Fish hooks and corn cobs: pet insurance claims reveal summer’s most expensive mishaps

Pet insurance claims data from December 2021 to March 2022 has revealed some surprisingly common summer mishaps.

In New Zealand, summer is a great time to head to the beach, have a BBQ or get stuck into the garden. It’s these three common activities that gave rise to some of summer’s most expensive pet insurance claims.

The most expensive pet insurance claim paid last summer was over $5,000 for treatment for a German Wire-Haired Pointer Cross dog who’d chowed down on a corn cob.

Corn cob ingestion featured multiple times on our list of the most expensive summer claims. So, as we fire up the BBQ this year, it’s a good reminder to be cautious when cooking around pets.

Top four summer pet insurance claims

Fish hook injuries

Fish hook ingestion or a fish hook getting caught on a pet’s body is a common summer hazard. On average we paid $829 per claim for fish-hook-related injuries last summer. The most expensive claim was $4,046 for veterinary care for a Labrador who ate a fish hook. Though fish hook injuries weren’t the most expensive claims, they were one of the most common.

But cats weren’t off the hook last summer. The most expensive claim paid for a cat was $588 for a Domestic Short Hair who’d got a fish hook stuck in their mouth. Acting fishy seems to be a theme for cats, with one poor moggy getting caught in a crayfish noose.

Corn cob ingestion

While corn isn’t bad for pets in small amounts, corn on the cob is more troublesome than you might think as the cob can cause a serious intestinal blockage. Corn on the cob is a dog’s unexpected nemesis – all of the top claims were pups and several claims were over $3,000. The most expensive claim paid was more than $5,000 for a German Wire-Haired Pointer Cross.

Mishaps at the beach

Last summer, dogs had a whole range of mishaps at the beach. From eating something they shouldn’t have to jellyfish stings and even falling over during a burst of seaside excitement , there were some unlucky pups. We paid out more than $500 to one unlucky Golden Retriever who was run over by a trailer.

Gardening injuries and accidents

Gardening was another danger zone for cats and dogs last summer. As New Zealanders got stuck into their gardens, some pets did too – but in all the wrong ways. Fertiliser and chemicals (like weed killer) were the main culprits of harm, with curious cats and dogs suffering chemical burns and vomiting after licking or eating chemicals or soil. The average claim paid was around $295.

Summer is a great time to hang out with your furry bestie. But, as our top summer claims list shows, seemingly safe summer activities can have a sting in their tail. That shouldn't stop you and your pet from going out and having fun this summer – just remember to be aware of common mishaps and keep a close eye on your pet when you’re at the beach, having a BBQ or gardening. Get help with the cost of unexpected veterinary bills and protect your pet (and your pocket) with pet insurance.


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