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Novice pet owners entering their first Easter break with new furry family members that arrived at Christmas need to be mindful of a deadly double danger: chocolate and fruit, and potentially massive vet bills for life-saving treatment.

Chocolate and fruit poisoning can easily cost £1,000, not just for the initial emergency treatment, but longer-term medication for organ damage.

"Pets, particularly dogs, that arrived in new homes at Christmas are entering that most mischievous of ages - around six months old - when everything has to be taste-tested," said Mark Effenberg, chief executive of Healthy-Pets Insurance, and "parent" to one-eyed retriever Deputy Dawg.

"Chocolate and fruit in Easter gifts can be fatal if eaten by most domestic cats and dogs - but its the shape and packaging of Easter Eggs that make them particularly dangerous: both cats and dogs love tearing up cardboard, but chocolate eggs that end up rolling around become not just toys but prey, too," he added.

"Treatment can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, and the damage to pets internal organs can be permanent even if they recover from the initial poisoning.

"Chocolate may be considered a treat for humans, and children may inadvertently feed pieces of their egg to the family pet simply not realising the risk. In fact, we regularly receive insurance claims from pet owners who had no idea chocolate was so dangerous.

"Ironically, the monthly cost of pet insurance to cover vet bills and other mishaps is probably the same as most families spend on chocolate each month; the cost of treatment, though, can cost almost as much as a family holiday."

Healthy Pets, an award-winning online insurer, is the biggest independent pet insurance provider in the UK, focusing exclusively on cat insurance and dog insurance. It consistently offers the most competitive prices, and has amongst the highest customer satisfaction ratings in its sector.

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With a Maximum Benefit of £7500.

Data taken online 19/08/2020. Postcode used GU32 3QF
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