The year is wrapping up and many of us will be preparing for festivities and road trips with the whole family, four legged members included. However, AA Pet Insurance is reminding people there are some extra precautions people should be taking with their furry friends during the holiday season.
AA Chief Partnerships Officer Greig Leighton says some of the most common food and drinks people will come across this summer, can be incredibly toxic to animals.
“Chocolate is always a classic ‘no no’ food which people seem to remember, but Christmas pudding, mince pies, grapes, raisins, garlic, coffee and alcohol can cause significant consequences for pets depending on how much is ingested.
“Avoid giving your dog or cat leftover cooked bones from the Christmas roast which can be brittle and a choking hazard, not to mention the risk of intestinal damage they pose.
Last summer holiday period from December 2022 to February 2023, AA Pet Insurance received over 1800 claims for a variety of ailments.
“It’s safest to not keep the food-based presents under the tree, as a layer of wrapping paper might not be enough to stop a curious canine,” adds Greig.
He also reminds those who are hitting the road this summer that pets will need their own luggage too.
“This could be food bowls, bedding, toys, leashes or any medications. Some pets might get anxious on long car journeys so surrounding them with familiar scents can be a big help.
“The safest travelling option is ensuring any pets are secure with an adequate harness or cage and won’t pose a distraction to the driver. Drivers should never be tending to their pets while behind the wheel. If you must, pull over to the side of the road where it’s safe to do so.
“Just like humans, pets can’t be cooped up in a car all day, they need toilet stops too. So, every time you take a break, make sure your pet gets out for a stretch.
“Never leave your pet alone in your parked car, temperatures in a vehicle can reach dangerously high levels and it doesn’t take long for heat stroke to set in,” he says. From January to October this year, AA Roadservice responded to 800 callouts for children or pets locked in vehicles.
Greig says separation anxiety is a very real issue for all sorts of animals, so if your pet won’t be accompanying you on holiday, provide thorough instructions for a pet-sitter or kennel/cattery to keep your mind at ease that your pet will be well cared for.
“Accidents happen and sometimes a dog or cat might go snooping in the pantries or run into some trouble this holiday season – that’s where Pet Insurance comes in handy so you know you’ve got that protection should you need it.”
For more information about AA Pet Insurance, visit https://www.aa.co.nz/insurance/pet-insurance/