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Welcome in the first days of fall with these colorful September pet health tips!

Broken Dreams - Pets love to sleep. In fact, dogs generally sleep about 13 or 14 hours a day, while feline friends can sleep anywhere from 15 to 22 hours a day! Although dreams of chasing sheep in their sleep are normal, if your pets’ dreams seem more active lately than usual, a REM sleep behavior disorder could be to blame. If your pet is sleeping soundly, tweet us a pic of your pet in their favorite snoozing spot!

Fall Back Plan - The beginning of autumn means colorful leaves are just around the corner, but so are seasonal allergies. Atopy (inhaled allergies) can leave pets who are sensitive to airborne substances like pollen scratching for relief, often leading to painful results. If you notice your pets seem itchier than in past seasons, talk to your vet about the options for treatment.

Lend an Ear - September 22-28 is Deaf Awareness Week. Deafness in pets may seem a difficult hurdle to overcome, but most pets with hearing loss live perfectly happy lives! Teaching hand signals and modifying your pet’s environment are two simple tactics you can use to help your pet better cope with the change. Get more tips on adjusting to life with a deaf pet here.

Vets for Pets

(August blogs to boost your pet prowess!)

Death by Chocolate - Most pet parents know that chocolate is toxic to pets, but did you know that Baker’s chocolate packs an extra dangerous punch? Visit our blog to learn why and see what to do if your pet gets into your candy stash!

Staph Safety - MRSA is a serious condition that can affect both people and pets. Follow these tips from Petplan veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Jackson to prevent the spread of MRSA infection in your home.

Take a Chill Pill - Some furry friends are easily spooked by noise from thunderstorms, fireworks or even vacuum cleaners. Learn how medication can help pets with noise phobias weather the storm, and then share your tips for keeping pets relaxed on our Facebook page!

Pawsitive Success - Pet health insurance is the fastest-growing voluntary employee benefit, and companies of all sizes, from Wal-Mart to startups, are increasingly turning to providers like Petplan to offer pet insurance coverage to their customers and employees, as CNBC reports – exciting news for a company just scratching the surface of an emerging market!

Healthy Headlines - Petplan pet insurance VP of Veterinary Services Dr. Jules Benson and staff veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Jackson both recently offered their expertise to national media sources to help better educate pet parents. Dr. Benson’s tips on understanding the difference in exercise needs for dogs of various breeds and sizes, and his advice on safely increasing a large dog’s exercise intensity were featured on Yahoo! Voices. He also lent a paw to PetMD.com to discuss the common causes and remedies of diarrhea in pets. Meanwhile, Dr. Jackson offered training tips at TheDogDaily.com on how to prepare your dog for guests.

Petplan Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Chris and Natasha Ashton also made headlines, with Natasha sharing our resident vets’ top tips for keeping pets calm during thunderstorms in her regular column at The Huffington Post and Chris offering advice on avoiding the pitfalls of pet insurance – a sound investment in any season – at Examiner.com.

Travel Light - Make moonlight walks safer with a Pup Crawl Lights-Up Dog Leash, visible from a quarter mile away, and $3 of every sale will go to help pets in need!

Doggie d’art - Eco-friendly Rubber Tassel Toy inspired by 18th century French decorative design can be filled with treats for added fun.

Go Nuts - Keep kitty captivated during Happy Cat Month with this seasonably fun Packed Lunch Squirrel Cat Toy.

Feeling social? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ to bark (or meow) about the latest pet health news and trends!

Butt Out - Secondhand smoke and residual chemicals pose a health risk to people of all ages, but did you know our furry pals are also placed in peril? According to new research, smokers who don’t wash their hands before handling pets can easily transfer harmful chemicals from their cigarettes to a pet's coat, as well.

Licking Digestive Problems - A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that dogs who lick incessantly often have an undiagnosed digestive problem, such as giardiasis, not a behavioral problem, as first thought.

Hair-Raising News - Thanks to science, a new tool may soon be used to help your vet diagnose dogs with Cushing’s disease: their fur! Read more at Science Daily.

Road Trip Tips - September is back-to-school season, and for many families with young adults entering college, that means taking a road trip! Unfortunately, not all pets are comfortable traveling by car. Dr. Ernie Ward’s tips for easing travel anxiety in pets can help your pooch stomach the drive, as can these tips from Dr. Rebecca Jackson on how
to have a safe trip with cats in tow.

Kale is a popular pick for seasonal September dishes, and for good reason: it’s one of nature’s best superfoods – and one your dog can eat, too! When paired with lean red meat like sirloin steak, as in this recipe from Dr. Ernie Ward, it’s a meal that’s tough to beat!

B Lean Steak

You'll need:
2 cups lean sirloin steak
1 cup cooked barley
1 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1/2 chopped carrot
1 cup chopped raw kale
1 tbsp kelp powder

To make this recipe:
Place cubed lean steak in a nonstick skillet and and cook thoroughly over medium heat. Chop the steak once cooled. Combine peas, carrots and kale in a blender or food processor and blend until minced or puréed. In a bowl, combine vegetable medley with the steak, barley and kelp powder and mix thoroughly. Divide into portions appropriate to your pet’s caloric intake.

Makes 5 1/2 cups (appox 243 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.

Programmed to Provide - Did you know that every time your canine couch companion enjoys DOGTV, you’re helping pets in need? You are! See how a partnership between The Humane Society of the United States and DOGTV is helping support pets and people in under-served communities, all while keeping your best friend enriched and occupied!

In honor of Happy Cat Month, tell us how you keep your feline family member full of joy for the chance to win a $25 AMEX gift card!

August Story Contest Winner
(we asked for your pet adoption stories)

“I had just completed major surgery and 6 weeks of radiation for cancer and was having difficulty resuming my life. The cancer therapist suggested that I do something special for myself, like a massage, but it didn't work. I went to get dog food for my other dog and saw the pets for adoption at the store and that is when I had my answer. I adopted a second dog and it brought me back to normal again. I felt that I was given a second chance, so I gave the dog a second chance. I really think she helped me and not the other way around…” – Diane F.

[read the rest of the story on Facebook]

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 approval and coverage may vary by state. Pet insurance policies are issued by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company and administered by Fetch Insurance Services, d/b/a Petplan. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2012). For more information, visit GoPetplan.ca.

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