SEATTLE, Wash., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The holidays are right around the corner, and while pet parents remember to shower their furry family members with presents and special treats, keeping hazardous decorations and human snacks out of paw's reach can slip the mind. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance—the #1 customer-rated provider of insurance for dogs and cats—examined claims from November 2015 to January 2016 to find out how pet parents can help keep pets safe during the holiday hustle and bustle.
Stomach-related conditions were most likely to send pets to the vet during the 2015 holiday season. Healthy Paws processed 5,100 stomach related claims for the 2015 holiday season, reimbursing an average of $703 per incident for foreign body removal, the accidental swallowing of an object not meant to be consumed. "Our trouble-making kitty, Bert, was partial to curling ribbon," said Healthy Paws colleague Margaret Cooper. "We woke up on Christmas morning to find the ribbons on our presents littered with teeth marks! It made him sick, but luckily he never required surgery." Bottom line: watch out for pine needles, tinsel, ornaments, and ribbon, as these goodies are just asking to be eaten! Even holiday plants like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe are poisonous to cats and dogs, so keep them on shelves or opt for faux plants. More commonly, dogs and cats are surrounded by tempting-but-toxic treats, such as chocolate, fruitcake, alcohol, and raisins. Avoid an emergency vet visit by supervising pets and keeping human food out of their reach. Try to keep pets out of the kitchen, where most of the holiday food prep happens.