Summer by the Numbers: Pets’ Accident Risk Rises When the Weather is Warm

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Petplan reveals surprising statistics about what makes pets sick from May to August.

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Summer months are full of fun, but they’re also prime time for trouble if you’ve got four legs. Petplan, America’s best-loved pet insurer, today released new data about dog-day dangers – and says the biggest risk to pets comes from the picnic table.

All those food-laced festivities from Memorial Day to Labor Day are responsible for a 38% spike in poisonings – which can cost pet parents a pretty penny to treat. Petplan reports the average cost of reimbursement for poisoning from food or additives is a whopping $465. But hold on to your Whopper! Onion toxicity occurs 80% more often in summer months – a good reason to keep burger fixings and trash trimmings well out of paw’s reach.

Even if you’re not an onion lover, there’s still cause to be careful. Petplan reveals one of the most irresistible snacks for furry friends – corn cobs. Pets are 94% more likely to graze on maize during summer – and because of their size, corn cobs can become lodged in the intestine, requiring surgery to remove (just ask Rudy, a mixed-breed dog from Washington, D.C., whose corny snack landed him in the emergency room!). The average cost to remove a foreign body? Around $1,400, according to Petplan.

“We all want our pets to join the family for summer activities, but keeping an eye on their summertime snacking can help them avoid serious health hazards,” says Dr. Jules Benson, Vice President of Veterinary Services at Petplan. “Pay attention to pets during and after meals, and seek medical attention if they exhibit any vomiting, diarrhea, excessive panting or drooling, seizures, nosebleeds, abdominal tenderness or straining to ‘go.’ Knowing how to recognize the signs of poisoning or intestinal blockage can make the difference between life and death if an accident happens.”

While warm weather can put pet parents on alert, the news isn’t all bad for four-legged family members. Petplan says pets are 32% less likely to swallow toys when the sun is sizzling, and sock ingestion drops by 36% (thanks, no doubt, to our flip-flop affinity!).

For more stories like Rudy’s of outrageous summer claims, check out Petplan’s full list of Top 5 Craziest Summer Cat-astrophes! Then head to to learn how to keep four-legged friends – and the family budget – protected all year round.

About Petplan

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. For the second consecutive year, Petplan was listed among the top 50 companies 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 (2012). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit, read the Petplan “Vets for Pets” Blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.

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Morgan Jones
Brian Communications
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