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Melt away the winter worries and march into spring with a fresh purr-spective, thanks to these pet health tips and tidbits!

Grass Roots Movement - If the spring thaw has given your pet a fresh unfertilized lawn to lunch on, there’s usually little reason to fret. Dogs are not obligate carnivores, and occasionally will chew on grass, which is not necessarily a sign of illness. But if you find your furry family member vomiting or exhibiting diarrhea frequently, get her into the vet's office for a checkup.

Lower the Boom - March 3-9 is National Severe Storm Preparedness Week. To help prepare for whatever wicked weather blows your way, put together a pet evacuation kit and store it with your pet first aid kit and emergency numbers. Stocking up on bottled water, non-perishable foods and extra blankets can also benefit your entire family should you lose power or become stuck inside.

Nip It in the Bud - Dogs frequently get into things they shouldn’t, but curious cats can encounter equally serious risks, especially around Easter lilies. Both the leaves and flowers of Easter lilies contain toxins which can cause acute kidney failure in feline friends. To be safe, avoid keeping poisonous plants in your home.

Vets for Pets

(February blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Under Submission - Puppy piddles aren’t always a housetraining issue. In frightened or insecure pets, it could be a side effect of your best friend accepting you as the top dog in the family. Follow along as Dr. Kim Smyth offers tips to curb submissive urination.

Hyper Awareness - If kitty is climbing up in years and showing signs of weight loss, vomiting, poor grooming and increased litter box use, she could be suffering from hyperthyroidism – particularly if she’s 10 years old or older. Read more about hyperthyroidism in cats in this blog post from Petplan staff veterinarian Rebecca Jackson.

Border Wars - Good fences make good neighbors, but fence line wars can sometimes cause spats between furry friends. Learn how to handle bad fence line behavior at the Petplan Vets for Pets blog.

2013 Petplan Veterinary Excellence Awards - We recently honored a trio of outstanding veterinary professionals at the 2013 Petplan Veterinary Excellence Awards dinner at the Four Seasons-Las Vegas. Held in conjunction with the Western Veterinary Conference, the Petplan Veterinary Excellence Awards recognized Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Natalie Marks; Practice Manager of the Year, Suzanne Cross; and Veterinary Technician of the Year, Kim Franck, who were chosen from over 2,200 nominations as America’s favorite veterinary professionals. In addition to our winners, Petplan was also joined by our esteemed Veterinary Excellence Awards Judging Panel and members of the press and veterinary community. Learn more about the Petplan Veterinary Excellence Awards and our winners, and see photos from the event on the Petplan Vet Awards board on Pinterest!

Forbes Names Petplan Pet Insurance One of America’s Most Promising Companies - Petplan is proud to announce that we have been listed at No. 34 on Forbes magazine's annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies! The inclusion on the annual list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures comes a year after Petplan’s inclusion in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies in America and Pinterest’s choice of Petplan among the group of five companies selected to be featured in their business page case study.

Natasha Ashton Featured in Forbes - Petplan Co-CEO Natasha Ashton was among the 11 female founders and CEOs featured in the recently published Forbes list of 11 Women Who Started Amazing Companies. Natasha and her husband, Chris, came up with the idea for Petplan as graduate students at Wharton in 2003 when their cat, Bodey, became sick, forcing the entrepreneurial couple to juggle finances (and housing) to pay the $5,000 veterinary bill. Ten years later, Petplan is recognized as one of the most promising companies in America!

Love Is All Around - Petplan helped spread the news about our love for pet health in February, making headlines about poison prevention for pets in prestigious publications such as The Wall Street Journal, discussing the benefits of balancing work and relationships in The Washington Post, Knowledge @ Wharton and Philly.com, and offering statistics for financial-focused media sites Bloomsberg Businessweek and MSN Money. In addition, Petplan Co-CEO Natasha Ashton’s latest blog at The Huffington Post discussed tips for dealing with seasonal affective disorder in pets, while VP of Veterinary Services, Dr. Jules Benson, lent a paw to Fox Business News for their feature on vehicle pet safety. With all the love for pet health in the news, it’s no wonder Petplan topped the CBS Philly list of dog-friendliest workplaces in Philadelphia!

