January has a track record of being a seriously wet month - and floodwater which has overwhelmed some of the countrys favourite dog-walking spots in recent years can be a cocktail of risk for water-loving hounds, sparking unnecessary insurance claims.
One pet insurer has seen an increase in claims for treatment for floodwater-related illness and injury that could have been avoided - while many dogs see water as a fun playground, floodwater brings new hazards.
"I have a dog, and I love dogs. I hate to see them come to harm. But show a dog some water or a swamp, and we all know certain breeds are simply going to steam in - but floodwater is a cocktail of risk for pets, and in recent flood seasons weve seen an increase in claims for a variety of illnesses and injuries that are directly flood-related, and which really could be avoided," said Mark Effenberg, Chief Executive of Healthy Pets Insurance
, the UKs biggest independent cat and dog insurer.
"Familiar watercourses are known quantities to dog owners - but floodwater hides all sorts of concerns.
"As well as unexpected depth, there are hazards hidden below the surface which are dangerous or even lethal to dogs - sharp objects and so on. There are also issues relating to strong currents, but the real hidden danger is the appalling quality of the water.
"Dogs are immune, to an extent, to many of the bugs and nasties in normal water in ponds and rivers; but the floods are washing up all sorts of sewage, and diseases spread by the likes of rats to which dogs would never otherwise be exposed will be present in flood water.
"And with some homes in flood-hit areas being without heating, there is also the danger of frostbite in extreme circumstances for dogs that have no dried out after a dunking in floodwater.
"Wed strongly recommend keeping dogs away from floodwater, to ensure they dont get too cold, and to ensure the obvious: fresh, clean water is readily available to them."
Healthy Pets is the original online pet insurer, launched in 1996, and which sold its first policies online in 1997, a year before Google was founded. It now has tens of thousands of customers, and policy purchases increasing fast. Healthy Pets Insurance, now part of the Ardonagh Insurance group of Companies, is a specialist pet insurance company. It consistently offers the most competitive prices, and has among the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the sector.
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