling into trouble!

Go Cold Turkey - Data from Petplan pet insurance shows a 78% increase in pancreatitis and a 27% rise in gastroenteritis claims over Thanksgiving weekend, largely due to feeding pets rich, fatty foods like turkey skin and gravy. All the pancreas needs to become inflamed is one high-fat meal, so ditch the table scraps and offer your pets small servings of healthy whole foods like plain broccoli, carrots or white-meat turkey.

Open Season - If you and your best friends frequent wild woods that are open to hunting, be especially wary during the coming months. A quick-moving dog running through the woods is enough to startle not only grumpy game, but hunters as well. To be safe, attire yourself and your pet in bright colors to avoid confusion, and consider hunting for an alternate hiking area.

Fungus Among Us - If your pet loves nosing through the fall foliage, keep abreast of potentially dangerous mushroom growths. Although the majority of mushrooms are low in toxicity, there are a few – such as the Death Cap Mushroom (Amanita phalloides), the most common cause of mushroom poisoning in both people and dogs – that can be fatal if ingested. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous fungus, contact the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680 or your local veterinarian immediately.

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

Battle of the Bulge - Fat cats and corpulent canines may give you extra to love, but heavy pets face serious health problems as a result of added weight. Learn how to help your pets trim the fat in this blog post from Petplan pet insurance staff veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise - October was National Pet Wellness Month. While pet insurance can help you prepare for the unexpected accidents that may occur, keeping your furry family in tip-top shape can prevent unnecessary (and preventable) illnesses. Follow these seven simple tips at our Vets for Pets blog for healthier pets.

In Hot Water - Cats typically get most of their water intake from food, so if you find your feline friend frequenting the water bowl or leaving large clumps in the litter box, it could be a condition known as polyuria or polydipsia. Learn more about this kitty conundrum here.
Crossing Pawty Lines - Whether your pet is a Demo-cat, Re-pup-lican or bi-pawtisan, furry friends on both sides of the aisle can enjoy the recent press about two of our “Wag the Vote” video contest entries, which were featured in New Jersey's Asbury Park Press and the Arizona Republic. See all of the contest entries at WagTheVote.com.

Full House - This October, Petplan team members helped lend a paw at the New Leash on Life USA Casino Royale Night fundraiser, an event benefiting New Leash on Life USA, a non-profit dedicated to improving the life of inmates and saving the lives of shelter dogs through partnership. This year’s event helped raise $14,000 for the organization (and lots of love from the puppies in the puppy kissing booth!).

Heating up the Headlines - The bark around the park is true: Petplan has been all over the news lately spreading the word about pet health! In addition to sharing our favorite fall health tips and raising awareness about breast cancer in pets, our pet health tips have also been featured in The Denver Post, The Coloradoan, Vetstreet.com, The Akron Beacon Journal and at PetMD.com.

In addition, Petplan Co-Founder and Co-CEO Natasha Ashton’s newest blogs at Smart Business and The Huffington Post are also up for purr-usal. And with all the great press, it’s no wonder Petplan (as well as our Pinterest page and use of Google Analytics) was featured for being pawesome by CareerBliss.com, ComputerWorld and OttoPilot Media! Find the latest news about Petplan and pet health headlines in the Petplan Press Room.

Hotel for Dogs - Whether your pet travels with you by plane, train or automobile, finding a hotel that accepts furry best friends can sometimes be a challenge. Luckily, our friends at Pettravel.com have a list of pet policies for 17 hotel chains for your purr-usal! Stop by and find a comfortable place for your pet to rest before your next trip.
Good Car-ma - Donate your car, truck, boat or other vehicle to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and make a difference in the lives of people and pets. Simply enter the vehicle’s information online, or call 877-836-6674 for free towing. The title and sales paperwork will be taken care of and you’ll receive a donation receipt.

The HSUS receives an average of 80 percent of the proceeds from each auto, so help pump much-needed dollars into The HSUS’s community-based efforts, and donate your vehicle today.

Petplan is seeking North America’s favorite veterinary professionals – and they could be in your own backyard! If your pet’s best friends are a top doc and their talented veterinary staff, nominate them for a 2013 Petplan Veterinary Award! Nominate your favorite veterinarian, veterinary technician and/or veterinary practice manager, and be entered to win one of five $100 PetSmart gift cards!

Time is running out to Wag the Vote! Hit the campaign trail to beg for those last minute votes before November 8th or visit WagTheVote.com to vote for a video and its corresponding animal charity choice (both are eligible to win a $5,000 prize)! Need some last minute ins-paw-ration for a campaign? Check out fetch! magazine Petitorial Intern Benny’s stump speech, above!

Rocky Mountain High - A recent trend of dogs flying high has veterinarians in states that have legalized medical marijuana concerned. Marijuana toxicity rates in Colorado dogs have quadrupled since 2000, when the state first legalized the use of the drug for medicinal purposes. When ingested by canines, marijuana can lead to lethargy, behavioral changes or, in more serious cases, hypothermia, anorexia, coma and even death.

Cute Overload - Having trouble concentrating? You may need your daily dose of adorable. Researchers in Japan recently found that looking at pictures of cute baby animals provides a positive effect on behavioral performance in tasks that require focus. Get your cuteness fix with the North Shore Animal League Mutt-i-grees® Puppy & Kitty Cam every Thursday.

In Sickness and Health - What would you give up to get your pet the care she needs? For a newlywed British couple with a cancer-stricken canine, the answer was their Las Vegas honeymoon, which they canceled to pay for their best friend’s care. Learn how Petplan pet insurance can help prevent a disaster to your family budget at GoPetplan.com. Talk Turkey - Help your best friend gobble up the fun this Thanksgiving with the Talulah Turkey. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds of your purchase are donated to a dog rescue organization you select at checkout!
No Ruff-eree Required - There’s no penalty for fun when you let your best friend “go long” with the Orbee Tuff® SPORT Football.

Pawlitically Correct - Let your furry Demo-cats or Re-pup-licans show off their party pride this election year with the Knit Obama Dog Sweater or Mascot Republican Elephant pet collar.

It’s always nice to show your best friends thanks, but sharing table scraps can lead to serious tummy trouble. Instead, whip up a batch of these Turkey Meatballs from Dr. Ernie Ward for a tasty seasonal treat!

Turkey Meatballs

You'll need:
6 oz lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup ground quinoa or oatmeal

To make this recipe:
Preheat oven to 400F. Place turkey and carrots in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add quinoa or oatmeal and blend until mixed. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a nonstick cooking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Calories per meatball: 17

Recipe from “Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs are Getting Fatter - A Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives” (2010 HCI). 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 Thankful Tale"
Tell us what you are most thankful for as a pet parent for a chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card! October Story Contest Winner
(we asked for your pet’s scariest tale)

“My dog, Viking, is overly inquisitive and eagerly ventures into new environments. The combination of him being both nosy and a ‘velcro dog’ (he was a rescue) is sometimes a scary mix. Twice he climbed through an open window on the second floor onto the roof, poised to jump because I was in the yard below! I had to quickly scramble up a fence next to the house and jump onto the roof to prevent a catastrophe. Worse was when he squeezed through the railing on a second floor balcony at a friend's house, teetering on a very narrow ledge on the wrong side of the barrier! Luckily, we were able to encourage him to squeeze back through the barrier to safety. Just one of my many "Viking gets in trouble" stories that are fun to recant but harrowing in the moment!”
– Sheri Lin, West Hollywood, CA
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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