Pet poisonings have seen a 34 per cent rise, year on year, new research from M&S pet insurance has revealed.
And, according to the M&S study, nicotine poisoning is a particular problem. It seems that while their owners try to give up smoking, cats and dogs are suffering as they mistake nicotine patches, chewing gum and inhalers for toys and chews.
Commenting, Louise O'Dwyer , manager and senior emergency vet nurse at Vetfone, said: "It is very concerning that there has been such a large increase in reported pet poisonings."
Commenting on nicotine poisoning, she added: "Nicotine poisoning can be particularly serious. Remember prevention is better than cure, so ensure products such as cigarettes, nicotine patches and gums and even ashtrays containing cigarette butts are kept away from your pets reach."
However, if a cat or dog starts acting strangely, and shows symptoms of tremors, weakness, depression or vomiting, a help line like Vetfone could advise pet owners on the best way to treat a pet.
Vetfone services are available through some pet insurance companies, including M&S Money and MORE TH>N pet insurance customers and offers 24 hour care from professionals.
Judith Roberts, M&S Money insurance manager added: "Anyone who suspects that their pet has swallowed household medication should first try and identify what's been eaten, by recovering packaging such as blister packs or boxes and then seek immediate veterinary advice.
"M&S pet insurance policyholders can rest assured that a qualified veterinary expert is available round the clock to provide advice and answer questions should a pet become unwell."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd