Guy “Fraught” Night for The Nation’s Pets

helpucover[dot]co[dot]uk, a leading independent provider of Lifetime Pet insurance is calling for pet owners to protect their four - legged friends as November 5th approaches.

It’s estimated that 45 per cent of dogs in the UK, (more than three million) are likely to demonstrate fearful behaviour when they hear fireworks.*

Dr Eric Jackson, Veterinary Adviser to helpucover[dot]co[dot]uk says “During the course of my thirty year career I have seen or heard of too many pets injured as a result of fireworks, simply because owners fail to keep their pets confined to the home. You can tell an animal is stressed if it dashes about from place to place, panting and shaking. This is when accidents can happen. Pets are most likely to injure themselves, run away or cause an accident to someone else.”
More than 6.2% of the claims received by throughout 2009 were for dogs having accidents and with an average cost to treat of £335.89 in these tough times it takes a large bite out of your family budget.

Many pet owners also do not realise that if their dog injures someone or causes an accident, they could be sued for damages as their dogs are considered their property which they are required by law to keep under control. With more than 100 victims of dog bites admitted to hospital each week last year, an increase of 66% compared to the period 1998-1999 it’s a risk most people cannot afford to ignore.

Bonfire night is a time for families but if an animal does bite, it is children that are most at risk. 1,250 children were bitten last year alone including many babies and toddlers and the risk of dog bites is highest in boys aged five to nine years old.

Dr Jackson for helpucover[dot]co[dot]uk continues “Pet owners need to ensure their four-legged friends are safeguarded for the evening and also adequately insured in case of injury or if they get lost, and to protect against any damage or harm caused by their pet. A frightened dog can bite or behave unpredictably. It can be overwhelmed by the noise and excitement, particularly in a house full of people and children.”

Top tips recommended by helpucover to reduce pet stress on November 5th:-
• Provide a ‘den’ area, in the middle of the house, sound proofed as much as possible, which enables the pet to pack itself into as tight a spot as possible
•Fasten all doors and windows and draw the curtains to keep your pets as safe as possible during fireworks.
• Ignore your cat or dog if they try to hide, trying to tempt them out could cause more stress.
• Pets have sensitive ears, so play music or switch on the television to drown out as much noise from fireworks as possible.
• Make sure your dog or cat has a collar or tag, in case they run away.
• Exercise your dog well during the day to ensure it is tired and ready to sleep in the evening.
• Small pets living outside must also not be forgotten - rabbits and guinea pigs can become very stressed by loud noises. Bring them indoors or into the garden shed.
helpucover[dot]co[dot]uk want to hear from all pet owners with their tips for helping their pets cope with the stress of fireworks and loud noises. Please visit and send in their stories and a picture of their pet. All responses will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a year’s supply of pet food!
A helpucover pet policy provides all the cover you need on Bonfire Night. All dog insurance policies include third party liability cover and legal costs. For as little as £14.77 per month, will pay out up to one million pounds in damages if your dog injures another person or causes an accident. Dog owners should check that their pet insurance policies include this feature. It will also pay up to £6,000 for injuries to the insured pet and £500 to help you find your pet if it runs away or gets lost, as, sadly, happens to many dogs on firework night.

Dog injury facts:
• 107,030 incidents of injuries involving dogs in the UK during 2009
• More than 100 victims of dog bites were admitted to hospital each week last year, an increase of 66% compared to the period 1998-1999
• 5,221 people were treated in England last year for injuries received in attacks by dogs compared with 3,137 ten years ago 1,250 were child victims including many babies and toddlers
• These incidences were responsible for 4,699 episodes of admitted patient care, accounting for 9,808 occupied bed days
• The risk of dog bites is highest in boys aged five to nine years old

For media enquiries, please contact: (Cardif Pinnacle)
Barbara Russell – Head of Marketing
07887 748883 Sarah Potter – Communications Manager 07833 095594
020 8207 9000

Notes to Editors

helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc - one of the UK's leading insurers. Pinnacle Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority".

About Cardif Pinnacle
Cardif Pinnacle (a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc) is the UK insurance arm of banking group BNP Paribas SA, a European leader in global financial services. BNP Paribas SA is an international financial services group, with roots in Europe and a significant and growing presence in the United States and Asia. It is one of the largest international banking networks, with a presence in more than 84 countries and 205,000 employees, of which 165,000 are in Europe. BNP Paribas Assurance, also part of the BNP Paribas group and a parent company of Cardif Pinnacle, is a worldwide provider of insurance and savings products.

Formed in 1971 and currently employing circa 750 staff in the UK, Cardif Pinnacle has established itself as a leading provider of Protection solutions. The Cardif Pinnacle group acquired Warranty Direct and Direct Life and Pensions in 2008, specialists in the provision of warranty and life insurance products.

With an emphasis on quality of service for clients and customers, Cardif Pinnacle is a preferred partner to more than 250 of the UK's leading Banks, Building Societies, Finance Houses and Intermediaries. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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