Poison peanut butter puts paid to pets’ perfect health and hikes policy prices

Poison peanut butter puts paid to pets’ perfect health and hikes policy prices

Dec 04, 2017

Aquarium software is adding its voice to calls for pet parents to be vigilant when giving food intended for human consumption, to dogs in particular. The pet insurance technology specialist says while some foods are fine, others such as peanut butter can be fatal to dogs. The warning comes as Xylitol replaces sugar as an ingredient in some foods, and while harmless to humans - even in small amounts it is toxic to dogs, resulting in rapid decreases in blood sugar, diarrhoea, seizures, liver failure and even death.

By linking pet, vet and insurer; smart technology and Big Data can have a positive influence on driving down pet premiums. Software can identify factors that reflect bad pet parenting, raising premiums for the careless and rewarding responsible pet parenting with lower premiums. It therefore makes sense for owners to understand what is good and bad for their pet, for lower premiums; regular exercise and a good diet are key, just like with humans.

“Pet parents need to be aware of what’s in foodstuffs that they share with their pets,” said Aquarium Director, Mark Colonnese. “When 69 per cent of us feel our pets are just as important to our family as the human members, it is tempting to be anthropomorphic towards our pets and assume they are the same as us. They are not. Animal physiology is very different and we run a real risk of killing our pets with misplaced kindness.” he added.

“When feeding pets with what are designed to be human foods, we must be sure what we are giving them is safe,” said Mark. “Xylitol is found in some peanut butters, but is also used as an artificial sweetener in processed foods, cakes, diabetic sweets. The advice is to always check the label and protect our pets from the growing list of foods that could potentially poison them. We are at the start of a curve that can see owner health choices impact on the price of their pet insurance. This may be no bad thing, as the diligent owner will benefit from even lower premiums, in return for providing their pet with the healthiest lifestyle possible,” Mark concluded.