This celebration can cause a large exposure to hazards for animals.
Though Halloween can be a wonderfully fun and exciting time of the year, some of the elements that make it an enjoyable celebration can present significant risks to the health of an animal, leading to some of the largest numbers of pet insurance claims.
One insurer reported that claims related to candy were 245 percent higher during that week last year.
Statistics from Petplan pet insurance showed that claims related to candy skyrocketed during the week surrounding Halloween, and were nearly 250 percent higher than at any other time in 2011. Since the number of Americans who will be taking part in Halloween celebrations is expected to break records this year – at an estimated 170 million – and over $2.33 billion will be spent on candy (according to statistics from the National Retail Federation), this means that the opportunity for harm will be very present.
Chocolate, which is poison to many animals, is a popular treat that causes pet insurance claims.
Unfortunately, when dogs and cats eat chocolate, it is not only expensive because the candy is gone, but it can become financially and emotionally painful to the animal’s family because this can lead to dangerous cases of poisoning, the cost of which was an average of $582 for treatment last year. This was much higher than the year before, when the average expense relating to chocolate ingestion was $503. That said, this was only the average price. Some of the claims made to pet insurance companies were over $3,290.
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According to Petplan’s vice president of veterinary services, Dr. Jules Benson, it doesn’t matter what type of chocolate is purchased for Halloween, it remains very important that it be stored well out of an animal’s reach.
Dr. Benson went on to explain that “Dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of toxins like methylxantines and caffeine, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting or elevated heart rate, and can even be fatal if ingested. Lighter milk chocolate has a higher fat content, which can lead to serious medical conditions like pancreatitis. If you notice your pet experiencing any of the signs of vomiting, increased thirst, diarrhea, weakness or hyper-excitability, call your veterinarian immediately.” Knowing that the animal is covered by pet insurance can help to ensure that there is no hesitation before making that vital call.