Skip to main content

Holidays Hazards And Your Pets: Tips To Keep Them Safe!

From munching on colorful holiday light bulbs to ingesting chocolate treats intended for human consumption, pets are exposed to a variety of dangerous objects during the holiday season. In 2012, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders spent more than $24.3 million on medical conditions commonly associated with the holidays. 

As the season approaches, VPI reminds pet owners of the potential dangers presented to our four-legged companions. 

Below are the most common holiday hazards for pets:

— “People” food and scraps
—Chocolate and/or other caffeinated products
—Christmas tree decorations (Ornaments and tinsel)
—Holiday plants (Lilies, hollies, mistletoe and poinsettias)
—Holiday lighting

Medical Conditions Associated with the Holidays

Gastritis (vomiting), the most common medical condition associated with the holidays, cost an average of $275 per pet. Examples of potential holiday hazards that could result in gastritis include the ingestion of Christmas tree water and holiday plants, such as lilies, mistletoe and poinsettias. Enteritis (diarrhea), the second most common medical condition associated with the holidays, cost an average of $120 per pet. The ingestion of “people” food, especially high fat leftovers and scraps are common examples of potential holiday hazards that could result in enteritis.

Intestinal foreign body – surgical (foreign object in the intestines), the most expensive medical condition associated with the holidays, costs an average of $2,033 per pet.  The digestive system’s inability to pass tinsel, ribbons and bone fragments (from holiday meats) are examples of foreign objects that could require surgery for removal.

Of the 269,471 claims processed during the holiday months (November through January 2012), 25,731 were for conditions commonly associated with holiday festivities. Of those claims, 17,955, or 70 percent, were specifically associated with vomiting and diarrhea, illustrating the importance of keeping pets from eating tempting seasonal items.

Keeping Chocolate Away from Pets

VPI received 1,016 methylxanthine (chocolate toxicity) claims in 2012. The 221 claims that were submitted in December alone presented a 306 percent increase over an average of 72 methylxanthine claims submitted during the other 11 months of the year. Chocolate toxicity claims had an average cost of $378 per pet. Although death only occurs in approximately one in every 3,000 chocolate intoxication cases, the ingestion of chocolate could result in vomiting, diarrhea, urination, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias, tremors and seizures. 

“With the increased activity and exposure to dangerous items during the holiday season, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on our pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for VPI. “Pet owners should be sure to place all potentially hazardous items out of reach. Taking necessary precautions in advance will keep the holidays happy, and hopefully avoid a trip to the veterinary emergency room!”

Image: Flickr


Popular posts from this blog

10 Strangest Items Swallowed By Dogs

My mother’s Schnauzer mix, Sha Sha, eats just about anything.  I didn’t quite believe just how often she would quickly snap up everything in her sight until a few weeks ago when she swallowed a quarter and a nickel in the blink of an eye. The vet advised my mother to watch her for the next few days as the coins would likely pass. It’s a very common issue among dog owners and it doesn’t only happen with puppies. The majority of dogs do grow out of the need to eat inedible objects. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what a puppy would eat so it’s best to be vigilant about where you dog is allowed to freely roam. Many dogs and puppies have been known to swallow seemingly unsuitable items, which  you might not find in any way enticing or preferable, but they do. Check out this list of the strangest things swallowed by dogs as witnessed by the  ASPCA :

Tips To Help Your Child Bond With Your Dog

Courtesy of Pet 360: Growing up with a family pet is a great way for kids to learn two of life’s most valuable lessons: respect and responsibility. To help parents create and foster a special bond between their human and fur kids,  has pulled together the following tips for each stage of a child’s development:

10 Most Common Medical Conditions That Send Dogs to the Vet

No one likes going to the vet, especially our dogs. Like many others, my dogs can sense when they are going way before we get there. They get nervous and hyper. Some dogs whimper endlessly at the vet’s office while countless others have fear-induced accidents right in the office. While regular check-ups and vaccinations are a necessary evil, we can try our best to keep our pups in optimal health thus avoiding another dreaded trip. Veterinary Pet Insurance  compiled a list of the 10 most common medical conditions that send dogs to the vet. Some are unavoidable while others may be caught early on. Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM points out that many of the conditions that most regularly require vet visits “can be stopped early or successfully managed in partnership with a veterinarian. To prevent some of the discomfort that so many pets experience from common diseases, the place to start would be by checking them regularly for developing problems.” Check out the full list here at Babb