Kiwis urged to take care of furry friends in summer

Kiwis urged to take care of furry friends in summer | Insurance Business New Zealand

Kiwis urged to take care of furry friends in summer

Southern Cross Pet Insurance is calling on pet owners to keep their furry friends safe in summer following a spate of pet insurance claims.

New Zealanders have the second-highest rate of pet ownership in the world, with 64% of households home to at least one animal companion, according to Southern Cross Pet Insurance general manager Anthony McPhail.

“But we need to make sure we look after them during a season that can be surprisingly dangerous compared to others,” he said.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance also mentioned some of the standout claims it received in the past two summers.

At least 10 claims were for dogs, which either got sunburnt, suffered from heat stroke or had their paws burned by the pavement. Twelve claims were lodged for dogs eating corn cobs and another set of twelve claims for dogs getting sharp barley grass seeds embedded in their paws or ears. It also received four claims for pets eating blood and bone fertiliser, 117 claims for pets eating slug and snail or rat bait and 37 claims for dogs and cats swallowing fish hooks or getting them stuck in their lips.

Here are tips, as outlined by Southern Cross Pet Insurance, that brokers can pass to clients for a fun and safe upcoming summer:

  • Protect your pet from the heat – hot footpaths and roads can burn paws, so try walking dogs on the grass;
  • Never leave your pet in a parked car – leaving the windows down makes little to no difference;
  • Use pet-friendly sunscreen – skin cancer is common in dogs and cats;
  • Don’t share BBQ food – holiday treats like chocolate and fruit mince pies are also toxic to pets;
  • Watch out for grass seeds – grass seeds can embed in their bodies and often require surgical removal;
  • Pet-proof the garden – keep pest bait and blood and bone fertiliser out of reach. ‘