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Press Office

20th October 2011

Cat-lamity day

22nd October dubbed the most dangerous day for pets

Pet owners should be purr-ticularly careful this week because according to Petplan, the UK's largest pet insurance provider, the 22nd October has been dubbed the most dangerous day of the year for the nation's beloved moggies and pups.

The latest statistics from the insurance provider show that October is the month when most dogs and cats are involved in accidents with a spike in reported claims on the 22nd October.

Last October alone, over 3,000 claims were made for pets suffering from lameness. And this October, to date, claims for this condition are on the rise with Petplan already paying out over £350,000. Potential causes include accidents such as road traffic incidents as well as arthritis and joint pain. There has also been a rise in pets developing dermatitis, skin and eye disorders, possibly related to the colder weather and change of season.

Petplan's Vet of the Year, Brian Faulkner says, "The rise in these kinds of claims is thought to be linked to the days drawing in as winter approaches and the lack of visibility on the roads, as well as the change in weather conditions. With the clocks set to change on 30th October, it's more important than ever to make sure that you take extra care of your pet during this time."

He continues, "All you need to do is take a few simple precautions to help prevent any needless accidents. I've outlined some of my top tips for the coming months."

  • My top tip is to get a reflective collar for your pet so that they can be easily seen and make sure that it is also a safety collar so that your pet does not hurt itself if it gets caught on other objects.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing a form of identification. If they manage to escape, you can be easily contacted when your pet is found. Microchips are excellent but remember to ensure your registered details are up to date with the microchip database.
  • Small dogs or those with little to no hair should have sweaters or jackets for protection against the cold. Some of the most common breeds that will benefit from protective clothing are Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers, Whippets, and Greyhounds. A heated dog bowl can also help outdoor water and food from freezing.
  • If your pet will tolerate it, consider foot protection booties. This can keep your cat or dog's feet safe from harm, such as dangerous objects hidden by the snow or salt on roads and pavements. Additionally, booties can help give your pet a better grip and prevent slipping on ice.
  • There are many causes of arthritis in pets. The biggest thing that owners can do is keep their pet's weight down.
  • While it's great to keep your pet fit and active be careful not to run with them too far because it will all add up and affect their joints over their life time.
  • The 5th November is another key time to be mindful of your pet's safety. Always keep them inside when fireworks are being let off, draw the curtains, close all windows and doors and block off cat flaps to stop pets escaping. You could also prepare a den for your pet where they can feel safe – perhaps under a bed with some of your old clothes where they may want to hide when the fireworks start.

Isabella von Mesterhazy, Petplan's Head of Marketing, comments: "Petplan has seen a dramatic rise in accidents in October highlighting the need for extra vigilance throughout the winter but it is well worth preparing for any eventuality throughout the entire year. With Petplan's Covered For Life® policy, your pet is not only covered for these types of accidents but also for any ongoing rehabilitation or further treatment for a condition."

To find out more about how you can keep your pet safe and healthy, and to view Petplan's award winning insurance policies, visit www.petplan.co.uk or www.facebook.com/petplan.

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-cat-insurance.asp

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-dog-insurance.asp