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Keep your cool all summer long with these tips for keeping your pets out of hot water.

Water Hazard - Despite popular opinion, not all dogs can swim, and breeds with broad chests and short legs, like Pugs or Corgis, can easily exhaust themselves with the effort. Before you bring your pooch poolside, test out her swimming abilities in shallow water and never, ever let a pet swim unattended.

Where the Chips Fall - Bringing your buddy to the beach? Snacking on treats that land in the sand can lead to intestinal blockages, especially in smaller breeds. Petplan recently paid a $1,822 claim to the family of Clara, a Rat Terrier who ingested sand at the beach. Limit treats at the beach or keep your pet’s lunch on a blanket to be safe.

Up in Smoke - Over 500,000 pets are affected in home fires each year. Help firefighters and rescue personnel find your pet faster in the event of a fire with a free, customizable Pet Rescue Alert. Create yours here today.

Vets for Pets

(June blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Proper Petiquette - Trips to the vet can be a daunting task – for both pet parents and the clinic. Follow these top 10 tips for proper vet visit etiquette from our Vets for Pets blog to avoid drama at the doc’s office.

On the Prowl - Prey drive is an instinct for cats – and one that needs to be exercised to avoid inappropriate behaviors. Click here to get tips for keeping kitty engaged in play from Petplan staff veterinarian Kim Smyth.

At First Sight - X-ray vision isn’t just for superheroes, anymore. Learn how interventional radiology is helping vets fix pets (no red capes required).

Pressing Forward - As a recognized leader in pet health and thought leadership, Petplan’s expert advice is often sought to give pet parents and business owners a leg up on the issues heating up the headlines. To help lend a paw this past month, VP of Veterinary Services Dr. Jules Benson talked to MarketWatch about the 10 things cats won’t tell you, discussed confronting the euthanasia issue for Petside.com, offered tips for avoiding summertime hazards for pets and had suggestions for the best pets for kids with allergies.

Petplan pet insurance co-CEOs and co-Founders Chris and Natasha Ashton also made news: They took home a top prize at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Gala, winning the Greater Philadelphia region‘s Retail & Consumer Products category. They will go on to compete for the national prize in Palm Springs in November. Additionally, Chris authored columns for ExpertBeacon.com on choosing the best pet insurance policy and budgeting for the lifetime costs of owning a pet, and Natasha offering advice for finding a business mentor on MSN’s Business on Main.

Family Ties - Petplan’s recent press appearances haven’t been exclusive to our team of experts – our family members have been joining in the fun, too! San Diego State University’s JMS Reports spoke to Michelle Francescotti on how Petplan pet insurance has made a difference in the lives of her cats William and Penny, while another policyholder talked to TheWeek.com about how Petplan helps her Pug, Angel, with arthritis and eye issues.

Put your paws together for our fetch! Snip/Tuck issue contest winners - Winners of a bottle of Dogtails™ shampoo: Christine Corl, Kristen Crotzer, Milda Harris, Nancy Sundberg and Kimberly Wu. Winners of a Scaredy Cut® home pet grooming kit: Traci Doddy, Matti Knight, Deb Lester, Carin Wantula and Sally Wirtel.

Scratching the Spotlight - Seasonal allergies can cause affected best friends to itch up a storm. To lend a paw, Petplan’s VP of Veterinary Services Dr. Jules Benson stopped by Good Day’s Fox Fursday with adoptable friends from the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) to share seasonal allergy prevention tips and wag tails with a television audience.

Under the Sea - Help your best friend make waves at the beach with this Green Sea Turtle toy and 2% of the sale will be donated to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Insect Antswer - Plagued by pests? This elevated 2-in-1 food and water bowl with moat design keeps food contained and away from pesky intruders.

Ruffing It - Keep your canine pal comfortable during camping trips with a Mountainsmith K-9 bed, which packs into its own stuff-sack for dogs on the run.

Helpful Hurricane Prep - More than 35 million people, many of them pet owners, live in areas threatened by Atlantic hurricanes. With Atlantic hurricane season lasting from June 1 to November 30, The Humane Society of the United States urges pet parents to include pets in their disaster plans. Click here to learn how you can help protect your pet during stormy weather.

Love being social? Follow Petplan on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ to join our community of passionate pet parents and family members today!

Rescue Mission - Should animal shelters be eligible for federal aid? A New York Congressman says yes, and is lobbying for Congress to pass the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which includes federal disaster aid for animal shelters. Visit us on Facebook and tell us what you think!

Fit for Fido - A new, wearable device designed to monitor your pet’s health and well-being by tracking his activity levels is making waves in the tech sector and could be appearing at a dog park near you soon.

Dr. Dog - Pooches over pills? A new study suggests canine companions may help lick some human mental health disorders by positively affecting brain chemistry and function.

Have ID, Will Travel - Summer trips are perfect for letting loose, but keep your pet’s collar and ID on at all times when traveling. Pets can easily get spooked and scatter during a bathroom break, and without identification, 90% of lost pets will not return home.

Pack a punch into your pup’s lunch during summer picnics with these tasty treats from Dr. Karen Halligan:

Peanut Butter Pleasers

You'll need:
3 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup dry milk powder
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 cups non-fat milk
2 cups creamy low-fat peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey

To make this recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Blend flour, oats, dry milk and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix in milk, peanut butter and honey. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on well-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool before serving.

Remember to keep treats to less than ten percent of your pet's daily caloric intake to maintain a healthy diet.

Recipe from Dr. Karen Halligan’s website, DocHalligan.com. Veterinarian Karen Halligan is the author of “Doc Halligan’s What Every Pet Owner Should Know” (Collins, 2007). 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.

July 31 is Mutts’ Day! In honor of mixed breed best friends everywhere, tell us what makes your mixed breed dog special for the chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card. Don’t forget to include a picture so we can share on Facebook and Pinterest! To enter, email us at petplantails@gopetplan.com by July 31, 2013 midnight EST!

June Story Contest Winner
(we asked for stories about your pet "on the job")

“I am president of a women's cancer non-profit and Scully plays the role of mascot and therapy dog for the women that we serve. As soon as I put on his bandanna and vest, he knows it's time to go into action. His whole demeanor changes. This 10 lb. black Yorkie-Poo stops being an often shy pup to strangers and becomes a warm and friendly cuddle-bunny.
[Read the rest of Scully’s story on our Facebook page]” – Clancy K, Gaithersburg, MD

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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