More owners take out pet insurance

Vet bills can reach thousands





Pet insurance specialist PD Insurance ( has recently seen a significant uptick in pet insurance claims, as more people realise the benefits of pet insurance to prevent vet bills giving their wallets a battering. PD Insurance has named the top 10 types of claims received from pet owners for all breeds of cats and dogs. The most significant surge has come from the highly contagious and resistant virus parvo, which can cause severe illness in young and unvaccinated dogs, attacking the gastrointestinal tract and occasionally the heart. A severely infected pup may need to spend five to seven days in a fullservice veterinary hospital, and the expenses can really mount up. Kennel cough is a highly contagious and unpleasant condition among the top 10 claims received. The most obvious symptom is a strong cough, often with a ‘honking’ sound but can also include a runny nose, sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite and low fever. A vet may prescribe antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection and cough medication to ease the symptoms. Other claims in the top 10 include allergic reactions from food and skin allergies. A vet appointment will be needed if you spot distressing allergy symptoms such as eye and ear redness and discharge, scratching, head shaking, sneezing, licking, chewing, coughing and gagging. Bite wounds and lacerations can cause infections which mean a pet’s health can go downhill quickly. Insect bites and stings may cause pain, swelling and illness, and infections can occur in many areas of a precious pet’s body, including their ear, eye, sinus, bladder, urinary tract, lung, nail and bowel. Any acute decline in a pet’s health will need veterinary diagnosis and could result in extended vet care. Also numbered in the highest number of claims received by PD Insurance are diarrhoea, nausea and gastroenteritis, bone fractures, car incidents and ingestion of various harmful substances, particularly to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, karaka berries, poison and foreign bodies. While New Zealand’s health system covers medical costs for our human babies, our fur babies can suffer similar accidents and illnesses but unfortunately, their medical expenses are not covered. Vet bills can run into the thousands and not everyone has that sort of money just sitting in a bank account. Even if doting pet parents can keep their fur kids safe from accidents, it’s not so easy to protect them from illnesses and it’s very likely they will need medical attention at some time in their lives. In a recent survey by PD Insurance, 39 per cent of respondents said they took out pet insurance because they wouldn’t be able to afford a vet bill if their fur kid was seriously ill or injured, and 42 per cent said they didn’t want to have to decide between money and their pet’s life. Pet insurance could cost less than a cup of coffee a day and means you won’t have to make that unbearable life or death decision if the worst happens.