A pet isn't just for Christmas according to Medibank data
Medibank Pet Insurance has released its most common claims and most expensive claims for 2014, and is reminding Australians of the importance of a lifelong financial commitment when buying a pet, especially during the festive season.
Aside from the initial costs of buying a pet, which can be upwards of $500 depending on the breed, there are a number of preventable ailments and diseases potential pet owners need to be aware of.
Topping the list with more than 8,000 claims were arthritis/osteoarthritis/degenerative joint diseases, which are conditions common in older animals and exacerbated by obesity from owners overfeeding their pets. Coming in a close second were skin disorders with 7,489 claims, followed by ear infections (4,528), lameness (2,053) and gastroenteritis, which is inflammation or infection of the digestive system (1,804).
Television vet and Medibank Pet Insurance Ambassador, Dr Chris Brown, says making sure your new addition to the family’s health is assured from the get go is a must.
“Pets are full of surprises, which is part of the fun of owning them. But sometimes these surprises aren’t welcome ones, especially at Christmas,” said Dr Chris.
“That’s why it’s so important to make pet insurance a priority when you buy a pet for Christmas, so you don’t have to choose between your new best friend and your bank balance in the case of the unexpected.”
Luckily one Medibank Pet Insurance member didn’t have to when her pet suffered a serious case of constipation/bone impaction resulting in a hefty $14,269 claim – the highest claim in2014 (see table below for more).
Dr Chris also advises new and longstanding pet owners to remember the foods that are toxic to animals and resist the temptation to feed pets the bony remnants of Christmas lunch.
“Some owners give their pets cooked bones or overfeed them raw bones without knowing that it can cause serious problems to pets, particularly gastroenteritis, which is a very common illness that can lead to extreme vomiting and diarrhoea.
“An obstruction can lead to serious vomiting and abdominal pain, so keep socks and your favourite Christmas ornaments away from pets – particularly puppies.”
As a country with one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, Australians know that a pet – whether it’s bought at Christmas or not, is a gift that keeps on giving, providing us with endless happiness, unconditional love and reprieve from the stresses of everyday life.
So give your newest family member the ultimate Christmas gift and assure their health is taken care of.
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