Put your paws together for our fetch! Toy issue contest winners - Winners of a SafeMade cat or dog toy: Debbie Staudacher, Deanna Lesht, Lauren Watson, Katy McCain and Annie Johns. Winners of a Hands Free Doody Bag Holder from The Fifth Paw®: Alex Liu, Rhonda Tenderholt, Amanda Sacco, Candice Andah and Buron Langman.

Sit and Stay - Not all pets are well-suited for travel. If your pet prefers a stay-cation, you may want to look into hiring a pet sitter. To help you in your search, visit PetSit USA, a digital directory of professional pet sitters, dog walkers and doggie daycares perfect for taking care of your furry family member when you’re on the road.

A View from Above - Give your kitty climber a cozy point of view with this pastel-colored Hanging Cat Cuddle Pod.

Go the Extra Mile - Celebrate the arrival of spring (March 20) in style with a simple and understated eco-Lucks leash made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles.

Over the Rainbow - Lead Fido to a pot of golden fun with this super-durable, floatable leprechaun dog toy.

If you love to spread the word about Petplan, you’re in luck! You can earn rewards for every pet you refer that enrolls! Log-into your account to start earning rewards today!

Program not available in New York State. See GoPetplan.com/petplan-rewards for more information.

Emergency Response - Petplan is proud to welcome the Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (VSEC) to Philadelphia! In addition to their hospital in Levittown, PA, VSEC’s new Philadelphia building brings specialty care closer to the Philadelphia, South Jersey and Northern Delaware communities. Learn more about VSEC and specialty veterinary care in the interview with VSEC Co-Hospital Director and Chief of Surgery Dr. Robert Orsher from the "Snip/Tuck" issue of fetch! magazine, landing in mailboxes and select Barnes & Noble stores now!

Clever Canines - New research reveals our canine companions may understand the human perspective better than originally thought – no wonder they steal food when they think no one is looking!

No Ordinary Joe - For the first time in the history of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an Affenpinscher named Banana Joe was crowned Best in Show, beating out six other breeds in the running, including the popular Portuguese Water Dog. Way to go, Joe!

Did you know that kelp, a sea vegetable, is highly nutritious and considered to be a superfood for dogs? Harness the green goodness for Fido with this healthy recipe from Dr. Ernie Ward:

Eggs-Cellently Delicious Eggs

You'll need:

1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped spinach
2 cups chopped boiled eggs (about 5 eggs)
2 cups 2% cottage cheese
1 Tbsp kelp powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (not to be confused with brewer’s yeast)

To make this recipe:
Place vegetables in a blender or food processor. Blend until minced or pureed, whichever your dog prefers. In a bowl, combine vegetable mix with eggs, cottage cheese and kelp and mix thoroughly. Divide into portions appropriate for your pet’s caloric intake. Makes approximately 5 1/2 cups (160 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.

Saving Lives with Rescue Central - In an effort to help animal rescue groups operate at their highest level, The Humane Society of the United States has launched Rescue Central, a program that will provide tools, assistance and expertise to the estimated 10,000 private rescue groups on the front lines of saving lives. Visit animalsheltering.org/rescuecentral to learn more.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), tell us your pet's luckiest tale for a chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card! Include a picture so we can share on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

February Story Contest Winner
(“What I Love About My Pet”)

“I love the spunkiness of my Eurasier, Tika. She has gone through a lot in her six young years but she greets each day as an adventure. She has been completely blind for almost a year now. You would be amazed if you saw her playing in the yard or walking on a leash out in the world - she completely trusts us and goes along as if nothing is different (despite the occasional bump). Tika also has EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) and so her food needs to be carefully managed. My lesson from this lovely girl is to keep on keeping on, no matter what life throws your way!”
– Pam R., Portsmouth, NH

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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