Pet ownership can be one of life’s greatest rewards, but it can also be one of its greatest challenges with its unexpected moments.
Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s annual round-up of unusual pet insurance claims demonstrates just that.
In the last year, Southern Cross pet insurance paid out more than $22.76 million in claims for over 61,000 animals.
Unsurprising for most dog owners, man’s best friend made up the majority of the claims in 2022, often for ingesting items they should not have eaten.
A Labrador cross was discovered to have eaten 17 socks as well as several rocks, while a Japanese spitz needed a trip to visit the vet to help vomit up beanbag beans.
One Labrador in particular had an acquired taste for the inedible, munching on a blanket tie, rope, tea towel, and blanket all within the first eight months of his pet insurance policy. Treatment costs for his eating exploits totalled $6820.
Another hungry Labrador also racked up nearly $2000 in vet bills after eating the face of a cuddly toy, causing an obstruction that needed to be surgically removed.
One kilogram of grass was removed from the stomach of a German Shorthaired Pointer cross after he apparently tried to help with lawnmowing. However, his “help” ended up costing his owners more than $4000 in vet bills.
Other items eaten by naughty pets included ibuprofen tablets, hard plastic gloves, stones, fishhooks, and a pill box.
But sneaking forbidden snacks wasn’t the only way pets were getting injured this year.
One dog picked a fight with the wrong cat and ended up needing medical treatment on his ears and shoulder area, while a Miniature Schnauzer needed treatment for hypothermia (and presumably a good bath) after falling into an effluent pond.
While dogs accounted for the majority of this year’s strange pet insurance claims, one cat did make the list after licking a driveway cleaning solution off the ground and developing mouth blisters.
Southern Cross Pet Insurance CEO Anthony McPhail says these claims show the unexpected can often be just around the corner when it comes to pets.
“Our pets can find themselves in some very unusual predicaments and those often result in some very expensive vet bills,” McPhail said.
“While some of these claims might seem amusing, it can be very stressful when our pets become unwell – but pet insurance can be a great reassurance in those moments.
“We hope that New Zealand’s pets live their best lives in 2023, and we’ll be there for our customers should they need to make a trip to the vet of an unusual kind.”