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The New Year is here! Pour a cup of kindness and settle in with these pet health tips
and product picks perfect for giving your best friend a running start on their New Year’s resolutions.

Start Your Engines - When temperatures drop, stray or outdoor kitties may try to get warm by cuddling up next to your car’s engine. To be safe, check under your hood for stow-away felines before starting your engines, and keep your garage door closed to avoid accidental injuries to feline friends.

Warm the Bench - Is your best friend smitten with the winter weather? Even so, cold temperatures, gusty winds and wet snow can quickly lead to frostbite and hypothermia if pets are left outside too long. In addition, some medications and medical conditions can increase your pet’s risk of frostbite. If your fresh air-loving pup spends a significant amount of time outdoors during colder temps, consult with your vet to make sure proper precautions are in place.

Cold to the Bone - The floorboards aren’t the only things that go “creak” in the winter. Older and arthritic pets may have more trouble getting around during cold, damp months like January. Give your ailing friend a leg up by making sure there’s a soft, cushioned place low to the ground for them to rest, and consider talking to your vet about supplementing their diet with glucosamine/chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids to provide added lubrication for their achy joints.

Vets for Pets

(December blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Down the Tube - Sometimes our best friends are too ill to eat, or lose their appetite unexpectedly. Learn how feeding tubes help keep pets nourished during these difficult times in this blog post from Petplan veterinarian Kim Smyth.

Pins and Needles - Alternative therapies have made great strides in helping best friends overcome ailments when used in combination with traditional medicine. See how one such therapy, acupuncture, helps veterinarians pin down pesky health conditions.

Mix It Up - What do Old Yeller, Benji and Lady’s beloved suitor the Tramp all have in common? They’re all mutts! Discover the benefits of adopting a mixed-breed dog in this post from our Vets for Pets blog.

Go fetch! - Get in the game with the new Toy issue of fetch! magazine, featuring a plethora of pet health advice to help best friends play it safe. This issue is packed with a toy box full of pet health tips and features from Petplan veterinary experts, a fun interview with animal health superhero and veterinary toxicologist, Dr. Tim Evans, a chat with rock star pet parent, Bret Michaels, and a closer look at mitral valve disease with the Morris Animal Foundation, in addition to much more! Check out the issue online here.

How Much is that Doggie in the Window? - Inviting a new pet into your family can lead to years of joy for both you and your furry companion, but careful consideration can mean the difference between failure and success. In her latest blog for The Huffington Post, Petplan Co-Founder and Co-CEO Natasha Ashton offers tips to put a plan in place to set yourself up for success before bringing home your new addition – a subject that’s dear to her heart, having recently brought a new puppy, Montgomery, into the Petplan family!

Petplan On the Go - The latest and greatest pet health advice is never beyond paw’s reach thanks to the recent launch of our GoPetplan.com mobile site! Designed for smartphone users, our mobile site features “fetch a quote” technology for quick answers to the “how much does it cost” question. There’s also a Claims Center Express, which makes it easy to access all your info on the go. You can email or fax claim forms, pre-authorization requests and medical records release forms to your vet’s office, directly from your phone. It’s everything you need to give your pet the health care they deserve – right at your fingertips. Simply visit GoPetplan.com on your mobile phone to get started!

Winter Check Up - January 2 is National Pet Travel Safety Day! Despite the chilly temps, your pet will still need to stop for potty breaks during winter travel, so pack a warm pet sweater, leash, disposable doggie bags and a towel to clean off their wet paws. And if you’re crossing state lines, don’t forget their pet health documents!

One of a Kind - When it comes to caring for animals, it takes all kinds – and that includes kids! Help the children in your life learn more about the animals that share their world by picking up a subscription to Kind News, a bimonthly magazine for children in grades K-6 from The Humane Society of the United States. Perfect for both the classroom and at home, Kind News comes in three reading levels, so you can pick the one that best suits your little animal lover.

Blissful Breakfast
- Make dinner on the go a cinch with colorful travel bowls from Bliss Paws, which collapse flat for easy travel and simple set-up.

Under the Hood - Step up your pet’s style in 2013 with a Tophat Dog Hoodie from people- and pet-outfitters Duke & Winston.

Fly Design - Elevate your pet’s travel pad with the chic, airline-approved Argo Pet Carrier.

Give your furry friends and family a leg up in the New Year. Refer your friends to Petplan and we’ll send you a gift to say thanks! Log-into your account to get started today.

Program not available in New York State. See GoPetplan.com/petplan-rewards for more information. Size Matters - When it comes to associating words with objects, researchers recently learned our canine friends rely more on the size and texture of the object, rather than its shape – a qualitative difference in word comprehension between dogs and humans.

Take Shelter - A recent study conducted by PetSmart Charities revealed many misconceptions held by the general public about adoptable shelter pets, such as the idea that shelter pets have more health and/or behavior problems. But data from Petplan pet insurance actually reveals pets adopted from shelters are about 5 percent less likely to have an unexpected trip to the vet, compared to pets purchased through pet stores or other sources! Learn the benefits of adopting your next pet from a shelter here.
Nothing to Sneeze At - The olfactory skills of our furry friends have long been used to sniff out explosives, narcotics and other environmental dangers, but a new pilot study reveals they may also be adept at detecting a significant threat that hits closer to home for humans: lung cancer.

Resolving to eat more vegetables this year? Let your pet in on your New Year’s fun with this healthy veggie mix from Dr. Ernie Ward:

Soy Good Veggie Mix

You'll need:
3 1/2 cups tofu
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped kale
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tbsp kelp powder
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

To make this recipe:
In a nonstick skillet, crumble the tofu and add 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast. Heat for 5 minutes over low heat to blend the flavors. Combine the zucchini, kale and carrots in a blender or food processor and blend until minced or pureed. In a bowl, combine the vegetable mixture with the tofu, quinoa and kelp powder and mix thoroughly. Divide into portions appropriate for your pet’s caloric intake.
Makes 6 cups, 231 calories per cup
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.

Petplan is looking for America’s favorite veterinary professionals, and they could be in your local clinic! Here’s a snowflake-sized sample of some of the veterinary heroes who have been nominated for a Petplan Vet Award so far:

Dr. Natara Loose, Veterinarian of the Year nominee: “When Hurricane Sandy hit NY, she spent all week in the pouring rain, barely sleeping because she was so determined to respond to every client and animal she possibly could, by foot, because there was no gas for her car.”

MaryAnn Kavanaugh, Practice Manager of the Year nominee: “This year when my Pomeranian, Monina, was diagnosed with pyometra, MaryAnn made all the difference. She made sure that all the needed records were faxed over to Petplan and followed up on them.”

Marissa Carmichael, Veterinary Technician of the Year nominee: “Quite frankly, Marissa is an animal's best friend when they are in her care. She is very dedicated and well educated in her field, sometimes working through the night to care for a sick animal at Longwood Veterinary Center.”

Read more inspiring “tails” and nominate your own amazing veterinary heroes here. Submit a nomination to be entered to win one of five $100 PetSmart gift cards!

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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