Make sure your employees keep the “happy” in holidays with these safety tips.

Simple precautions can protect your employees and their pets over the holiday season

The cat lying on a pillow and playing with holiday toys

When it comes to celebrating the holidays at home, many of the things that make the season merry and bright for humans may present potential dangers to our four-legged family members. Dogs may dig into the wrapped box of chocolates, while curious cats may burn themselves on lit candles. With so many twinkling and tasty temptations around every corner, ingestions and accidents can lead to unplanned veterinary visits.

Nationwide®, the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., analyzed its database of insured pets and identified common holiday-related claims.

      • Vomiting & diarrhea – Busy holiday gatherings may put extra stress on your pets causing upset stomachs. An increased consumption of table scraps featuring rich or fatty foods may also lead to gastrointestinal conditions including pancreatitis, which can be very dangerous and costly to treat.

      • Chocolate toxicity – Chocolate is toxic for pets. The increased holiday indulgence among people shows up in pets with 21% of Nationwide’s yearly chocolate toxicity claims showing treatment dates in December.

Cute tabby cat portrait at candle light on background of christmas stars, lights, pine trees and pillows on bed. Cozy home. Atmospheric moment. Hygge winter holidays. Pet and holiday

      • Ingestion of foreign objects – Holiday tinsel, gift wrap, and ribbon are common objects often swallowed by curious pets this time of year and, when ingested, can cause intestinal obstructions.

      • Poisoning from plant-based items – Seasonal favorites such as lilies, mistletoe, holly, holly berries, and pine needles present various levels of toxicity. Onions, garlic, raisins, some nuts, and marijuana/CBD edibles are also dangerous for pets and may result in serious illnesses.

     • Burns & electric shock – Chewing holiday lighting or electrical cords can lead to electrical shock injuries or burns that may be life-threatening.

      • Lacerations – Broken bulbs or ornaments can result in cuts on paws and mouths. Lacerations may also occur from altercations with unfamiliar dogs or cats that may be visiting during the holidays.

Dog enjoying lazy winter day in front of fire in fireplace

The costliest conditions to treat from the list above are related to ingestion of items that are not intended to be eaten. Among Nationwide-insured dogs and cats, the average cost to remove a foreign object lodged in the intestine is $2,112 per pet and treatment of a foreign object in the stomach follows at an average of $959 per pet. 

Ensure your employees are aware of the My Pet Protection plans that are available to them to alleviate the financial burden should an accident happen during seasonal celebrations.