“The dog ate my homework” is nothing compared with some of the things pets gobble up, according to the Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.’s tally. Although many of the 2,000 claims the company has fielded during the past year for items pets scarfed down included the usual suspects — socks, hand towels, sticks, and rocks — others stretched the imagination (and oftentimes, the pets’ bellies).
Lest you worry as you read, all of the pets recovered and received reimbursement for covered expenses from the Brea, Calif.-based Veterinary Pet Insurance, the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, it said in a news release Tuesday.
Things pets tried for snacks included:
- Jellyfish (presumably, a pet itself)
- Estrogen patch/make-up brush
- Tube of denture adhesive (sans teeth, we presume)
- Teddy Bear’s plastic nose
- Glass Christmas ornament
- Hearing aid (do we hear a stomach growling?)
- Watch (whole new meaning for snack time)
- 16 steel wool pads
- Jumper cables (now, which is positive and which is negative?)
- Razor blades
- Pound of uncooked rice (white or brown?)
- Squirrel (apparently eaten, not a pet)
- Bird (whole, as opposed to dark or white meat)
- Part of a deer antler (Bambi!)
- Extension cord
- TV remote control (dangit, who keeps changing the channel)
- 10 quarters/one penny/one Canadian coin/three arcade tokens
- Wooden toy train (it was comin’ round the mountain)
And last, but not least, giving a whole new meaning to a pampered pet: 25 to 30 soiled diapers.
Although some of the items might bring a smile, the total bill wasn’t cheap, even with insurance. The company's policyholders spent almost $3 million treating pets that ingested foreign objects in 2010, the news release says
More than 485,000 pets are insured nationwide, the company says, and more than 2,000 employers nationwide offer pet coverage as a payroll benefit.
Obviously, insured or not, it would be a good idea to keep those steel wool pads and soiled diapers out of a hungry animal’s reach.
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