Keep your pet safe over the festive season

Christmas festivities can be fun for everyone, but for pets the decorations and presents can have hidden dangers.

Every year thousands of pets become emergency cases at their local vet through swallowing Christmas decorations, wrapping paper or large turkey bones. During the celebrations, it is vital to keep pets from eating the many foreign objects that are suddenly of so much interest to other family members.

Eating tinsel or chewing the wire of the fairy lights is a favourite with cats and kittens. Dogs and puppies, caught up in the excitement of unwrapping gifts, are prone to swallowing wrapping paper, bows, and especially small balls and toys.

Last year’s most common accidents were: swallowing decorations and baubles, swallowing bones, getting bones stuck in the throat, eating wrapping paper and becoming sick through eating chocolates and rich food.

Wally – a 10 month old puppy from Nottingham - bit off more than he could chew when he swallowed a five inch turkey bone that caused chronic sickness. X-rays revealed that the bone had ruptured his bowel causing peritonitis. Wally was rushed in for emergency surgery which necessitated the removal of a section of damaged intestine. The procedure cost around £800.

Sam – an 18 month old puppy from London – swallowed a three inch cocktail stick that got stuck in his oesophagus, then moved into the chest cavity and then continued into his ribs where it lodged under his front leg. X-rays showed the offending object, but by then an infection had taken hold and Sam’s condition was critical. An operation was necessary in Sam’s case too.

The last thing the family pet or any members of the family want is their holiday spoiled by expensive emergency visits to the vet, so Pinnacle Pet Healthcare is warning pet owners to keep a careful eye on their pet and keep potentially dangerous decorations and other items out of the pet’s reach.
Tips to keep pet’s safe, include hanging the decorations up high and well out of the pet’s reach, cover the wire of any lights to avoid any chewing by the cat, pick-up wrapping paper and rubbish, especially bones and cocktail sticks and keep a diligent eye on your pet throughout the festive season.

However, no matter what precautions the pet owner takes, injuries can still occur and at such a time of financial commitment it is reassuring to have a safety net, such as pet insurance.

The benefits of having cover for pets goes way beyond the festive season as it is also the only way of ensuring that your pet receives the best care and attention while you are away from home with no compromise.

Pet insurance providers, Pinnacle Pet Healthcare plc, has a comprehensive range of insurance policy options for dogs and cats, all of which will provide peace of mind to owners concerned about their pet’s welfare.

The policies have no restrictions on claims for chronic or on-going conditions to 12 months from the onset of the problem and, unlike many other policies, the cover extends for the lifetime of the pet. Even complementary treatments are covered along with hospitalisation and referral.

Simon Wheeler of Pinnacle Pet Healthcare said: “Like children, pets are into everything over Christmas and no matter what precautions owners take accidents can still happen. At a time when the household budget may be stretched, it is better to be prepared with a reliable pet insurance policy than sorry at such a family orientated time of year”.

For more information call the Pinnacle helpdesk on: 0845 2000 738.
For more editorial information contact Sue Robinson on: 01694 781501 or Simon Wheeler at Pinnacle Pet Healthcare plc on: 0208 731 3640.