What to get your pets for Christmas ? Many people like to spoil their pets for Christmas, and why not, they are members of the family too. Giving your pet a special treat is great, but what about a gift that keeps on giving – what about pet insurance ? Have you thought about what you would do if your pet is bitten by a snake, and you are faced with the need to make an immediate decision on spending up to $1500 to give them anti-venom treatment and supportive care ? Or what about a car accident, with broken bones and a referral surgeon that could cost $5000? Or even just a nasty grass seed up the nose, with a general anaesthetic, fibre-optic scope and a $400 bill. How nice would it be to know that your pet is covered by pet insurance, and you can say “yes” without thinking. Accidents, emergencies and severe illnesses are a reality of pet ownership, but many of us never plan for them to happen, and can be faced with very difficult and heart wrenching decisions when faced with sudden, un-expected vet bills or treatment costs. For as little as $10 per week, you can have total peace of mind, so don’t wait for trouble to strike your furry family, why not sign up for pet insurance. Things to beware of at Christmas ! Christmas is a time of fun and family, but it does present a few new dangers to be aware of. Feeding left over Christmas lunch or dinner to dogs is a common cause of Boxing day blues – rich fatty foods like pork crackling, sausages and ham can cause a nasty upset tummy or even pancreatitis, which can be severe and even fatal. And left overs often include toxic foods like onion, sultanas, grapes or macadamia nuts, which can cause severe illness. Chocolate is another common danger at Christmas, and don’t think that dogs can’t tell what is wrapped up in a pressie under the tree – they have a keen sense of smell thousands of times greater than us mere mortals. Cooked bones like ham bones and turkey left overs are another common cause of danger, and I have seen first-hand what problems can arise from giving Rover a special treat like this. As much as it may pain you to throw away those tasty morsels, it is far better than an un-expected trip to the vet with a vomiting dog and a potential bowel obstruction ! Wishing you all a fun and safe Christmas this year from Dr Bruce and all the team at Healthy Pets Veterinary Clinic!