Dog owners warned they could face £3,500 bill and emergency vet visit this Christmas | Personal Finance | Finance
Families with dogs may be keen to include their furry friends in the Christmas festivities but this could cost thousands of pounds and an emergency visit to the vets.
Research by MoneySuperMarket found that the most expensive accidents that could happen around the house were a dog choking on a tin, which could cost £3,000, or a falling Christmas tree breaking a dog’s leg, which could cost £3,500 to repair.
The number of emergency visits to the vets increases during December compared to any other time of the year.
Amanda Whyte, 48, from High Wycombe, had a “nightmare” when her two dogs snuck around a plate of mince pies, which are toxic to dogs.
She said: “Christmas is expensive enough as it is – so I didn’t want a vet bill of over £500. Thank God I had insurance.”
Her costs to treat the two dogs were £547 of which her insurance covered £397 and she had to pay £150 for the emergency cover, which was not covered by her policy, plus a £50 excess.
She added: “I’m very responsible but these things happen, especially with a greedy Lab who is always eating random things – that’s why you have pet insurance. We’re glad they were OK. “
These are the estimated costs of an emergency visit to the vets to treat a 20kg dog, according to Cat Henstridge from Cat the Vet. This does not include the £250 fee for an emergency Christmas visit:
- Removing a solid obstruction from the bowel eg. bauble or Christmas bone – £2200
- Tail stream – £450
- Chewing electrical wire – £1,800 (if they get pleurisy from it, if not cheaper)
- Broken leg from a Christmas tree – £3,000 to £4,000
- Drinking alcohol – £250
- Eating raisins – £700
- Tinsel stuck in the gut – £3,000
- Turkey bone stuck in throat – £1,000 (assuming no significant damage or repair required)
- Appetite upset by rich food such as cheese – £200
- Eating chocolate – £250.
Ms Henstridge said: “Every year I try to make dog owners aware of the risks of Christmas because households are full of food, plants and Christmas decorations which all pose dangers to dogs if they eat them.”
MoneySuperMarket compares over 30 pet insurance companies with the average dog insurance policy premium costing as little as £9.67 per month for a healthy dog with no previous medical conditions.
The average annual dog insurance premium, taking into account breeds, ages and health conditions, is £293.91.
Saarrah Mussa, pet insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Accidents do happen, especially at Christmas when a pie or box of chocolates might be too much for your pet. Vet bills can add up quickly, so if the worst, it’s better to be covered.
“Almost all insurance policies have a two-week cooling off period during which insurers will not honor any claims. That means if you’re thinking about getting a cover for Christmas, you’d better get it sorted now before the house fills up with festive feasts.”
The group surveyed dog owners and found that the most commonly reported dangers to dogs were:
- Edible chocolate – 30 percent
- Edible cheese – 16 percent
- Turkey bones eaten – 14 percent
- Festive item – Christmas decoration – 13 percent is spent
- Grapes eaten – 12 percent
- Alcohol consumed – 12 percent
- A festive item – a Christmas present – consumed 12 per cent
- Eat pie pie – 10 percent
- Edible raisins – 10 percent
- Injured by the Christmas tree – 9 percent.
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