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Why Your Furry Troublemaker Needs Pet Insurance

By Colleen Williams
March 3, 2016 • 3 min. read
guilty dog

Imagine all the trouble your four-legged family members could get into if they had thumbs. There’s a whole day devoted to pondering this hypothetical: March 3rd, If Pets Had Thumbs Day. Even without opposable digits, dogs and cats can get into plenty of shenanigans—often with disastrous consequences.

If your pet has a penchant for poking his nose where it shouldn’t belong, read on to learn why pet insurance is essential.

They could get into your snack stash!

Healthy Paws reviews
Biscuit (left) and Echo put themselves in the doghouse after a bit of mischief. (Photo via Crystal Meredith)

One of the most common pet insurance claims is for accidental poisonings. No matter how pet-proof your pantry is, there’s always that one stray chocolate bar that can do a dog in. Human snack foods toxic to dogs include candy and gum containing xylitol, grapes and raisins, alcohol, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. Biscuit and Echo, a pair of Bichon Frisés, tag-teamed a Larabar containing nuts and raisins, ending up in the E.R. with over $2,000 in vet bills. Protected by Healthy Paws, the dynamic duo’s pet parents paid less than $400.

Without pet insurance, incidents like this can eat into your rainy day fund. Treatment for poisoning in pets typically costs $400 to $1,000 depending on the type and amount of substance eaten. This estimate doesn’t include complications or secondary conditions that can develop, including organ damage or multi-day hospital stays. Do your best to prevent poisoning in pets with child-proof locks on cabinets and drawers, placing cleaning products and toxic foods out of paws’ reach as a secondary precaution.

Dogs eat the darnedest things.

dog stealing socks
Some pups make a habit of stealing and eating socks or other indigestibles, which can prove expensive for pet parents and painful all around. (via Reddit user captspanky118)

In addition to the traditional temptations, there are some attractions no pet parent can foresee (or understand). Take Bandit, for example, a Boston Terrier who pilfered his baby sister’s pacifier for a midnight snack.

Countless canines have eaten homework and school projects, socks and underwear, sports balls, and your other stash. In the most perfect irony, a chocolate Lab named Wilson wolfed down his favorite toy—a Wilson-brand tennis ball. There was nothing ironic about the $3,500 vet bill for Wilson’s emergency surgery, which successfully removed the rubber fragment obstructing his bowels.

The point is pups often have an appetite for destruction that can strike at the most inopportune time for pet parents. Pet insurance protects your wallet from unexpected charges, giving you peace of mind during a difficult time when money should be last on your list of thoughts.

An active lifestyle means a mischievous one.

The younger your pet, the more likely he or she is to get into mischief. Cables and cords, blinds, feces, garbage, and underwear are just some of the mind-boggling things puppies and kittens express interest in. Even adult dogs are notorious for investigating places they shouldn’t: garbage cans, bedside drawers, laundry hampers. Around-the-clock monitoring is absolutely impossible, and no matter how much you pet-proof your place, accidents are inevitable.

pet insurance
If you’ve got a mischief-maker on your hands, protect your pup with pet insurance! (The earlier the better to avoid pre-existing conditions…) (

Lexi is a Pit Bull who is neither naughty nor a puppy, yet this senior gal found herself on the wrong side of the surgical ward after injuring both her anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs). A torn ACL in dogs is a relatively common condition, especially in active pups and seniors with weakened muscles. Luckily for Lexi, she was protected by pet insurance; Healthy Paws covered her bilateral cruciate ligament surgery, which totaled a whopping $16,000.

If you’re ready to consider pet insurance for your furry troublemaker, start with a free quote from Healthy Paws.

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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