This year's bitterly cold winter has made pet insurance even more beneficial according to specialist firms. One company says a customer saved more than £5,000 by being suitably covered before an icy disaster.
PetPlan says a pet poodle belonging to a customer was playing in the garden, slipped on ice and wound up crashing into a patio door, suffering both internal bleeding and a broken spinal cord. The bill for the resulting surgery and aftercare cost a total of £5,600.
The firm also said there are extra risks resulting from the way animals cope with the icy conditions. Dog owners should check the paws while walking their pet to make sure that grit isn't causing irritation which can cause the skin to split. They should also wash the paws as soon as they return home as this limits the danger of the dog licking grit from a paw and then suffering stomach upsets.
It's also important to take care to make sure pets aren't left unsupervised near a garden pond which has frozen over as the ice can easily crack under the animal's weight.
Another problem to watch out for is anti-freeze which has been spilt on the floor. One of its main components, ethylene glycol, has an aroma and taste which is appealing to animals, but is also poisonous.