Protect your pets from holiday hazards

‘Tis the season for protecting your pets from holiday hazards

The holiday season increases the opportunity for pets to get their paws on harmful foods, drinks, and decorations. Last year, Nationwide pet insurance members spent more than $27 million on medical conditions commonly associated with seasonal celebrations.

“The holidays can be fun for pet owners and families, but they can turn frightful for pets if they get into something they shouldn’t have,” says Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS, chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “Taking precautions like storing sweets and decorations out of paw’s reach and tidying up after feasts and gift-opening can help pets avoid the temptation to eat something potentially dangerous.”

Popular holiday treats can pose a threat to your pet’s health. Keep foods like chocolate, nuts and raisins out of paw’s reach. 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 foreign objects can cause intestinal obstruction, which could require surgery at an average cost of $1,740.

Be prepared in case of an emergency
If a pet consumes 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.

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