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Breeze through the final dog days of summer with these tips for keeping pets happy and healthy all August long.

Tread Lightly - On average, it takes two acres of farmland to feed a medium-sized dog each year, and that number could be even higher for cats. To help lessen your pet’s environmental paw print, follow these tips for purchasing a pet food that’s healthy for your best friend and the planet.

Salt Away - What does sea water have in common with homemade playdough? They can both be responsible for salt toxicity in pets. To keep your pet safe and hydrated during dog days at the beach, avoid letting him lap up sea water, bring a bottle of water just for your furry friend, and offer fresh water frequently. And of course, no snacking on playdough at home!

Hard to Swallow - One out of 10 dogs has a broken tooth with direct root canal (or nerve) exposure, which can lead to intense pain, possible infection and, if left untreated, worse. Cut your dog’s risk of dental disaster with these tips from veterinary dentist Dr. Brook Niemiec.

Vets for Pets

(July blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Fab Five - Processed foods often lose many of the nutritious benefits that make them great. Dr. Ernie Ward suggests five superfoods to feed your pet that pack a more wholesome punch.

Belly Busters - Obesity in pets is a catalyst for several dangerous medical conditions. See eight conditions made worse by obesity in this blog from Petplan VP of Veterinary Services, Dr. Jules Benson.

Cut to the Chase - Dr. Kim Smyth discusses the pros and cons of Zeuterin, a new, non-surgical alternative to traditional neutering, on our Vets for Pets blog.

Heating Up the Headlines - Petplan’s expert advice made waves this past month in numerous headlines, with Petplan co-Founders and co-CEOs Chris and Natasha Ashton, as well as VP of Veterinary Services, Dr. Jules Benson, dishing on pertinent topics from business leadership to pet health. Natasha Ashton’s latest columns on The Huffington Post and Smart Business Online looked at preventing rabies in pets and how to create a signature corporate event. She also offered up five questions to ask when shopping for pet insurance at About.com. Chris Ashton, meanwhile, published articles on Examiner.com which looked at why pet insurance is a good employee benefit, as well as what to look for in a pet insurance provider.

Dr. Benson’s veterinary expertise was on call in a Woman’s Day article published on Yahoo!, which looked at 10 surprising human foods dogs can eat, as well as in a series of articles for Pet360.com examining pet grief, pool safety for dogs and whether cats like to be hugged! He also leant a paw to The Dog Daily to discuss the myth of the hypoallergenic dog.

Shop and Save - Help save the lives of shelter pets when you purchase a North Shore Animal League America dog hoodie for your pup.

For Your A-meows-ment - Keep your feline friend mentally and physically stimulated during snack time with a Catit Design Senses Treat Maze.

Striking Style - Swing for the fences with this stitched dog collar featuring authentic baseball materials.

Paw it Forward - Want to do more for animals? Volunteer your time to help animals with The Humane Society of the United States, which offers volunteer opportunities in care centers, emergency shelters, rescue, outreach and more. Visit The HSUS National Volunteer Center to learn how you can lend a paw today!

If you love the peace of mind of Petplan, help spread the word! Visit us at www.GoPetplan.ca and click the Google+1 button below the search bar to recommend us to your friends on social media!

Sweat The Truth - How hot does it get in a parked car during summer days? Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board Member Dr. Ernie Ward spent 30 minutes in a car with the windows cracked open to find out.

Golden Opportunity - Calling all Golden Retriever parents! Join the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and help improve the health of these furry friends. Register today at www.caninelifetimehealth.org.

Paws to Consider - Are your dogs “kids”? New research finds owner-dog relationships share striking similarities to parent-child relationships. Visit us on Facebook to share a picture of your “fur kid!”

Sky High - Most airlines have strict policies when it comes to pets and temperature. American Airlines, for example, will not accept checked pets if the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees F at any location on your itinerary. Call your airline and check the forecast if you’re flying in the near future to avoid getting grounded. Visit our “Jet Set Pets” board on Pinterest for more travel tips!

Treat kitty to a tasty surprise this summer with these salmon snacks from Dr. Karen Halligan:

Salmon delights

You'll need:
1/2 cup canned salmon, drained
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast

To make this recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine and mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form mixture into marble-sized balls and place on well-greased cookie sheet, one inch apart. Bake for 8 minutes or until brown. Cool before serving.

Remember to keep treats to less than 10 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.

In honor of August as Adopt a Homeless Pet Month, tell us your pet adoption story for the chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card and help promote the benefits of adoption!

To enter, write us at petplantails@gopetplan.com with your picture and story! Be sure to give a shout out to the shelter, rescue or humane society you worked with to spread the love! If we pick your story – we’ll send them a $25 gift card on your behalf, as well!

July Story Contest Winner
(we asked for stories about what makes your mutt special)

“Some people will tell you mutts aren't worth anything, but to me my mutt is the reason my world goes around. I guess you could say I got the best of both breeds…
[Read the rest of the story on Facebook]” – Kaleigh H.

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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