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Natasha Ashton
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As Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Petplan, one of the most innovative pet insurance companies in the United States, Natasha’s passion for creative excellence and love for pets is unmatched.

Natasha holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and completed the highly selective Wharton Venture Initiation Program in 2003, co-winning the Wharton Business Plan Competition. Prior to that, Natasha received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Oxford University. Before attending The Wharton School, she spent several years working for a Greek manufacturing company and a leading international information technology recruitment firm, and launching a small import business in the UK.

In January 2012, Natasha, alongside husband and co-CEO Chris Ashton, was included on Smart CEO magazine's "Future 50" list in recognition of Petplan's explosive growth. In June 2013, the pair were named “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Greater Philadelphia region by Ernst & Young.

Natasha sits on the board of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and recently accepted an invitation to sit on the Ernst & Young Global Women in Business Advisory Council (GWBAC). This council consists of distinguished women entrepreneurs, with a primary focus on the three key challenges facing women in business today: networks, capital and mentors.

Natasha pens a bimonthly column on business management for Smart Business magazine and has been quoted in USA Today, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Fortune magazine and FOX Business.com, to name a few.

Whether at home or in the office, Natasha and Chris are joined by their son Benjamin, their King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Wellington, and their English Toy Spaniel Montgomery, or "Monty." The Ashtons welcomed Monty into the family after their Birman cat Bodey– who was the inspiration for bringing Petplan to the U.S. – passed away in 2012.

Entries by Natasha Ashton

Are You Seeing the Best Veterinarian for Your Pet?

(3) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 3:56 PM

I've been thinking a lot about veterinarians lately. Not only do I work with them on a daily basis, and take Welly and Monty to see one on the regular, but every year I have a hand in sorting through the thousands of nominations that pour...

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What We Give is as Important as What We Get

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 11:27 AM

For my very first post on this site, I wrote about how pets make us better, improving both our physical and mental health in myriad ways. Whatever magic there is in four paws and a wet nose, we humans are totally under its spell. But the human-animal bond...

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Shape up with Your Pup: Exercise Technology Goes to the Dogs

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 11:27 AM

I've talked before about our pets' sometimes precarious relationship with technology, but I've recently discovered some pretty neat devices that can actually help make our furry friends healthier (provided they don't eat them!). Move over smartphones -- smart collars are the latest and greatest new gadget to come...

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Dognapped! Five Things You Can Do to Prevent Pet Theft

(7) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 11:03 AM

"I was only in the store for a second."

"My back yard is fenced in!"

"The car doors were locked."

Unfortunately, these phrases are becoming more and more familiar to pet parents, as reports of dog theft rose yet again in 2013. It only takes a few seconds...

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Snacking Smarter: 5 Nutritious Noshes You Can Share With Your Pets

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 11:13 AM

We are two weeks into the New Year and I am just getting around to making a few resolutions -- with a booming business, a family on the go and a polar vortex to contend with, I haven't had much time for reflection. But yesterday, something stopped me in my...

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The Eyes Have It: Recognizing the Signs of Glaucoma in Pets

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 12:00 PM

A few weeks ago, I shared the story of Tilly, my mother's adopted senior Yorkie mix, and how she'd not only inspired my mother to start living better, but had also inspired me to reflect on the gifts older pets can give us. Well Tilly is at it...

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Paws Off! Protecting Pets From Our Gadgets (and Vice Versa) This Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 11:38 AM

In our home, it's not just the holiday lights that put a twinkle in our eyes, but the blinking trinkets of the tech toys we unwrap on Christmas morning. From the newest iPad to the most sought-after gaming system, my house -- like many people's homes -- turns into a...

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Think Outside of the Big-Box: The Benefits of Shopping Small When Buying Pet Presents

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 3:26 PM

While I simply can't imagine leaving the warmth and comfort of my home and family to go shopping on Thanksgiving night, there is one new holiday spending trend I can get behind: Small Business Saturday.

The new kid on Black Friday's block is designed to give a boost...

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Who Rescued Who? Adopted Senior Pets Give as Much as They Get

(5) Comments | Posted November 16, 2013 | 1:05 PM

Writer Agnes Sligh Turnbull hit the nail on the head when she famously said, "Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." Throughout my life, I have experienced this reality again and again, each time swearing I won't sign up for another heartbreak -- until that next wet nose...

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Safety First (and Second): Pet Perils Persist After Storm Clouds Clear

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 5:53 PM

Much to the relief of communities in the Gulf of Mexico and on the East Coast, we have made it well into September with no significant threat of tropical storms to our shores. Some are even questioning whether the 2013 hurricane season is a bust. Of course, the...

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Movin' On Up: How to Prepare Pets for Relocation

(1) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 1:12 PM

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."

It seems I remind myself of his wise words constantly these days while overseeing everything from final construction to furniture...

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Lost and Found: Microchips Can Be Key to Recovering Missing Pets

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 8:17 PM

Last weekend Wellington, my 9-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, provided me with a somber reminder of why it is so important that we provide our pets with some type of identification. In the midst of a furniture delivery he decided to take a walk on his own. By the time...

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Out With a Bang: Helping Pets Overcome Thunderstorm Anxiety

(3) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 1:56 PM

It's a scenario many pet parents are all too familiar with: As soon as the clouds thicken and the wind starts blowing outside, our pets start acting panicky. While some simply pace, lick or cling close beside us for comfort, other pets suffer much more severe symptoms of thunderstorm phobias....

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Into the Wild: Rabies Prevention Tips for Pets

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 12:45 PM

During these first few weeks of summer, alarming reports of animals infected with rabies have been making headlines across the country, from Texas, to Maryland, to California.

For many pet parents, the threat of rabies probably doesn't seem very real. Along with the increase...

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Working Like a Dog: Tips for Pet Parents on Take Your Dog to Work Day

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2013 | 2:11 PM

At Petplan, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. We share our workspace with everyone from a 17-lb. Pug named Henry to a 197-lb. Mastiff named Doyle (not to mention cats, Guinea pigs, and even a cockatoo named Bird is the Word!).

But...

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Finding Kindness: How to Put Compassion into Action

(5) Comments | Posted May 5, 2013 | 11:03 AM

Back in 2000 when I was still living in the UK, I was involved in a terrible car accident. I was driving on a highway when all of a sudden a rabbit darted in front of my car out of nowhere. Instinct took over and I slammed on my brakes,...

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Paw It Forward: Getting Pets Involved in Acts of Kindness

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 1:57 PM

As I sat down to write this, I realized that Monday marks one week since the attack at the Boston Marathon, and my head spun a bit at how quickly everything unfolded in just seven days.

Amid the fear, confusion, disbelief and sadness that the events of last week created,...

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This Magic Moment: Saying Goodbye to Two Friends

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 7:10 PM

"Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really." -- Agnes Sligh Turnbull

March was a difficult month at the Petplan offices.

In the past few weeks, we lost two members of our furry family. The first, a longtime policyholder and friend; the other, one of our very...

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Cruise Control: Travel Tips for Jet Set Pets

(2) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 2:43 PM

The first quarter of a new year is typically teeming with new projects, pitches and plans, but these first three months of 2013 take the cake for high-octane business adventures. In just the past few weeks, Chris and I have traveled from the UK to Las Vegas and everywhere in...

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To the Teeth: Arm Your Pet Against Dental Disease

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 2:21 PM

February was Pet Dental Health Month. Sound familiar? By now, you've probably gotten a coupon from your vet offering a discounted dental cleaning, or an email from your favorite pet supplier spotlighting sales on everything from pet toothpaste to specially-formulated dental chews.

If you've relegated these notices to the trash,...

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