The Holiday Gifts You Hate Getting Can Also Sicken Your Pet

Bella, an eight-year-old cat from Conshohocken, PA, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015. The culprit: holiday gift ribbon. Petplan reimbursed $1,804.70 of the cost. Photo courtesy of Amanda Tollen.
Bella, an eight-year-old cat from Conshohocken, PA, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015. The culprit: holiday gift ribbon. Petplan reimbursed $1,804.70 of the cost. Photo courtesy of Amanda Tollen.

Petplan lists 10 terrible gifts that can cause a costly trip to the vet

They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but finding flaws in holiday presents could save pet parents an unexpected trip to the vet—and a blow to their budgets.

Petplan claims data shows that treatments during a holiday week can cost twice as much (or more!) than at other times of the year, mainly because pets end up at emergency vets when their regular docs close for holiday hours.

“Never has the phrase ‘the gift that keeps on giving’ been more ominous for pets,” jokes Petplan Veterinary Manager Elyse Donnarumma. “When you consider that the average claim paid for food poisoning is $585, or that foreign body removal surgery costs an average of $1,327, it is sobering to realize that those costs can easily double during the holidays.”

Which gifts top the naughty list? Many of the same ones you dread getting yourself! According to Petplan, these are the top 10 gifts that can unwrap disaster:

10. Bows & Ribbons
Most presents do come wrapped, but the danger of gift ribbon adds insult to injury with less-than-stellar gifts. Ribbons can easily become linear foreign bodies. Avoid an expensive surgery by tossing wrappings in the trash (whether you pitch the gift, too, is completely up to you).

Just ask Petplan policy holder Amanda Tollen of Conshohocken, PA, about holiday ribbon. Her eight-year-old cat, Bella, racked up a $2,004.70 vet bill for a linear foreign body on December 27, 2015, when she got into the gift ribbon. (photo below)

“I am so happy we got pet insurance for Bella,” said Tollen, who was reimbursed over $1,800 thanks to her policy option. “It really saved us a ton of money during one of the most stressful times of the year for our budget. You never know what your pet is going to get into or what illness they will come down with. Having Bella Petplan protected was one of the best decisions we ever made.”

9. Fruitcake (and its modern-day equivalent, Panettone)
If it wasn’t bad enough that someone spoiled good cake by adding fruit, fruitcake contains a trio of ingredients that can make furry friends sick. Currants, raisins and nuts are toxic to pets, and the spirits the cake is soaked in can be deadly to dogs and cats.

8. Holiday Plants
The fact that this gift will die in a few days isn’t even the worst thing about it. A snack on Christmas cactus can upset tummies. Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in kitties. And while poinsettias aren’t as toxic as previously thought, its sap can cause an unpleasant rash.

7. Scarf/Mittens Set
You probably have half a dozen sets of scarves and mittens, but you’re bound to get another one during the holiday season. Donate the duds before your pet gets his paws on them; yarn can become a linear foreign body if swallowed.

6. Lottery Tickets
You may have a 1 in 14 million chance of winning your gift, but your pet is much more likely to suffer a foreign body ingestion if he eats the envelope and paper.

5. Houseguests
There are inevitably some relatives who believe their presence is your present, but they’re not always welcome in the eyes of furry family. Extra people in the house can trigger stomach upset due to stress, and all that coming and going can make it easier for pets to dart out the door and get hit by a car.

4. Coffee/Hot Chocolate
Coffee mug gift sets are a staple of office holiday giving, but whether there’s beans or cocoa inside, be sure to keep them away from your pet’s paws. The caffeine in coffee and chocolate can trigger hyperactivity, elevated heart rate, seizures and even death.

3. Bath Products
Nothing says, “I bought this present on the way here,” like a basket of bath products like lotions and salts. It also poses the very serious threat of salt poisoning to your pets. Bath salts often contain magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) and sodium chloride (table salt), both of which can kill or permanently injure furry friends.

2. Boxed Chocolates
While it can be argued that chocolate is always a good gift, even a diehard sweet tooth is on overload during the holidays. Extra confections lying around the house can be a recipe for disaster. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause illness or even death in dogs and cats.

