Corn cobs, earphones, socks, and BBQ skewers landing dogs at the vet


Bupa Pet Insurance data reveals the most common insurance claims for dogs and how an appetite for corn cobs and socks is landing many canines in the ruff.

The 2021-22 data showed the biggest claims paid for dogs included $12,000 for a dog eating food and household items that they shouldn’t, while a $10,771 claim benefit was paid to the owner of a dog severely injured in an accident.

Claims for skin conditions topped the list of most common claims followed dogs with stomach conditions and ear conditions.

Showing anything is paw-sible when you have a dog, there are some things that should not be in a doggy bag - some mischievous Bupa dogs have swallowed corn cobs, earphones, chocolate, socks and even a BBQ skewer, landing them on the vet’s bed.

PetSure vet advisor Dr Kylie Mitchell said all dog owners needed to be mindful of what was lying around the house or accessible to curious pups.

Foods such as corn cobs can easily cause an intestinal obstruction, which can be fatal.

Dr Kylie Mitchell, Petsure Vet Advisor

“Dogs are naturally curious and many like to chew things they shouldn’t like socks, food, or food packaging. Common human foods like chocolate, items containing artificial sweeteners, or ingredients like onions are toxic for dogs and can result in death if enough is consumed.

“Regular checks of boundary fencing to prevent escapees can help avoid road accidents and dog fights. With storm season approaching, it’s particularly important to ensure pets are safely contained to avoid mishaps and escape during storms.”

Dr Mitchell also said pet owners needed to act quickly if they noticed their dogs scratching themselves.

“They may think a dog scratching is normal but it’s not. Being itchy is very uncomfortable so if a dog is scratching a lot, a trip to the vet for assistance is important,” Dr Mitchell said.

Bupa General Insurance General Manager Shannon Orbons said pet owners had increased peace of mind when it came to costs – especially for expensive treatments.

We want the best for our members’ fur babies. Having pet insurance means can help you be prepared for your pooch’s treatment if they get sick or injured, including chemotherapy for cancers and surgical implants for fractures.

Shannon Orbons, Bupa General Insurance Manager

For pet owner Sophie, she received 80 per cent back on her $14,000 claim after her dog Beta had rare eye surgery to help the Shiba Inu with an eye condition that left him blind from birth.

“It's a very, very complex surgery. It took 7 to 9 hours with three specialists involved in the surgery,” she said.

“He's not just an animal, he's like my family member.

“I would recommend everyone who has a pet to get insurance because you never know what will happen. Some dogs are just unlucky they carry some kind of disease in their body from birth, and then you wouldn't want to give them up because of financial situation.”