Protecting Pets from Holiday Hazards
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Nationwide Offers Pet Safety Tips for Seasonal Celebrations
Last year, Nationwide pet insurance members spent more than $27 million on medical conditions commonly associated with the holiday season. With winter festivities upon us, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider or pet health insurance, sorted through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the most common holiday season related injuries and their average costs for treatment:
Injury Average Cost
Tinsel or Ribbon Ingestion (Intestinal Foreign Body) $1,740
Raisin or Nut Toxicity $649
Electrical Shock from Holiday Lights $607
Rosemary or Mistletoe Toxicity $527
Alcohol Toxicity $525
Chocolate Toxicity $382
Laceration from Ornaments $329
The holiday season increases the opportunity for pets to get their paws on harmful foods, drinks and decorations. The most common toxic treats that Nationwide insured pets ingested last holiday season were chocolates, nuts and raisins. In fact, twenty-one percent of all Nationwide pet insurance claims for chocolate toxicity were received in the month of December.
Some pets prefer to munch on non-digestible holiday items including tinsel, ribbon, gift wrap and ornaments. Ingestion of such items can lead to surgery for an intestinal foreign body, which is the most expensive medical condition associated on the holiday list with an average cost of $1,740 per pet.
If a pet consumes a toxic food or a foreign body, he or she should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. In preparation, pet lovers should locate the nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital prior to any holiday celebration.
“Pet owners need to be aware of the dangers that surround our pets during the holiday season,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “Food or sweets left on low-lying tables can be a major hazard and holiday decorations can easily become a harmful toy for household pets. I advise all pet owners to take extra precautions during holiday season, and to be aware of their surrounding veterinary resources in case of an emergency.”