Pet parents understand the weight of responsibility to protect their furry friends, but unfortunately, accidents do sometimes happen. In the U.S., a pet receives medical care every 2.5 seconds, and 1 in 3 pets need emergency veterinary treatments every year, according to MetLife Pet Insurance.
Even the most vigilant pet parents have to contend with pet emergencies. Check out some of the most astonishing pet accidents of 2022 — and some tips about how you can help avoid these as we enter 2023.
• Digesting something dangerous: A 2-year-old Bichon mix ate a sugar-free apple cobbler made with xylitol, which is dangerous for dogs. At first, she seemed all right but began vomiting the next day and declined rapidly. When she arrived at the emergency hospital, her prognosis was very poor. However, after eight days of supportive care, she fully recovered and survived!
• Common household concerns: A 9-month-old kitten hid in a large comforter unbeknownst to his pet parent, who had set it to dry on high heat. The kitten was stuck in the dryer for 10 minutes before they heard him yelping for help. They immediately rushed him to the emergency vet, and he was kept at the hospital overnight for observation. Luckily for the kitten, there did not appear to be any lasting damage from his eventful trip in the dryer, and he was discharged the next day.
• Lingering liquids: A 2-month-old Shih Tzu puppy was caught by his owners licking some Children’s Motrin that spilled on the couch over nine hours earlier in the day. The puppy seemed fine at first, but then he started to vomit. The Pet Poison Hotline advised taking the pet to the emergency hospital. He was hospitalized and monitored for four days, but the puppy recovered and appeared to have no long-term damage from the incident.
• Unfortunate falls: An 8-year-old Pit Bull jumped off a couch and suddenly became paralyzed in her hind end. Her pet parents rushed her to the vet, who diagnosed her with Intervertebral Disc Disease. After receiving surgery to fix her disc herniation, she recovered well and regained motor function.
• Toys that become treacherous: A 7-month-old Standard Poodle was vomiting, lethargic and appeared uncomfortable for two days. A physical exam revealed he was dehydrated, and radiographs showed a foreign object trapped in his stomach. He was transferred to the surgical unit to remove the foreign object, which turned out to be a squeaker toy. He was kept overnight for observation before being sent home to recover with his family.
All of these accidents – while they may seem somewhat crazy – could have happened to any pet owner, and the experience can result in an unexpected, costly bill from the vet. To help avoid having an incident like this in 2023, here are a few tips for pet parents from MetLife Pet Insurance:
1. Prioritize your pet’s health just as you would for a human family member. Pet parents think of their furry companion as part of their family, but it’s important to take action the same way, too. Avoid leaving harmful foods and liquids within your pets’ reach and watch out for potential choking hazards in your home. This seems simple but can go a long way in protecting your pet for the long-term.
2. Stay active, even in the cold months. Going on frequent walks and encouraging your pet to move around is key to avoiding joint stiffening and can help prevent future mobility issues. This can feel like a challenge during the cold points of the year — for you and your pet — but there are always indoor activities you can play to engage your furry friend.
3. Invest in your pet’s well-being. When accidents happen to your four-legged family member, you’ll want to be covered. A pet insurance policy can help offset some of the costs associated with expensive veterinarian visits — in fact, based on MetLife internal claims data the pet parents who encountered the dangers above saved an average of $5,570 on the treatment and care of their pets!
To learn more and protect your pets in the coming year, visit: MetLifePetInsurance.com.