The insurer is hoping more owners will keep their furry family members safe this year.
It’s that time of year again, when we bring out the decorations and sweet treats and need a reminder about holiday pet risks to keep our fuzzy loved ones safe.
Our four-legged family members experience different dangers than humans do during this season.
Nationwide Insurance is reminding owners that while we keep our walkways lit and clear to stop people from falling, and keep our Christmas trees hydrated so they won’t become a fire risk, we need to focus on other factors for cats and dogs. Holiday pet risks aren’t the same as those we consider for our human family members.
It’s definitely smart to place candles where they won’t be knocked over when guests are visiting, but we don’t usually have to worry about Aunt Jenny being poisoned by eating a poinsettia or suffering a bowel obstruction after swallowing tinsel.
The insurer is encouraging owners to take the time to remind themselves of holiday pet risks.
We love our dogs and cats enough to get them their own stockings and make sure Santa knows to leave them gifts. It’s also worth the time to remind ourselves of the unique risks they face when the season gets into full swing.
For instance, dogs absolutely love the smell of chocolate. They can easily detect it through a plastic-wrapped package covered by another layer of gift-wrapping paper. If left under the tree with other presents, dogs will often open them up and consume the chocolates, and sometimes the packaging, too. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can make them very sick or even be fatal, depending on how much is consumed.
Cats love to try scaling Christmas trees. That said, they’re not good at navigating a tree full of light strings, tinsel, ornaments, and other temptations that can lead to accidents and ingestions that send them to the emergency vet.
Nationwide conducted an analysis of its pet insurance database and identified the largest holiday pet risks according to claims at this time of year. The hope is that pet owners will use this information based on past disasters to keep their own dogs and cats safe and healthy.
These largest holiday pet risks include:
- Ingestion of toxic chocolate and caffeine
- Ingestion of foreign objects (including gift wrap, tinsel and ribbon, among other things)
- Poisoning from plants (such as holly, holly berries, pine needles, lilies, mistletoe, onions, raisins, garlic, certain nuts, and even marijuana/CBD edibles).
- Stress-induced vomiting and diarrhea (from stressors including busy gatherings, consumption of fatty or sugary table scraps, or drinking the Christmas tree water)
- Burns and electric shock from holiday electrical cords and lighting
- Lacerations from broken ornaments