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Eighty per cent of Brits buy their dog a Christmas present
Food is one of the most popular ways for pet owners to treat their animals at Christmas.

Survey reveals extent of nation’s pet-pampering habits 

For many pet owners, buying a Christmas treat for their pet is part and parcel of the festive celebrations. But now a new survey by Mars Pet Care and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has revealed the true extent to which the British public pampers its pooches at Christmas.

Some 498 UK dog owners were questioned in the survey, which revealed that 81 per cent will be buying their pet a Christmas present this December. Of these, 40 per cent said they were planning to spend more than £10.00 on their four-legged friend, with 24 per cent admitting to spending more than £20.00.

But when it comes to cats, it appears that felines are not receiving the same treatment. The survey found that 17 per cent of cat owners who celebrate Christmas would not be spending more than £10 on their pet. This is compared to 31 per cent who claimed they would not be buying their cat anything at all.

“The UK is renowned for being a nation of animal lovers, so it’s no surprise that people want to treat their pets at Christmas,” said Gosia Faras, corporate affairs director at Mars PetCare UK. “Pets really are part of the family, with 64 per cent of owners wanting to include their pet in their seasonal celebrations.

“But it’s not just pet owners – at Christmas 21 per cent of pet seasonal sales are bought by non-pet owners who want to treat the pets of family and friends.”

The study found that one of the most popular ways for pet owners to treat their animals at Christmas is with food. Almost three-quarters of respondents (72 per cent) revealed they had given their dog turkey from their Christmas meal.

The finding has prompted Battersea to publish a reminder to the public that certain ‘human foods’ pose a threat to their animals’ health.

“Alcohol, chocolate, onions and some cheeses are all part of a long list of things that can be toxic for dogs and cats, along with raisins which we know are in many festive favourites like mince pies and Christmas cake,” said Battersea veterinary surgeon Claire Turner.

“While titbits from the Christmas plate may have them licking their lips, we would always recommend giving your dog or cat a treat that’s been specifically designed for them, so you know it’s formulated for their needs.”

Image (C) