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CHRISTMAS is traditionally a time to over indulge but today the RSPCA is warning people not to let their pets do the same.The festive period does pose a number of hazards for animals and one of them is overeating.

CHRISTMAS is traditionally a time to over indulge but today the RSPCA is warning people not to let their pets do the same.

The festive period does pose a number of hazards for animals and one of them is overeating.

Kieron Adams, manager at the RSPCA animal centre in Martlesham, is appealing for pet owners to be extra vigilant over the Christmas period.

She said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year but not always for pets.


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“People should not hang chocolates on the tree or leave presents under the tree containing chocolate. “Chocolate is bad for pets as it contains theobromine, which is dangerous when eaten in large quantities. “Dogs are very good at sniffing chocolate out and eating it, without realising they are risking their lives.

“If pet are given leftovers from the Christmas dinner, they should only be given a small amount, and people should be aware that chicken and turkey bones can be dangerous if they get lodged in their throats.”

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Even decorations left around the home can cause serious damage. Holly, mistletoe and yew are all poisonous to pets so it is advised they are kept out of reach.

She also reinforced the traditional advice not to buy a pet as a Christmas present for someone as many bought for Christmas find themselves unwanted by January and end up in rescue centres.

Ms Adams added: “A new pet could become very nervous or overly excited with so much going on and it would not be the best time to adjust to their new home.”

Other safety advice over the Christmas period includes; keeping animals away from any needles that fall off the tree, clearing up wrapping paper and toys from the floor, making sure the tree is secure so pets do not knock it over, and being weary of loud noises that could startle pets like Christmas crackers and Champagne corks popping.

Appointments at the Martlesham centre can be made from Monday, December 17, to Saturday, December 22.

It is closed between Sunday, December 23 to January 2, 2008, but the phone will be answered every day from 9am to 4.30pm, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Has your pet ever got in to any trouble over the Christmas period? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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