Unknown Hazards of Dogs’ Floodwater Playgrounds

Dog Labrador Running Water

January has a track record of being a seriously wet month - and floodwater which has overwhelmed some of the country’s 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 we’ve 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, founder of cat insurance and dog insurance. "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 not dried out after a dunking in floodwater.

"We’d strongly recommend keeping dogs away from floodwater, to ensure they don’t get too cold, and to ensure the obvious: fresh, clean water is readily available to them."

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Our cover can be offered for pets from five weeks old and can include vet fees for illness and injury up to £7,500, as well as ongoing cover for eligible new illnesses.

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Healthy Pets Insurance is quite possibly 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 Group, is a specialist pet insurance company. Healthy Pets can cover a range of policies from Accident Only, Maximum Benefit, and Lifetime to help customers find a policy to suit them and their pet.

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