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Young pets - preventing injuries and costly claims

12 May 2010 15:34:33

Kittens are prone to accidents and injuries. image
Kittens are prone to accidents and injuries.
Bringing a new puppy or kitten home is an exciting time for any family, but the experience can soon turn to disaster unless steps are taken to protect the new pet from injury. While the prospect of an accident may be far from any new owner's mind, the reality is that young animals tend to be inquisitive and full of energy and can easily get themselves into trouble.

Here, CompareandSave.com takes a look at some of the more common incidents that can take place involving puppies and kittens.

Top pet insurance claims

Figures from pet insurance company PetPlan show that the most common claims for dogs in 2008 were for reoccurring conditions, predominantly leg, hip, shoulder or skin disorders. However, young pets tend to suffer from accidental injuries rather than medical conditions, as is shown by a recent report from American provider Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.

The insurer has published statistics, based on its database of more than 480,000 pets, which show the main injuries affecting dogs and cats up to the age of two years. Its report indicates that, for both puppies and kittens, the top two causes of pet insurance claims are soft tissue trauma and lacerations or bite wounds. Insect bites and stings also feature in the top ten for both animals, highlighting the problems that young pets' curious instincts can cause.

Other accidental injuries that are often suffered by dogs and cats during the first two years of their lives include sprains, abrasions, torn nails and eye trauma, while puppies are also prone to ingesting medicines that are only intended for human consumption.

Dr Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Veterinary Pet Insurance Co, commented: "Pet owners falsely assume that they don't need pet insurance because their pet is young and healthy. While younger pets are less susceptible to serious illnesses such as cancer, our data shows that pets of all ages can suffer costly accidental injuries."

The vet explained that pet insurance is designed to help owners with the cost of unexpected veterinary treatment, whenever it is needed. "It's important for owners of puppies and kittens to keep in mind that, just because their pets may be young, they're not indestructible," she added.

Protecting puppies and kittens

As well as protecting against unexpected costs by comparing pet insurance policies, new owners should ensure they 'baby-proof' their homes before bringing home their new puppy or kitten. Obstacles that a puppy or kitten may collide with while playing should be moved; items that could be mistaken for food would be better placed inside cupboards; and owners are advised to keep medicines tightly sealed inside a drawer or medicine cabinet.ADNFCR-2196-ID-19772928-ADNFCR ADNFCR-2196-ID-19464191-ADNFCR

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