Southern Cross Pet Insurance and NZVA launch Paws Off!

Published on 6 April 2023.

In a world first, Southern Cross Pet Insurance and the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) have teamed up to develop Paws Off!, a free food safety warning symbol to educate pet guardians about common foods and ingredients that can be toxic to cats and dogs.

The symbol and instructions for how Paws Off! should be used can be downloaded for free from The logo and instructions are available globally to food and beverage brands, veterinarians, pet hotels, dog walkers, puppy schools and any other organisation that wants to help pets live their best lives.

NZVA's Head of Veterinary Services Companion Animals, Sally Cory, said, “This is an important topic around animal safety. We don’t want animals coming through our doors with avoidable and sometimes fatal illnesses.

“As Easter approaches with chocolate treats and hot cross buns galore, New Zealanders need to be sure they don’t let these products end up in pets’ mouths. Southern Cross has shared some eye-opening numbers with us, with more than $268,000 in claims paid out for consumption of chocolate, raisins and other harmful foods over the last 12 months. The road to recovery is an expensive one, especially if you don’t have pet insurance to help foot the bill for treatment.”

To learn more about the Paws Off! symbol, please visit