Xmas Choccies Poison Pets

Food proved to be the biggest danger for pets over the festive period, with vets reporting an increasing number of cases related to poisoning from consuming chocolate, mince pies and even alcohol.

Call handlers at emergency service Vets Now's triage centre answered a large number of queries from worried owners between Christmas Eve and January 3.

More than 400 of the calls from across the UK were about chocolate toxicity.

The team also dealt with 27 cases where dogs had eaten mince pies or Christmas pudding, both of which contain raisins which are also poisonous to dogs.

One dog was hit on the head by a falling ceramic decoration while another swallowed the sponge from the Pie Face board game.

Vets Now chairman Richard Dixon said: "Despite our ongoing campaigns on safeguarding pets during the festivities, our caseload and inquiries remained very high during the holidays.

"Although the tree, lighting and decorations are an attraction for mischievous pets, food remains the biggest threat, with an increasing number of pets falling ill after feasting on our human festive treats which can be very poisonous to them.

"We recognise that Christmas can be an extremely busy time for pet owners, however it is very stressful for pets too, with lots of different people coming through the home.

"Like any time of the year, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers for your pet and take appropriate steps to ensure their wellbeing, comfort and safety.''

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