For your pet, your children, or parents with pets, pet health insurance is a thoughtful gift that keeps on giving and providing care all year long!
November 19, 2009 (Pittsburgh, PA) For many, it can be difficult to select and provide a gift that is needed and will be cherished for a long time. As the abundance of holiday giving is upon us, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association suggests providing the gift of good pet health. It could be the very best gift for a family member, your parents or your children with pets. Purchase a year of pet health insurance coverage for those you love.
Today most pets are truly regarded as members of the North American family. Over 60% of North American households have at least one dog, cat, bird, or other companion animal. Many have more than one. There are more than 75 million pet dogs in the U.S. and Canada and nearly 85 million pet cats. Projected 2009 pet expenditures for North America are over $45 billion, of which $25 billion will be spent on veterinary related care.
According to a recent national survey by pet retailer PetSmart; of 1,000 dog and cat pet owners, 95 percent of pet owners say they’ll give their pet a gift or special treat this holiday season. Also, pet retailer PETCO, reports that for many pet owners, their animal companions are a big part of their holiday plan. Out of nearly 800 pet parents who responded to a 2008 survey, more than 90 percent said they include their pets in holiday celebrations; 67 percent said they would include their pet in a holiday photo session, 62 percent sign holiday cards on behalf of their pets; two-thirds said they will wrap gifts for pets; and more than a third said they will dress up their pet for the holidays – and plan to prepare a special holiday meal for their pet.
Pet health insurance provides a financial safety net for pet owners, and often gives them the ability to provide a higher level of care to their ill or injured pets. Every day, pet health insurance spares pet owners the excruciating decision to limit veterinary care for beloved pets, or even to euthanize them, due to economic limitations.
According to NAPHIA Executive Director, Loran Hickton, “The current economy makes pet insurance critically important for pet health and the financial wellbeing of all pet owners. Many pet owners simply don’t have the disposable income to cover emergencies or even routine pet health care. As we choose special gifts for those we love, pet health insurance should be considered as a most special gift that can provide a critical need throughout the year.”
Pet owners are encouraged to visit the North American Pet Health Insurance web site to learn more about pet health insurance. The web site also provides links to member providers that are committed to providing quality pet health insurance and meeting the highest standards in the industry. Please visit http://www.naphia.org.
The North American Pet Health Insurance Association also reminds all pet owners to be mindful of the following cautions during this festive time of the year:
- Do not provide any forms of chocolate
- Do not provide table scraps or foods not specifically prepared for our pets
- Secure or remove garbage and food scraps from the kitchen before sitting down to dine
- Adjust your pets’ feeding time to occur as you are serving dinner for special occasions and add a special pet treat as part of the pet meal
- Plan and provide short periods of special one-on-one time for walks and just providing focused attention during special occasions
- Our pets will adjust better to the additional activities taking place in the home, if a little bit of special attention is provided.
“Providing rich human foods is just a bad idea and it can cause pancreatitis and general internal illness. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, and it can be life threatening. When a pet is diagnosed as having pancreatitis, he/she becomes more susceptible to developing it again so you want to avoid your pet ever having it. The best way to protect our pets so they can enjoy a healthy and happy life is to avoid feeding human foods. If your pet becomes ill with bloody vomit and diarrhea after consuming turkey or ham or getting into the garbage, take your pet to your veterinarian immediately,” According Wayne Ingmire, DVM of Mokena Animal Hospital, and 2009 North American Favorite Veterinarian award winner.
Other cautionary “tails” to share during holidays include avoiding poinsettias and tinsel, especially with cats in the house. Dogs can become ill after consuming Christmas tree standing water, though generally not life threatening. On the other hand, there are many positive examples of great things pet owners can do to correctly spoil their pets. Provide a special holiday trip to the groomer or provide a nice shampoo wash and dry at home. Hang a stocking with correct treats and toys. A new toy with a bit of cat nip is okay for our feline friends. Just remember, pets are aware it is a special time of the year and all of the festivities can cause our pets to get into mischief and potential painful trouble. Also check with your veterinarian for the preferred 24 hour emergency pet hospital in your area for care after hours and have the phone number with your other important emergency information.
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About The North American Pet Health Insurance Association
Founded in 2007, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association is committed to educating and promoting the values and benefits of pet health insurance to North American pet owners, the general public, and the veterinary industry. For more information, visit www.naphia.org or call 412-319-7730 / 412-908-9766.