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Autumn Activities Offer Potential Perils for Pets

09/11/12

Tips to Avoid Autumn Pet Health Hazards, From America’s Top-Rated Pet Insurance Provider


 PHILADELPHIA (September 11, 2012) – Cooler temperatures and lower humidity make fall a fantastically fun time for families to enjoy the great outdoors. But before setting out to enjoy the fall foliage with four-legged family members, No. 1-rated Petplan pet insurance reminds pet parents to be aware of pet health hazards that may be lurking in the leaves.

Summer’s extreme heat may be coming to a close, but there are other seasonal hazards pet parents should watch for as autumn approaches. Allergens can cause itchy legs and paws; pests like fleas and ticks can carry disease; and wildlife like prickly plants and snakes can turn a walk in the woods into a very unpleasant experience.

“When it comes to seasonal hazards of any kind, prevention is the best defense for keeping pets healthy,” says Dr. Jules Benson, VP of Veterinary Services for Petplan. “By taking a few simple steps, you can foil fleas and ticks, limit exposure to allergens, and avoid animals that may see your pet – or you! – as a threatening trespasser.”   

These hazards may not seem significant, but Petplan statistics reveal they are nothing to sneeze at. According to 2011 claims data, the fifth most claimed-for condition is allergic skin reactions, with another common fall condition – bite wounds – coming in at No. 15. The average cost of veterinary care for allergies is around $410 per incident, but one itchy pet scratched her way to almost $35,000 in veterinary bills! Bite wounds are similarly costly, averaging $526 per incident, and topping out at over $9,000 – talk about taking a bite out of your budget.  

To help your pets steer clear of trouble, Petplan offers the following tips for a fun-filled fall for the whole family:

  • Deter Tiny Terrors: Fleas and ticks can thrive in rural and urban areas alike, so always check your pet for ticks carefully after playing outside - the last thing you want is to welcome those pests into your home in time for the holidays! Follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding flea, tick and heartworm preventives, as well as any appropriate vaccines.

  • Avoid Annoying Allergies: Allergy season is in full swing for furry friends through mid-October, which can lead to itchy skin and irritated paws. Ragweed and mold spores love the dark depths of leaf piles, so bag up your leaves and bump up your best friend’s baths as the trees grow bare. If your pet’s itch can’t be easily scratched, your vet can prescribe oral antihistamines or medicated shampoos to put your pet at ease.

  • Halt Hiking Hazards: Trekking the trails together can be a blast, but be aware of what’s afoot. Watch for snakes and other animals that might not appreciate your visit, and keep your pet on a leash so you can steer clear of poison ivy, prickly brambles, foxtails and cacti. If your pet does end up with a cut, clean it with warm water and an antiseptic, and apply a liberal amount of triple antibiotic ointment.  Deep cuts may need to be checked out by your veterinarian to avoid any risk of infection. Snakebites require immediate veterinary attention.

For more information on how to protect your pets in autumn or any season, visit www.GoPetplan.com.

ABOUT PETPLAN

Top-rated pet insurance provider, Petplan, is the only pet insurance company to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America. Petplan’s fully customizable dog insurance and cat insurance policies provide coverage for all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet as standard, and meet the coverage requirements and budget for pets of all/any age.  Petplan pet insurance policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2011). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit www.GoPetplan.com, read the Petplan Pet Insurance Blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.