Hot Dogs and Poolside Perils: Petplan Pet Insurance Offers Summer Safety Advice in Time for Memorial Day

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Tips and tricks to avoid pet health hazards when kicking off summer celebrations this Memorial Day

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As members of the family, we want to include our pets in all of our celebrations, and Memorial Day is no exception. But your pet may thank you more for leaving him in peace, quiet and cooler temperatures

Memorial Day is regarded as the unofficial start of summer, when pet parents’ thoughts turn to poolside parties, backyard barbecues and other summertime traditions. As the celebrations begin, No.-1 rated Petplan pet insurance reminds families that cookouts, crowds, bonfires and beach time may not be much fun for four-legged friends.

“As members of the family, we want to include our pets in all of our celebrations, and Memorial Day is no exception. But your pet may thank you more for leaving him in peace, quiet and cooler temperatures,” says Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President of Veterinary Services at Petplan. “While you’re busy enjoying yourself, greeting visitors or spending time in the sun, pets can become stressed and overheated, slip through an open gate, or get into some serious mischief – particularly if he’s left alone by the picnic table.”

With that in mind, Petplan offers the following tips to keep furry friends healthy and safe so the whole family can enjoy fun in the sun:

  •     Beat the Heat: Because they can’t sweat, pets can overheat more quickly than you may think – even those without heavy coats. Some light-colored pets can even end up with sunburn! Your budget can get burned, too – Petplan’s 2012 claims data reports that veterinary costs for heat stroke average $1,168 per incident, and some overheated pets can end up with vet bills topping $4,330. When temperatures climb, either keep your pet indoors or make sure she has a shady area to relax, along with plenty of fresh water. And never, ever leave your pet in a car, even on mild Memorial Day weekends. If your dog begins to pant excessively or show a staggering gait, get her to the nearest veterinarian immediately.
  •     Dog Tags: Pets should always wear a collar with identification tags, but the urgency for proper ID – including a microchip – increases if you’re hosting at home this holiday weekend. It’s easy for pets to dart through an open door or gate, and sadly, statistics show that without identification, 90% of lost pets will not return home. Shelters and vet offices can scan for microchips, but be sure your contact info is updated in the chip manufacturer’s database. If a stranger finds your escaped pet, an old-fashioned ID tag with your cell phone number on it is your pet’s best bet. If your house is celebration central, consider setting your pets up in a separate room with food, water, a comfy bed and some toys.
  •     BBQ Gone Bad: Traditional summertime treats can be perilous for pets, particularly any foods served on a skewer or stick – as some hungry hounds are quick to swallow the stick along with the morsels of food! One Labrador Retriever learned that lesson the hard way, when she needed surgery to remove an ingested corn dog stick that cost her pet parents more than $8,000! Corn cobs are similarly hazardous – as a corn-loving Corgi mix found out when he needed more than $2,500 worth of surgery to remove one from his stomach. To be on the safe side, keep all food well out of reach of hungry pets, and get furry friends to a veterinarian if a shish kabob goes missing. To keep pets from temptation, mix up some refreshing, nutritious treats specifically for your furry friend.
  •     Fire Away: If you’re planning to light the night with a backyard fire pit or beachside bonfire, take extra precautions to keep furry friends far from the flames. If your dog will be outside with you, keep her on a leash to discourage her from getting too close to glowing embers. But sparks can still fly even from a distance – not to mention smoke can irritate pets’ eyes and noses – so consider putting your pet safely indoors to keep your celebration from going down in flames.

To learn more about keeping pets safe and healthy all summer long, 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. In February 2013, Petplan pet insurance was at No. 34 on Forbes annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan’s fully customizable dog insurance and cat insurance 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 pet insurance policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2011). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit, read the Petplan “Vets for Pets” Blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Bill Tierney
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