Many holiday treats and decorations are highly toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals.
At this festive time of year when sweet treats are shared and holiday decorations are hung throughout the house, pet insurance companies are cautioning animal owners to take care and avoid exposing their beloved animals to poisons and other dangers that these items can present.
Even seemingly harmless cookies or Christmas tree ornaments could create a life or death scenario.
For example, pet insurance companies are cautioning owners that many dogs love the smell of chocolate just as much as their human chocoholic counterparts. However, while the biggest risk you may have with cookies and squares is a few extra pounds by the end of the year, these same ingredients could place your furry family member’s life at risk.
Pet insurance firms want owners to know that common ingredients such as chocolate are poisonous to dogs.
It isn’t just chocolate, though. Pet insurance specialists are also cautioning that many other types of sweets and candy are also toxic to dogs, even though they are highly appealing to those animals. This can even include foods that many people would never suspect, such as raisins. Those little dried fruits, if eaten in adequate quantities, can cause severe damage to the liver, kidneys, or pancreas of the animal.
Every year, insurers report an increase in claims over the Christmas Season (as well as at Easter and Halloween, when similar treats are common). In fact, a recent claims analysis performed by PetPlan Pet Insurance, a company based in Philadelphia, showed that there is a spike in claims related to the consumption of chocolate, raisins, and candy that is 284 percent greater from December 21 through December 31 than it is for the average throughout the rest of the year.
The average holiday season pet insurance claim is $487, though this can be much higher when Christmas ornaments are swallowed or when accidents and poisonings occur outside of business hours and more expensive emergency veterinary clinics must be used. Though these claims are more common for dogs, cats are not immune to the risk. Therefore, it is important for all animal owners to keep treats stashed securely out of reach of pets, and to be very careful regarding the choice of decorations.