Border Terrier recovers after eating rat bait

Piper Gets a Soft Landing After Rat Bait Scare


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Many Kiwi dogs have enjoyed free insurance cover since February 2023 thanks to PD and Dogs NZ announcing our partnership. To celebrate its first month, Dogs NZ members were offered one extra free month of pet insurance if they signed up with PD, on top of the one or more months of free insurance cover we already give new customers. Unsurprisingly, many dog owners took this up – including one of an all-too-curious Border Terrier… Of the insurance claim stories our partnership has given rise to, today we’re sharing the story of Piper.

Like all terriers, Piper is an energetic pup. Unfortunately this enthusiasm saw her guzzle an entire block of rat bait. Luckily she had PD Pet Insurance and was whisked off to the vet immediately without any second guessing about the costs.

Piper the Border Terrier almost died from rat bait but was saved by immediate medical care and free pet insurance

Piper the Border Terrier shares her story

Piper is from a big pet family of four dogs (her siblings are another Border Terrier and two Rhodesian Ridgebacks). Recently she and her co-conspirator Border Terrier Brodie were hot on the heels of a rat. Unfortunately, rather than catching the rat, Piper ended up catching the rat bait instead…

The two Border Terriers charged after the rat and into the shed where their enthusiastic chase ended up knocking rat bait off a high shelf. In theory Piper would normally never have been able to access the bait that was stored high up and out of reach.

But as we all know, dogs have a way of getting to things they shouldn’t. Sadly they’re often not only intent on sniffing but, given their immensely inquisitive nature, tasting tends to follow. Perhaps that’s why accidental ingestion is often among our common claims.

Thankfully Piper’s owner Margaret heard the commotion and came to investigate. She found Piper eating a block of rat bait and acted immediately, taking her to the vet.

Quick treatment at no cost

After swallowing rat bait, an anticoagulant, Piper could easily have died. Thankfully, Margaret witnessed the scary scenario and was able to act immediately. Treatment included emptying the contents of Piper’s stomach and the costs came to just over $250.

After this harrowing experience, Margaret offers the following advice:

“Screw down your bait boxes or get a fixing bracket… this is the first time ever I’ve seen a dog get into a bait box and I’m glad I was on hand to whisk her off to the vet.”

Thankfully Piper was successfully treated and the costs weren’t an issue thanks to her pet insurance from PD, something all Margaret’s dogs are now safeguarded with. This meant both pup and purse strings were financially protected.

The owner of this shed full of tools claims on her Dogs NZ starter cover

Free insurance takes the rat bait cake

PD followed up to check in on Piper’s health. Thankfully the little Border Terrier is well rested and recovered. Margaret says she’s been so happy with PD’s support and has since recommended our pet health insurance to many of her friends. Especially those who’ve experienced pricey vet visits.

She said she was impressed by the four weeks of PD’s free insurance cover through Dogs NZ. It gave her peace of mind knowing her finances wouldn’t be impacted after vet visits. That great first impression led her to take up a standard PD Pet Insurance plan for Piper’s ongoing health protection.

After Margaret’s rat bait treatment claim was settled quickly and effortlessly, she’s encouraging others to consider insurance with PD. “It’s a no-brainer,” she says.

What is the starter cover Dogs NZ registered dog breeders offer?

Now our partnership with Dogs NZ is well underway, we’re applying extra focus on protecting new puppies arriving in the world. We think it’s really important to bring pet insurance cover to more Kiwi pets as early as possible.

That’s why, together with Dogs NZ and its registered dog breeders, we’re offering new puppy parents referred by these breeders four weeks of free insurance starter cover.

The pet plan provides puppies aged six to 30 weeks with cover for accidental injury and illness up to the value of $1,000. This four week period doesn’t involve any excess payable on claims, so it’s truly free insurance. Thereafter owners have the option of switching to a standard low-cost, high-value pet insurance PD plan.

Having this safeguard in place allows new puppy owners to settle in their young pet with fewer concerns. These initial weeks are a key adjustment period in a puppy’s life.

Piper was on free insurance referred by Dogs NZ registered breeder

Free pet insurance starter cover from Dogs NZ registered breeders includes the following cover:

  • Up to the value of $1,000
  • Accident cover (bites, cuts, bone fractures etc)
  • Illness cover (infections, gastrointestinal issues, dog skin conditions etc)
  • Vet treatment from any registered NZ vet
  • Excess-free, i.e. no excess on any claims during the free insurance starter cover period

If you’re a dog breeder registered with Dogs NZ you can offer this free insurance starter cover to your customers. Simply sign them up when they’re ready to take home their new puppy. Once their initial four week period comes to a close, they can then choose whether they’d like to continue with PD.

PD Pet Insurance offers an Accident, Classic and Deluxe plan to suit everyone’s pocket, puppy and dog. When switching from the free starter cover to a standard policy, customers will get another bonus free insurance period.

The younger a pet is when they're covered by pet insurance the more comprehensive the cover can be. An older pet with a pre-existing condition that signs up simply won't get the same range of cover. This is why it's so important getting pet insurance early on. It's just another reason for free pet insurance starter cover. 

Other insurance claim stories

Vet bills can be costly. Vets use the same range of medical equipment and offer a similar extent of expertise in their field that doctors do, so it’s no surprise. Pet owners can easily get caught out by unexpected bills that range from hundreds to thousands. Unexpected injuries or illness that require diagnosis, treatment, overnight stays and medication tally up.

Luckily, this wasn’t the case for Piper’s treatment, as Margaret was delighted to discover thanks to her free insurance cover. She’s not the only one either. Plenty of Kiwi dogs signed up to PD through Dogs NZ since February (thanks in part to its registered breeders) have had costly brushes with accidents and illness.

These include vet treatment for digestive issues, bacterial infections and more. While so far most have been for amounts between $135 and $220 others have approached $1000. That’s a considerable saving for a new pet owner.

Of course, vet treatment bills can be far higher. As an example, our three most common claims are listed below, each with one customer’s total vet costs:

  • Injury – $23,387
  • Allergies – $3,503
  • Ingestion – $7,006

Watch the PD Pet Care Vlog with Dr Cath to see what’s behind vet costs:

Dogs NZ registered dog breeders partner programme

PD is dedicated to helping all prospective pet buyers understand how to find ethical dog breeders. We know that the best way to do this is by supporting a stellar partner like Dogs NZ and their registered breeders. Not only do new puppies and their owners benefit, but breeders do too.

If you’re a breeder, find out more about the Dogs NZ breeder partner programme to give more insurance claims stories a silver lining. If you’re another type of pet industry professional then consider joining our pet care partner programme.

Or, if you’re a dog owner who’s considering protecting your fur kid with pet insurance, then click below.

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