Although many pet owners will gush of the joy their furry friends bring to their lives, a number of things are often sacrificed for animal companionship - namely personal space, black outfits and a healthier bank balance.
Southern Cross has released New Zealand's 10 strangest pet insurance claims of 2019, with a number of owners forking out thousands to remedy their pets' ill-chosen antics.
- A Persian cat fell into a swimming pool while being chased by another cat. The waterlogged feline was taken to the vet and diagnosed with hypothermia ($1,065).
- A Labrador swallowed a pin cushion, complete with pins, while the owner was sewing. The pin cushion and pins had to be surgically removed ($3,488).
- A 'zonked out' and smelly Hungarian Vizsla dog was believed to have eaten sheep pellets sprinkled on the garden as fertiliser ($352).
- An Ocicat came off second best from a fight with an overly feisty blackbird and was treated for a scratch to one eye ($103).
- A chocoholic Boxer got his just desserts after raiding his family's stash of Easter treats - five chocolate Kiwis and a bellyache later, he was taken to the vet. ($270)
- An overly enthusiastic Bernese mountain dog ran through a closed sliding door, sustaining a serious wound to one leg ($1,101).
- A Labrador's trip to the beach turned sour for its owners when the dog discovered a pair of shoes and socks on the sand and promptly swallowed the socks. The serial sock stealer was taken to the vet to have them removed. It was the owners' third claim relating to sock ingestion ($2,789).
- A Tonkinese cat played with fire when he jumped on the wood burner and burned its paws ($177).
- An overly eager Labrador Cross ate through a fence to escape the boarding kennels but was foiled at the next hurdle when it became stuck in a second fence. A vet treated the dog for a spinal fracture along with multiple injuries ($6,999).
- A cat came home with a tangled-up tail, a string of fishing line causing a wound which required veterinary treatment ($271).
"Even the most well-behaved pets aren't immune to having accidents or getting up to mischief - but there's no such thing as ACC for cats and dogs," Southern Cross Pet Insurance General Manager Anthony McPhail said.
"We get quite a few claims for things you would never dream might happen and a lot of these situations can be very costly and stressful for the animal and the owner."
In the 2019 calendar year, Southern Cross Pet Insurance paid out more than $11.2 million in claims (including GST).