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Churchill pet insurance: Don't poison your pet with treats Go compare with our comparison table

Churchill pet insurance: Don't poison your pet with treats

05 April 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Pet owners are putting there four-legged friends' health at risk by giving them unsuitable treats which not only make them gain weight but also have the potential to poison them, Churchill pet insurance has warned.

As Easter is usually a time for chocolate and other indulgences, many owners might be even more likely that usual to treat their pets to a fatty snack this weekend, but it could have disastrous results.

Research from Churchill pet insurance has found that more than 2.9 million pet owners risk unwittingly poisoning their cats and dogs by regularly feeding them chocolate, which can be toxic to animals. 

Chocolate contains theobromine, and is one of the most common causes of poisonings in UK dogs.

Commenting, Claire Foster, spokesperson for Churchill pet insurance, said: "We want to raise awareness of the dangers of feeding chocolate to the family pet this Easter, as there is a danger that some doting owners could end up harming their pets without realising it.  We'd advise pet owners to keep their chocolate well out of the reach of hungry four-legged friends, and to be extremely cautious as even a small amount of chocolate could poison their pet."

Nearly a fifth of pet owners feed their pets other tasty treats, such as morsels from their Sunday dinner, but there are various other dangerous foods which they should be aware of, the pet insurance provider explains.

For example, grapes and raisins can cause damage to kidneys and can be lethal to pets, Green tomatoes can cause upset cats' stomachs, chicken bones can get caught and are a choking hazard, certain nuts are toxic to dogs, and onions can cause canine anemia,

Claire Foster continues: "Consult your veterinarian without delay if your pet appears distressed, listless or in pain after eating. However, treating pets that have eaten dangerous or poisonous food can be very costly, so make sure you have pet insurance in place to cover any unforeseen vet bills and to give you peace of mind in the event of your pet falling ill."

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