Don’t let the goblins get you!
Image courtesy of Vintage Holiday Crafts
Brea, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2015) – U.S. consumers spend more than $7 billion on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations during the Halloween season, exposing pets to more toxins and hazards than any other time of the year. To help prepare for the imminent dangers that surround our pets during the scare season, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, has released its 2015 Top Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips.
Emergency calls to the Pet Poison Helpline increase 12 percent during the week of Halloween, making it the busiest time of the year. Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the most common ingestion related claims in the month of October. Following are the top Halloween related claims and their average cost for treatment:
|Ingestion of Costume Parts||$1,740|
|Chewing Gum and Candy (Containing Xylitol) Toxicity||$354|
|Upset Stomach/ Diarrhea||$272|
If a pet consumes a toxic treat 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 the night of Halloween or any other major event.
Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to wander off (behind the Fourth of July) and become separated from their families. With multiple visits from friendly trick-or-treaters and constant commotion outside, Halloween night can be extremely stressful for pets. It’s best to keep pets indoors so they’re not tempted to flee from noise created by guests, sound effects, music and, of course, the doorbell. It’s important to provide pets with a safe and quiet place indoors to help them rest and cope with their holiday anxiety. Remember to keep collars with ID tags on your pets and have them microchipped just in case they wander away.
U.S. pet owners spend more than $370 million on pet costumes annually, and while dressing up pets for Halloween is fun, it can be dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. If your pet does don a costume this Halloween, make sure to never leave him or her alone. Be precise with the size of the costume. Poorly fitted costumes can constrict pets and lead to panic or injury. Also take note of costumes with ribbon, strings or dangling objects that can lead to choking or strangulation. If a pet begins to itch excessively, be sure to remove the costume as allergies from fabric, detergents or fabric softeners can cause a rash.
“Halloween can be a dangerous time for pets,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Nationwide. “With an increase of toxic foods in the home and continual noise from holiday festivities, it’s important for pet owners to take the proper precautions. I encourage all pet lovers to provide their companions with a safety area and make sure that all treats are out of reach.”
Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.
Are dogs part of the next wave of human healthcare? Sentara says “yes.” And they mean it: Volunteer Coordinator Kelly Divita of Sentara Norfolk has reached out to area veterinarians for help recruiting therapy dogs and their owners for this special brand of medicine known as “puppy love.”
“Dogs can offer a therapeutic component to healthcare that our staff cannot provide. It is rewarding to hear the stories from our patients and pet therapy volunteers — they truly make a difference every day for our patients, families, visitors and staff.” — Kelly Divita, Volunteer Coordinator, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
If you and your pet are ready to serve, please visit www.sentara.com/snghvolunteers and click on Pet Therapy, for information on requirements for volunteers and pets. Brochures are available at our office.
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