Disaster prone dogs cost owners

Tuesday , 3 May 2016 by Aimee Bourke

What dog owner would anticipate their furry friend getting a foot caught in a toilet seat and the resulting pain – for the dog and the owner’s wallet.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance has released some of its worst doggy disaster claims as a reminder to ensure a safe environment for pets and to show the bizarre range of situations dogs get themselves into which can also be costly.

Alongside the “toilet seat” incident, others include a dog attempting to eat a broken wine glass, one chewing through cables causing an electric shock and another being impaled on a wooden stake through the groin.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance head Anthony McPhail says dogs are inquisitive in nature and are prone to sniffing, chewing or crashing their way into danger.

“When it comes to owning a pet, it’s best to treat them as toddlers and proof your home accordingly. But there’s only so much you can do and if you choose not to get pet insurance, it’s wise to put money aside to pay for vet bills. It’s not uncommon for owners to have to fork out hundreds, even thousands of dollars, when their pets have accidents.”

Other claims include:

  • a Labrador Retriever eating a 5kg dead seal carcass
  • a German Shepherd cross jumping through a cat door and getting cut as the glass door shattered
  • dozens of cases of pets ingesting all manner of things, including rat poison, ear plugs, carpet and half a kilogram of grapes (which can cause renal failure in dogs).

McPhail says pets are a treasured part of the family and it’s extremely upsetting when they are hurt or ill for whatever reason.

“Accidents aside, some of the most expensive claims we get are for animals that are covered for illnesses or inherited conditions. So if you’re like the owners of an 11 year old boxer that recently needed cancer treatment - including surgery and radiotherapy - you can be looking at bills upwards of $20,000”.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance cover the health of more than 15,000 pets and in the past year paid out more than $4.2million worth of claims.