Southern Cross Pet Insurance PawsOff

There are many ways you can show appreciation to your pets – and NOT feeding them is one way to do that

Monday , 5 June 2023 by Sue Hamilton
  • It’s Pet Appreciation Week from June 4 – 10 and we’re here to help New Zealanders show their pets some love
  • It’s also World Food Safety Day on June 7 and Paws Off! helps pet owners understand what NOT to feed their beloved furbabies

New Zealanders now own more pets than ever with the Southern Cross Healthy Futures report indicating 61 per cent of us enjoy the positive impact pets have on the health and wellbeing of owners thanks to their companionship, and with dogs, the fact they get us out of the house to exercise! So, this coming week (and actually, every week) it’s time to show them some love by understanding some of the best ways to care for them.

1. Southern Cross Pet Insurance and the NZ Veterinary Association have come together in 2023 to launch Paws Off! – a campaign to educate owners and food and beverage manufacturers about what’s not safe to feed pets. Things like onion, garlic, caffeine, macadamia nuts, apricots and foods containing Xylitol, simply aren’t safe for pets. Slipping them the odd bite or slurp with any of these things can mean your pet ends up sick.

Head to PAWSOFF.CO.NZ for more details, and if you are a manufacturer who loves furbabies and wants to do your best to show your appreciation, download the world’s first warning symbol for packaging. It’s designed to tell humans when it’s NOT OK to share some types of food and drink with pets.

If Fido seems off colour having nicked something off the bench he shouldn’t have, then here’s how to recognise symptoms!

2. It’s often dark outside now when the 33 per cent of us[1] head out for ‘walkies’ with the pooch. Stay safe by using a hi-vis collar and lead, and look for hi-vis clothing for you and your dog/s. Southern Cross brought this issue to life in an award-winning campaign VIS in 2022, recruiting a globally renowned designer to create safe, hi-vis looks for the smartest dogs. It’s easy to whip up your own hi-vis solution to stay safe while you’re getting your steps up. And to help you if you have an excitable hound – check out these road safety tips.

3. Don’t leave pets in (hot) parked cars – even in the winter (NZ’s weather is pretty unpredictable). Without cool air conditioning or the steady flow of fresh air as the car moves, a parked car heats up quickly even if it’s shaded and the windows are open. In the time it takes to buy a takeaway coffee, the temperature inside your car could reach dangerous levels. On a 21°C day the inside temperature of your car can reach 32°C after 10 minutes and 40°C after 30 minutes.

4. Buckle them up. Just like humans, dogs (and cats) should be restrained in any moving vehicle to be safe. You can read all about the trauma suffered by Daryl the Dachshund right here.

When all is said and done, all anyone wants is for our pets to be safe, well fed, loved and to live their best lives, so if you need a hand to understand what not to do, check out these real life stories where Southern Cross Pet Insurance has been able to help owners do the right thing. There are examples for everything from eating the wrong thing, to injuries leaping off the sofa, to dealing with grass seeds and fight wounds.

You’re not alone!

1 Southern Cross Healthy Futures 2022