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Are treats poisoning your pet?

Thursday April 24th 2014

The RSPCA is warning pet owners to stop giving their animals chocolate and other treats after it revealed it dealt with 10% more poisoning complaints last year than it did in 2012.

According to the animal charity it dealt with 1,154 cases of poisoning in 2013 compared to 1,055 in the previous 12 months and it says many of the cases involved owners unwittingly poisoning their pets by letting them eat foods that they didn't know were harmful to them, like chocolate.

Although the Animal Welfare Act 2006 states it is a criminal offence to knowingly poison an animal, the RSPCA knows that many animals are affected because their owners don't realise what they consider to be treats can actually harm their pets.

RSPCA chief veterinary officer James Yeates says many poisoning cases would be avoided if people knew more about the dangers.

He said Easter is a good time to warn of the dangers of chocolate. Pet owners should keep half-eaten chocolate eggs well out of the way of their animals if they want to avoid a big vet's bill and a Pet Insurance claim. It is reasonably well known that dogs should not eat chocolate unless it is special dog chocolate, but many people have no idea that eating grapes can kill ferrets and rhubarb is toxic to rabbits.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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