Getting back to nature may not always be the best thing for pets. In fact, medical claims data shows that as pets spend more time outside in warm weather, they are more likely to be injured, suffer from heat stroke or be affected by a number of other ailments.
Of course, that doesn’t mean pets need to be kept on a short leash just because it’s nice out. Pet owners just need to take some precautions.
“Pets are treated more frequently in the warm months due to their increased exposure to the outdoors. Warm weather exposes pets to more insects, higher temperatures and bodies of water, such as swimming pools, lakes and oceans,” says Dr. Carol McConnell, director of veterinary education and services for Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI). “High temperatures can lead to sunburn and heatstroke. Exposure to swimming pools can lead to ear infections or-worse-case scenario-a pet accidentally falling into a pool and drowning.”
Dr. McConnell says her company sees a significant spike in veterinary claims during the warmer months. In February of last year, for instance, her company paid on 12 claims that involved a pet stepping on an object such as glass and injuring its paw. That number jumped to 76 claims in June and 87 in July. Some of these injuries most likely required surgery, which averages about $574 for canines and $337 for cats.
Dr. McConnell suggests offsetting those costs by keeping a watchful eye on your pet and by purchasing pet insurance.
“Protecting your dog or cat with a pet health insurance policy is not only a smart decision prior to warm weather months, but all year round,” she explains. Her company’s insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for thousands of medical problems and costly procedures relating to accidents, illness or injury. Optional Vaccination & Routine Care Coverage is available as well.