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Petplan Reminds of Common Household Health Hazards

05/25/11

Petplan Pet Insurance encourages pet parents to protect pets from their insatiable curiosity in and around the home


PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 20, 2011) – A pair of Spanx®. A lone sock. A pack of gum. These items would seem to have little, if anything, in common except that each is an example of an item recently ingested by a pet whose owners hold policies with Petplan – America’s top rated pet insurance provider.

With nearly 100,000 policyholders across all 50 states, Petplan is accustomed to receiving claims related to the unusual, curious and downright bizarre ingestion of household items by pets. Yet, while these odd items are seemingly irresistible to cats and dogs, their ingestion can cause serious health problems and often require extensive and expensive veterinary care, including surgery. Petplan reminds pet parents to be aware of the common items in and around the home that can be health hazards to a pet.

Petplan claims find that breeds with the most adventurous appetites - and consequently the highest amount of claims for foreign body ingestion - are American Bulldogs, Viszlas and Goldendoodles. In contrast, Malteses, Boston Terriers and cats, in general, have more discerning paletes as they have the lowest instances of claims for ingesting an item that they shouldn’t have.
 

“The old expression, ‘Curiosity killed the cat,’ was likely coined because our pets so often find their way into trouble,” says Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President of Veterinary Services at Petplan. “Gastrointestinal issues were the most frequently submitted claim among all Petplan policyholders in 2010 and while many claims were related to the ingestion of human food, others were far stranger, including a claim for a dog that ate 200 paintballs and one for a cat that swallowed an entire swimsuit. Yet, both of these claims are perfect examples of medical problems that ran into the thousands of dollars for veterinary care. Without insurance, these pet parents would have faced costly veterinary bills for such unexpected medical emergencies.”

Petplan would like to offer the following tips to help pet parents protect their cats and dogs from the common hazards of home:

  • Food: Many foods that are enjoyed by humans can be harmful or even fatal to dogs and cats. A few of these items include coffee, avocado, garlic, onions and macadamia nuts. Always keep human food safely stored and out of the reach of pets. Be mindful that garbage receptacles should have a secure lid as they tend to be low to the ground and most accessible to pets. 

 

  • Medications: Make sure to keep all medications properly sealed and in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets. According to the ASPCA, human medications were the top reason for pet poisonings in 2010. A pet that is suspected of having swallowed medications should be immediately taken to a veterinarian as many of the negative effects from such ingestions can be reversed if treatment is implemented within the first few hours.

 

  • Miscellaneous Hazards: Any items left on the floor from a child’s toys to loose change, even items of clothing, are liable to end up in a pet’s mouth. The ingestion of such items can damage the digestive tract and necessitate surgery to have the foreign object removed. It is best to make sure the floor is clear of potentially dangerous items before letting a pet explore or leaving them alone in your home.

 

“Many of the claims we see related to foreign body ingestions can be easily prevented with a little more common sense,” said Benson. “By taking a few simple precautions and being aware of those items that might pique a pet’s interest, you can save yourself and your pet from a possible veterinary emergency. Of course, it’s always best to be prepared for any trouble your pet may wander into, which is why pet health insurance is good to have should you ever find yourself in a veterinarian’s office asking, ‘My pet ate what?!’”


For more information on protecting your pet, visit www.GoPetplan.com.


About Petplan

As America's top-rated pet insurance provider, Petplan, through one or more licensed insurers, offers customizable policies to meet any coverage requirements and budget for pets of all/any age. The policies offered by Petplan cover all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet – without dollar limits per condition. For information, visit www.GoPetplan.com or call 1-866-467-3875.

Bill Tierney
Brian Public Relations
610.337.3600 x. 246
bill@briantierney.com

Jessica Kinney
Senior Public Relations Associate, Petplan
610.886.5224
jessica.kinney@gopetplan.com