09:33 AM

Veterinarians share most memorable Valentine’s stories

Avoid these whimsical mistakes for a safe & sweet Valentine’s Day with your furry friend

Brea, Ca. - Valentine’s Day is all about the love, with gifts and cards given, fine meals eaten by candlelight and everything shared on Instagram. The scene changes at veterinary clinics and hospitals across the nation, where Valentine’s Day tends to be less about romance and more about dogs consuming chocolate or cats nibbling on lilies – both toxic.

As the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., Nationwide® pet insurance provides coverage for veterinary expenses which can lead to more happy endings in the event your four-legged family member gets into those Valentine sweets.

In order to best serve its members, Nationwide employs more than 180 veterinary professionals – veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses. When asked to share their memories of Valentine’s Day moments working in a veterinary practice, the team concurred that although the road can be rocky, love and veterinary medicine triumphs.

“Every veterinary professional has a Valentine’s Day story to tell,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s associate vice president for veterinary relations. “Some are fantastic, but they show the importance of being cognizant of your pet’s safety.”

A favorite story of Benson’s comes from one of Nationwide’s veterinary technicians, Kristen Britton.

“We had a newly engaged couple come into the hospital with their 14-week-old Labrador puppy who’d been sick for three days,” Britton said. “After doing bloodwork and X-rays we found the reason for the vomiting: The puppy swallowed the engagement ring! It was clear as day in the X-ray. Not only were the pet parents relieved that it wasn’t something more serious, they were also thrilled their $10,000 + ring was found!”

Britton goes on to tell how the veterinary team helped with a happy ending. “The condition of the ring coming out of the puppy’s stomach wasn’t great, but we ran it through the ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave before sending the ring and their pup home with them.

“Even better: The guy even got down on his knee in the lobby and proposed all over again. It was an awesome moment and definitely had us in tears.”

Unfortunately, there are ample opportunities for pets to get sick on Valentine’s Day. On average, American’s spend $1.7 billion on Valentine’s Day candy and these treats could lead to life-threatening conditions for your pet¹.

If your pet ingests candy, it can cause an upset stomach and vomiting leading to an average treatment cost of $274 per visit, according to Nationwide’s pet insurance claims data. Chocolate, champagne, and wine are also toxic to dogs and cats with average treatment cost ranging from $383-$525 per visit. Chocolate toxicity, which includes symptoms of diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and cardiac arrest, in addition to the more common nausea and vomiting, can persist for 72 hours.

If you suspect your pet has ingested anything harmful, seek immediate veterinary advice.

For more information about pet health insurance, and for Valentine’s Day pet safety tips, visit MyPetHealthZone.com or follow @NationwidePet on social media.

¹Source: National Retail Federation

About Nationwide pet insurance

With more than 800,000 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 petinsurance.com.

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 United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.