1. Socks
You don’t want them, you hate getting them, and you’ll loathe them even more when you’re forking over upwards of $1,000 to have them removed from your pet’s intestine. Socks take Petplan’s top spot for the worst holiday gift, whether you’re on two legs or four.

Donnarumma concludes, “For the safety of all involved—including your wallet—we suggest sticking to electronic gift cards for holiday giving.”

For info about Petplan and more pet safety tips, point your paws to www.gopetplan.com.

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Giveaway: a perfect stocking stuffer for pet owners!

We joke all the time about how an outfit isn’t complete without a bit of dog or cat hair on it. If there is one thing all pet parents know, it’s that sometimes our furry friends leave behind hairs on our clothes and furniture. Luckily, we have a great giveaway to help with this! You can win a Heavy Duty Lint Roller Pack and a 2-pack of Jumbo Lint rollers! These work so well, and make such great gifts for all the pet parents in your life.

These lint rollers are high quality, and they do a great job removing lint and pet hair from clothes! They are also great to use on couches, carpet, and even curtains. You don’t have to just use them to pick up after your pets though, they work well for many other quick pick-ups too, like crumbs, pine needs from the Xmas tree, and more.

I have found the little travel roller to be super handy too! And I really love this heavy duty roller because of it’s size. It’s great for going over surfaces quickly (perfect for couches and chairs).

I’ll spare you the nasty after photo, but let me just say that these really do pick up well! So much better than the lint roller we were using before (a wash off kind). I really like this style so much better, and am happy that they are made in the USA too.

OK pet lovers, are you ready for your chance to win? This giveaway is open to those in the USA, and you can enter via the form below. Even if you don’t win, you can find both items on Amazon for yourself, or for gift giving!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It’s Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday for Best Friends

Giving Tuesday is a global day for giving back that was created by the 92nd Street Y and United Nations Fund in 2012 with the goal of starting a movement around charitable giving at the beginning of the holiday season. In recent years, it has become one the most important revenue-generating days of the year for Best Friends Animal Society.

Best Friends has set a fundraising goal of $500,000 this year for Giving Tuesday, which also happens to be the day that kicks-off the annual Best Friends $2 million Holiday Match (thanks to a group of generous donors who create the match fund each fall).

Did you know that you can help raise funds for Best Friends on Facebook? Your friends, family, and followers can give to your fundraiser without ever leaving Facebook. Any gifts you raise will go directly to Best Friends, and best of all they’ll be matched! What could be better than that?

All you have to do is go to the Best Friends Facebook page, and click the blue button that says “Create Fundraiser”! You will be guided through the process and then your friends can donate right from Facebook. It’s so easy.

And of course, don’t forget to share with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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Great books for animal loving kids!

As the holiday season gets nearer, you might be looking for a great gift for the pet loving kids in your life. Today I am going to share two adorable books with you! We got to see one for ourselves, and just loved the illustrations and the message.

First up, Piper Was Afraid. This is the book we got to see, and even more exciting was that it came with a stuffed version of Piper and Cornelius the mouse!

piper

The book comes signed by the author as well, and even comes with an adorable adoption certificate for Piper. The story is so cute too. Piper is an enormous Irish Wolfhound who is afraid of just about everything, but then he realizes he is missing out on all the fun. Also the cute little Cornelius (a mouse) appears on each page!

The second book is by the same author, and is called Lily the Fancipoo.

lily

When her family decides to take a Holiday vacation, Lily is sent to spend some time with her cousins in the country and learns that love far outweighs the benefits of material things! Children will enjoy seeing Lily transform as she lets down her guard and begins to enjoy the farm. When Lily is in her home state of Florida there is a tiny lizard hidden on each page that children will have fun searching for and then when Lily arrives in the country, Lottie the mouse is hiding!

Lily the Fancipoo also comes with a plush Lily, and Lottie the mouse!

The illustrations and stories are perfect for sharing with children of all ages, and they will love to cuddle with their new friends too.

Posted in books, gifts for pet lovers | 3 Comments