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Planning the paw-fect holiday for your furry friend

PetSure highlights holiday dangers for four-legged friends

23 December 2019: With as many as one in four pet owners saying they would not travel without their pet on an interstate or overseas holiday,[1] PetSure, Australia’s largest pet insurance underwriter, has today released its annual holiday guide to ensure that pet owners and their pets are safe during their summer break.

  1. To take or not to take your furry friend

An estimated 6 million Australian households have a pet and for many the idea of leaving their fur baby at home simply isn’t an option. But for those who do leave their pet at home, it’s important to find quality registered care.

PetSure Veterinary Officer, Dr Lauren Bennett commented, “Our pets rely on us to provide them with the best possible care so it’s up to us to make sure they will be safe and well looked after. Owners should ask pet minders about other animals they will be caring for over the same period and arrangements for separating the animals to keep them safe and happy.”

Anyone who is accepting payment to look after pets in their own home should be registered with their council and have the necessary insurance. The kennel industry is highly regulated and visiting kennels often gives pet owners peace of mind that their fur baby is also enjoying their holiday.

  • Be vigilant if holidaying in areas where snakes and ticks are prevalent

Australia has 10 of the most venomous snakes in the world and according to PetSure’s Pet Health Monitor, claims are relatively common. Since 2013, PetSure has paid more than $4.2 million in claims for dogs suffering from snake bites, and more than $1 million was paid for cat claims.

Dr Bennett expanded, “Pet owners should avoid walking in long, grassy areas in the warmer months. Additionally, keeping dogs on a leash will prevent them from approaching snakes.

Tick paralysis occurs mostly along Australia’s east coast. Dr Bennett commented, “Tick paralysis is preventable so pet owners should make sure their pet’s preventative medicine is up to date. It is also prudent to avoid coastal bush habitats if possible.

She continued, “Long haired pets should be clipped to make it easier to find ticks and if a tick is found, owners should look further as there may be others. Remove the tick immediately with tweezers by gently pulling upwards and see a vet as soon as you’re able to.”

  • Keep your pet cool in the summer heat

Pet owners heading somewhere warm with their pets should ensure there are adequate shade provisions for those animals who will be spending time outside. Owners should refrain from exercising their dogs when it’s hot and smoky and walking their pets on hot surfaces. Dr Bennett, commented, “If the ground feels hot to your hand, it’s too hot for your dogs’ paws.”

Over the summer PetSure sees a spike in claims for heatstroke. In 2018 alone, 358 insured pets were treated for heatstroke and the incidence has almost doubled between 2013 and 2018.

“You should see your vet immediately if you notice unusually heavy panting or drooling, and if the animal’s gums change to a bright red or pink colour. If untreated, heatstroke can cause seizures, coma and even death,” Dr Bennett said.

  • Don’t indulge your fur baby in new festive flavours

Chocolate toxicity claims climb more than 200% over the Christmas holidays (as well as at Easter) according to PetSure data. Grapes that might roll off the cheese platter are also a hazard for our four legged friends. More than 1,700 dogs were affected by grape toxicity from 2013 to 2018, with incidences rising over the five-year period.

  • Travel safely in a harness or a crate

Pets are required by law to travel by car in a harness or in a crate and failure to do this can result in fines and a loss of demerit points.

Dr Bennett concluded, “For some dogs and cats the temptation to sit on their owner’s lap can be all too much, even when the owner happens to be driving a vehicle. Or if a dog or cat jumps down into the driver’s foot well, it’s an accident waiting to happen. Keep yourself, your pet and all road users safe by securing your pets when travelling.”

For more information about pet care, trends, tips from our vets and news about pet insurance visit our knowledge hub.


Media contacts:

Holly Clark, BlueChip Communication

M: 0452 069 936

E: [email protected]

About PetSure

  • PetSure provides a sense of security to half a million Australian pet owners.
  • We are three different businesses within one – a global leader in underwriting, claims processing and administration services.
  • As an insurance underwriting agency we power the pet insurance propositions of more than 25 brands, including some of Australia’s most recognizable and prestigious brands, such as IAG, AAMI, Woolworths, RSPCA, PetBarn, Guide Dogs, Medibank, Bupa and HCF.
  • As a global leader in claims processing services we assess over half a million Australian claims each year and we are retained by leading pet insurers in the United Kingdom and the United States to provide claims processing services.
  • Administration services is our third business arm: the financial technology solution GapOnly. GapOnly is a paperless claims service whereby a customer can obtain claims approval within minutes, without ever leaving the veterinary surgery. It transforms the claims experience with reduced out-of-pocket expenses and is progressively rolling-out to veterinary surgeries and hospitals Australia-wide.
  • As an underwriter, administrator and fintech company, PetSure is helping to transform the pet healthcare experience of Australian and global pet parents, with a commitment to their lives with their pets.
  • To find out more about PetSure, please visit

[1] 2018 Trusted Housesitters survey