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Say hello to the first day of summer with these tips for keeping your best friends safely splashing along!

Pickup the Bill - In May, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill that would bar unrestrained dogs from riding in pickup trucks on the interstate. Unsecured pets kept in the back of pickup trucks are at risk for serious injury (or worse). Visit our Vets for Pets blog to get a veterinarian’s perspective on the danger of letting pets ride in the backs of pickup trucks and leave a comment with your thoughts!

Open Water - Riding in the back of a pickup truck isn’t the only summer travel trouble pets face. Best friends who spend a weekend on the water can easily end up tossed from a shallow boat or fall overboard if left unleashed. To prevent an offshore accident, make sure your water hound is wearing a lifejacket and is securely clipped to a safe spot in the boat when it’s in motion.

Hot Under the Collar - Even in mild weather, the temperature inside a car can rise 40 degrees in as little as an hour. To avoid taking any risks, leave your dog at home while you run errands. And if you ever notice your pet excessively panting or drooling, behaving sluggishly or showing a dark or bright red tongue or gums, get him to the vet immediately – he could be at risk for heat stroke.

Vets for Pets

(May blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Clean Routine - Routine dental cleanings are critical to your pet’s dental and overall health. Find out why – and what your vet might discover during the exam – at the Vets for Pets blog.

Dry Runs - Petplan veterinarian Dr. Kim Smyth warns that profuse diarrhea and vomiting can quickly lead to extreme dehydration for pets who come down with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), a life-threatening disease that most commonly affects young small-breed dogs.

Joined at the Hip - Follow along as Dr. Smyth discusses your pets’ tricky hips and the problems that can occur when they slip out of sockets in her blog post on dislocated hips.

Casting Our Net Wider - Petplan is proud to announce that our website has been paw-picked as an Official Honoree in the 17th Annual Webby Awards, a distinction awarded to the top 15% of all work entered that exhibits remarkable achievement! Read more about this prestigious honor on our Webby-recognized website, GoPetplan.com. Our website isn’t the only place we show web prowess – our Pinterest page was also featured in this article on Yahoo! News about how to get more traffic using Pinterest.

Making Cents - After a penny accidentally poisoned a family's dog last month, Petplan veterinarian, Rebecca Jackson, and VP of Veterinary Services, Dr. Jules Benson, shared their pet health wisdom with CBS News to caution pet parents on the risks of common household items. To help pet parents cope with the vet bills surrounding unexpected accidents and illnesses, Dr. Benson also shared tips on picking out a dog insurance or cat insurance plan that works best for your family in the Chicago Tribune, as well as tips for coping with the itch of seasonal allergies in the Indianapolis Star.

Leading the Way - As one of ForbesMost Promising Companies in America, Petplan has seen its share of success, but as co-Founder and co-CEO Natasha Ashton writes in her regular column for Smart Business magazine, figuring out where your accomplishments have come from makes you more likely to duplicate them. And when tragedy struck Boston, MA, and West, TX, in April, Natasha Ashton shared a few simple ideas to help make the world a little bit kinder with the help of pets, as well as how to put that compassion into action to help pets in her regular column for The Huffington Post.

Bowl-dly Go - Fashionable, flexible water bowl in eight delightful designs offers furry travelers a quick drink during trips.

Just Add Water - Bring a touch of nautical nuttiness to your salty pup’s water play with a floating Boat Bouy Toy.

Old Glory - Celebrate Flag Day (June 14, U.S.) with a red and white striped cat collar purrfect for showing off your feline’s patriotic pride.

In April, The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association announced the recipients of the annual Humane Veterinary Achievement awards, which recognize the contributions of veterinary professionals who protect and advocate for animal welfare – such as Dr. Jennifer Conrad, who was honored for her advocacy work on the issue of cat declawing. Meet the full list of this year’s winners, and give them a round of a-paws!

If you love the peace of mind of Petplan, tell us! Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ to join our community of passionate pet parents and Petplan family members and tell us what you love about Petplan. Don’t forget to share a picture of your best friends!

Out for Blood - Lyme disease-transmitting deer ticks have long been a health hazard for both pets and people, but now a new tick-borne disease discovered by Yale University is causing concern in Southern Connecticut and New York. Eeeks!

Shop or Adopt? - A new study reveals that nearly half of young adults prefer to buy pets rather than adopt them from a rescue or shelter. Join the conversation on Facebook to tell us how you found your furry family members.

Paws to Smile - Meet Naki'o, the world’s first “bionic dog,” who, thanks to four prosthetic paws and the effort of the veterinary assistant who adopted him, is able to walk again.

Working Like a Dog - If you’re planning on bringing your pooch or feline friend to work for Take Your Pet to Work Week™, June 17-21, following a few “rules of the road” can ensure your furry coworker isn’t stepping on anyone’s paws while in the office. Review Petplan’s own Pets at Work Pledge for helpful suggestions to get you started.

Passing just half an Oscar Meyer beef hot dog to your 10-lb. dog is the equivalent of you eating three hot dogs with ketchup and mustard (that’s 726 calories!). Instead, fill your pet’s stomach with these healthy, seasonal summer snack options from Dr. Ernie Ward:

Apple 16 calories per slice
Banana 7-9 calories per half-inch slice
Blueberries 31 calories per half cup
Baby carrots 2-3 calories per carrot
Cucumbers 1 calorie per quarter-inch slice
Strawberries 23 calories per half cup (whole)
Watermelon 23 calories per half cup (diced)

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, visit our homemade pet food recipes board on Pinterest.

In honor of Take Your Pet to Work Week™, tell us about your pet’s favorite “job” for the chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card — be it Chief Cuddle Officer, Head Door Greeter or President of the Dog Park! Or, if you take your pet to work regularly, tell us about that, too! Don’t forget to include a picture of your pet “on the job” so we can share on Facebook and Pinterest!

May story contest winner
(we asked for you to share how cancer has touched your furry family)

“My husband and I knew Jed, a 7-month-old Yellow Lab, was something special when we rescued him from a humane society five and a half years ago. He had the gentle, calm and loving temperament needed to be a therapy dog, and went through training and became certified with Delta Society. Most people agree that he is one special dog. Now he is facing his biggest challenge: He was very recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an extremely aggressive form of bone cancer. [Read the rest of Jed’s story on our Facebook page]” – Terry C., Poulsbo, WA

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 (2012).

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