The festive season can be great fun, but sometimes pets can suffer from eating things like chocolate or leftovers, leading to extra costs and distress for pet owners. In December 2018, the leading pet insurer More Than, received 85% more pet poison incident claims compared to the monthly average across the whole year, most likely caused by the presence of festive food and decorations in the home.
In addition, a MORE TH>N survey of 2,000 pet owners shows that a third (37%) do not consider their pet’s health and wellbeing when purchasing festive decorations.
As a result, two in five (39%) said their pets get into trouble over the festive period. One in ten (12%) have seen their furry friend steal Christmas food, such as chocolate or pudding, while one in ten (9%) have seen their pet eat decorations. Additionally, a fifth (19%) of pets have caused the Christmas tree to fall over on themselves, potentially causing them harm. This rises to 26% for cats.
Three fifths (60%) of pet owners also admitted they share their Christmas dinner with their pets, despite the fact that it could be harmful.
The types of Christmas food and decorations most likely to have made pets ill include:
- Chocolate (27%)
- Mince pies (22%)
- Tinsel (18%)
- Dried fruit (15%)
- Mistletoe berries (13%)
Andrew Moore, Director of Pet Claims at MORE TH>N, and a qualified vet, said:
“Though three quarters of pet owners buy Christmas presents for their pet, the best gift you can give them is a safe home. Christmas is a time best spent with family rather than at the vet’s, so you should check before feeding your pet anything to avoid accidentally making them ill. Chocolate, raisins, onions and alcohol can be particularly harmful. We all love to decorate our homes to get into the festive spirit, but pet owners should also try to keep decorations like tinsel and baubles out of harm’s way.”