Protecting Pets from Holiday Hazards

Brea, Calif.— Last year, Nationwide pet insurance members spent more than $37 million on medical conditions commonly associated with the holiday season. With winter festivities upon us, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, sorted through its database of more than 630,000 insured pets to determine the most common holiday season related medical conditions and their average costs for treatment:


Condition                                                                             Average Cost to Treat

Tinsel or Ribbon Ingestion (Intestinal Foreign Body)                                  $1,759

Pancreatitis from Ingestions of Fatty Foods (table scraps)                           $763   

Raisin or Nut Toxicity                                                                                    $562

Electrical Shock from Holiday Lights                                                            $464

Chocolate Toxicity                                                                                          $400

Laceration from Ornaments                                                                          $379


Dangerous Ingestions

The holiday season increases the opportunity for pets to get their paws on harmful foods, drinks and decorations. The most common toxic treats that Nationwide insured pets ingested last holiday season were chocolates, nuts and raisins. In fact, 22 percent of all Nationwide pet insurance claims for chocolate toxicity were received in the month of December.

  Some pets prefer to munch on non-digestible holiday items including tinsel, ribbon, gift wrap and ornaments. Ingestion of such items can lead to surgery for an intestinal foreign body, which is the most expensive medical condition associated on the holiday list with an average cost of $1,759 per pet.

If a pet consumes a toxic food or a foreign body, he or she should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. In preparation, pet lovers should locate the nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital prior to any holiday celebration.

“Pet owners need to take extra precaution during the holidays,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “Discarded fatty foods, unattended sweets and holiday decorations can all become a source of danger for household pets. Ideally, all pet owners should be familiar with their local veterinary emergency resources in case their pet gets into mischief this holiday season.”

Note to editors: For further information or to request Nationwide’s “Holiday Dangers” infographic please contact

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 630,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016). Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, travel, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2017 Nationwide.