Petplan USA's Top Five Pet Trends for 2009 Include White House Rescue Puppy, Wii injuries and New Legislation

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Petplan USA's top five predictions for 2009

Petplan USA: www.gopetplan.com

Pet owners must resolve this year to not only love their pet but also take responsibility for their health care--and that includes financially

According to the experts at Petplan USA, the top five predictions for 2009 in the companion animal industry include rescue dogs in need of re-rescuing and Wii gaming injuries to lounging pets. The predications by Petplan, the world's leading pet insurance provider, underscore how cultural shifts impact dogs and cats as much as humans. Chris Ashton, Petplan USA co-founder and CEO, says the top five pet trends for 2009 are:

1. President-elect Obama's puppy pick will unleash a rash of adoptions: His decision to select a rescue puppy is in keeping with the trend to forgo the breeder or pet store option. While a blessing to pets facing euthanasia, adopted dogs come with little or no medical history. Given the difficult economic times, rescued dogs are at risk for abandonment.

2. Wii and home gaming will create unfortunate injuries for furry observers: A recent survey by Petplan revealed that nearly six out of ten owners admitted to accidentally stepping on their pet while playing on their Wii. With the Wii Fit game sales soaring, more sprains and fractures are likely.

3. Animal obesity will spawn numerous pet diet "solutions": A Petplan survey showed that 70% of all veterinarians expect pet obesity to rise owing to over-feeding, lack of pet exercise and improper snacking. As a result, new diet pet foods, exercise accessories and health spas are emerging seemingly each day.

4. Government legislation will catch up with pet realities: In the wake of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's jail sentence for dog fighting more than 25 states are considering anti- animal-fighting laws. Laws to banish puppy mills are gaining momentum thanks to the attention of animal advocates like Oprah Winfrey. In addition, New Jersey is considering a law requiring pet providers to provide pet insurance information to customers.

5. Financial planning will include four-legged family members: With the United States in a deep recession lavish spending on such items as pet perfume, pet potties, and pet cosmetic procedures will dip while cost-saving measures such as spaying/neutering, regular veterinary check ups, and purchasing medications online will rise.

While New Year's predictions are a time honored pastime, Dr. Jules Benson, Petplan USA's staff veterinarian and director of veterinary services notes, "Though it doesn't require a crystal ball to know that dogs and cats will continue as the top pets in the US, it's still alarming how unnecessarily vulnerable America's pets are year in and year out."

Americans spend more than $41 billion a year on their pets. Yet less than 1 percent of their four-legged friends are covered by pet health insurance . "Pet owners must resolve this year to not only love their pet but also take responsibility for their health care--and that includes financially," says Ashton. "Pet insurance is on the rise because people realize that a dollar a day is a small price to avoid facing a terrible decision over one's pet," he adds.

Petplan USA is the exclusive US licensee of Petplan UK, the world's largest pet health
insurance provider. The company, actively involved in campaigns aimed at closing puppy mills, is the exclusive pet insurance provider of The Humane Society of the United States. In 2008 Vernon W. Hill II, Founder and Retired Chairman of Commerce Bank, joined European investors in a major round of funding and was been appointed Chairman of the Board.

Petplan provides a range of comprehensive accident and illness health insurance offerings for dogs and cats including full coverage for all hereditary conditions. That's good news for dogs and cats hoping to enjoy a healthy 2009 and beyond.

About Petplan:
Petplan USA is the exclusive U.S. licensee of Petplan, the world's largest pet health insurance provider. Petplan provides the most comprehensive accident and illness health insurance for dogs and cats including full coverage for all hereditary conditions, and is the #1 rated pet insurance provider in America among pet owners. Since launching its U.S. operations in Philadelphia, Petplan has grown rapidly by focusing on stellar customer service, unique customizable policies and extensive coverage. Petplan's unique policies cover hereditary conditions fully for the life of the pet. Through a choice of simple customizable policies, Petplan allows pet parents to select the coverage that meets their needs and budget. The company is the exclusive pet insurance partner of The Humane Society of the United States (http://www.hsus.org). Petplan policies in the United States are underwritten by American National Property And Casualty Company (http://www.anpac.com) and North American Elite Insurance Company, rated A+ (Superior) by AM Best. For more information: http://www.GoPetplan.com or 1.866.467.3875.

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