Petplan Pet Insurance Finds Turkey Day Could Be ‘Fowl‘ for Pets

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America’s No. 1 Pet Insurance Provider reports 78% rise in pancreatitis claims over the four-day holiday weekend; recommends pet-friendly Thanksgiving treats

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Feeding pets the same rich, comforting foods that people enjoy at Thanksgiving can actually cause more harm to their health than pet parents may realize.

The sights, smells and, of course, tastes of Thanksgiving make it one of the most delectable days of the year, but according to No. 1 rated Petplan pet insurance, your pets aren’t always grateful to be included in your Thanksgiving feast. In fact, according to 2010 claims data from Petplan, incidents of unexpected food-related illnesses spike over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend: pancreatitis claims shoot up by 78% and general gastroenteritis claims rise by 27%.

“Feeding pets the same rich, comforting foods that people enjoy at Thanksgiving can actually cause more harm to their health than pet parents may realize. In general, pets are accustomed to simplicity in their diet. A sudden ‘feast’ of turkey and all the trimmings can cause upset, and in many cases, illnesses like pancreatitis, a serious and painful medical condition,” says Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President of Veterinary Services at Petplan. “While pet parents may have good intentions, wishing to share their holiday meal, our pets will ultimately be more thankful if we stick with regular food and vet-approved treats over the holiday season.”

Petplan offers these simple tips to help make sure your family holiday is anything but “fowl:”

  • Just say ‘no thanks’ to table scraps: Table scraps, turkey bones, gravy and sugary sides can lead to a visit to the vet. When it comes to mealtimes and treats at Thanksgiving, or any time of year, consistency and moderation are the orders of the day.
  • Bad to the bone: Leftovers – especially bones from the finished feast – should be carefully kept out of paw’s reach. Soft bones, like those in poultry, can splinter and cause obstructions in your pet’s digestive system. Resist the urge to throw Fluffy or Fido a bone, and be sure to take out the trash promptly.
  • Flower-power: Seasonal flora can spoil dinner, too. Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) can cause irritation, shock and organ damage if ingested in high amounts; likewise, Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata), although less toxic, can cause mild vomiting, diarrhea and possibly depression. Use caution when selecting your holiday décor to ensure it doesn’t cause problems for curious pets.

But Dr. Benson notes that pets don’t necessarily have to be left out of the feasting fun. “With the right planning, plenty of traditional Thanksgiving ingredients can be prepared so that they are a special treat for pets, but won’t spoil their dinner, so to speak.”

Petplan’s veterinary experts have made it easy for pet parents to whip up a pet-friendly Thanksgiving feast – including appetizer (seasonal crudité with peanut butter), entrée (turkey pie) and dessert (sweet potato cookies) – by publishing these healthy, vet-authored recipes on its “Vets for Pets” blog.

For more information on keeping your pet in healthy holiday shape all year round, visit

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 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 policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group, rated A+ by A.M. Best (2010). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Sara McMillan
Petplan Pet Insurance
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Bill Tierney
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