Insurers caution against the large number of hazards holiday celebrations present to dogs and cats.
Although the holiday season can be lots of fun to share with the entire family – including furry family members – pet insurance companies are reminding owners that this time of year can be filled with hazards for animals.
Claims during the holidays are far higher than the average for the rest of the year.
One important reminder is that the hazards don’t simply disappear following Christmas. The treats and decorations are still around after the official holiday is complete, and many new ones start to reappear as people gear up for their New Year celebrations. These dangers can be found in perfectly innocent seeming areas, such as stepping on sharp pine needles as they start to dry and fall out, slipping on the ice, or eating something that they truly shouldn’t have.
December represents more pet insurance claims than any other month of the year.
The majority of these pet insurance claims come from completely preventable circumstances. These include leaving food out within reach of an animal – such as turkey (which has bones that can choke or splinter), Christmas pudding, chocolate, certain nuts, and other foods that are poisonous to animals.
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While many other types of pet insurance claims do come in throughout December, such as wounds and fractures, it is “poisoning” from the consumption of inappropriate items or foods that generate the most common claims. Last year, the poisoning incidents that were recorded by insurers increased by 91 percent in December over any other monthly average in 2011. The year before, that figure was nearly as high, at 90 percent.
In order to avoid tragedy, pet insurance companies are reminding animal owners to keep human food well out of a dog or cat’s reach. They should also keep breakable decorations away from areas where they can be accidentally knocked down by the animal. When a dog or cat is near presents and decorations, make sure that they are closely supervised so that ingestion or stepping on broken items can be entirely avoided. By taking a few simple precautions, animal owners can keep their furry family members happy and healthy throughout the season.