Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

Holiday Pet ER Visits Increase due to Festive, Preventable Dangers

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation promotes awareness of holiday hazards to eliminate costly illnesses, injuries


SEATTLE (Dec. 18, 2012) – This holiday season, the leading U.S. pet health insurance provider has set out to ensure that all holiday festivities are safe and enjoyable for our four-legged family members.


To help pet parents with this important task, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation has released a list of the common, often times preventable reasons why pets are brought to emergency rooms during the holidays.  Humans’ holiday festivities help create cheer, but in many ways, also create opportunities for pets to fall ill.


“Each year, thousands of pets are brought to emergency rooms due to holiday-related illnesses and injuries such as ingesting holiday decorations or plants, ligament injuries from scaling holiday decorations and over-excitement from holiday guests,” Healthy Paws’ C.O.O Steve Siadek said.  “Pet parents will find that most of these costly ER visits are easily preventable by simply being aware of the most common holiday hazards.”


To that end, Siadek recommends pet parents print out, review and prominently post the following list within the home:


Injury:  Ligament Tears and Damage

Common Causes:  Climbing on holiday decorations such as Christmas trees or slipping from banisters trying to get to decorations; jumping off of a deck in the snow; slipping on ice; playing hard with kids on holiday break or guests.


Average ER Visit Cost Without Pet Insurance: $2,216


Prevention:  When possible, pets should be kept on leashes and closely monitored by pet parents when outdoors. Discourage rowdy play with pets.  Keep an eye on pets’ interactions with holiday decorations and adjust as necessary.



Injury:  Poisoning (Toxicity)

Common Causes:  Ingestion of chocolate, sugarless candies with xylitol, poinsettias, mistletoe, holly and Christmas tree needles.


Average ER Visit Cost Without Pet Insurance:  $646


Prevention:  Ensure all holiday treats are kept in re-sealable containers that prevent access by pets.  Also ensure any candies that fall on the floor are immediately cleaned up.



Injury:  Vomiting and Diarrhea

Common Causes:  Over-ingestion of human holiday foods and fatty scraps.


Average ER Visit Cost Without Pet Insurance:  $499


Prevention:  Discourage family and guests from feeding pets and make sure trash bags and cans are tightly sealed to prevent scavenging.




Injury:  Foreign Body Ingestion

Common Causes:  Play with tinsel, small holiday trinkets, materials used to wrap gifts and ornaments may lead to accidental ingestion.


Average ER Visit Cost Without Pet Insurance:  $1,191


Prevention: Ensure holiday decorations and toys are kept off floors and are hung higher than a pet’s eye level.  Look for signs of distress in pets and any unusual behavior that may indicate accidental ingestion.



Of course, not all holiday-related injuries are preventable, which is why it’s important for pet parents to have pet health insurance, Siadek said.


“Just like with small children, pet parents do their best to keep pets safe during the holidays,” Siadek said.  “But in the case where an unpreventable holiday illness or injury occurs, it’s important that pets are properly insured.  This will allow an ER to perform the best, most advanced treatment while limiting the financial burden for pet parents.”


For more information about Healthy Paws’ pet insurance policies, including free quotes, please visit


About Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation®

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation was co-founded by Steve Siadek and Robert Jackson in 2009 with the mission of helping pet parents give their pets the best veterinary care available while giving back to the animal welfare community.


Now, Healthy Paws is one of the leading pet insurers in the U.S. and ranked No. 1 by customers on  The company is backed by Aon Corporation, the world’s largest global insurance broker, and insurance policies are underwritten by Markel Corporation with over $1 billion in surplus.  For more information about Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, or to receive a free quote, visit


Through their 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The Healthy Paws Foundation, Healthy Paws provides cash grants to pet adoption organizations specifically for life-saving vaccines, spay/neuter surgeries and advanced medical treatments of homeless pets in their care. To learn more about their mission to save more homeless pets and how you can help, visit



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