Protecting Pets From Halloween Horrors

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Veterinary Pet Insurance Reveals Spookiest Halloween Pet Dangers

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During the Halloween season, U.S. consumers spend $7 billion on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations, 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, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, has released its Top Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips.

Toxic Dangers
During the Halloween season, emergency calls to the Pet Poison Helpline increase 12% making October its busiest time of the year. VPI recently sorted through its database of more than 500,000 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 = $1,627
Raisin Toxicity = $565
Chocolate Toxicity = $356
Chewing Gum and Candy (Containing Xylitol) Toxicity = $330
Upset Stomach / Diarrhea = $203

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.

Running Away    
Halloween is the second most common holiday for pets to wander off 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.

Costume Safety
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. 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, detergent or fabric softeners can cause a rash.

“Halloween presents multiple dangers for our pets,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for VPI. “An increase of candy in the home creates new opportunities for pets to eat harmful foods, and the continual noise from holiday festivities can create a lot of stress. I encourage all pet lovers to keep a close eye on their pets during Halloween and to provide them with a quiet area to relax and feel safe.”

About Veterinary Pet Insurance
With more than 500,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the first and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Wellness coverage and routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, one in three Fortune 500 companies offers VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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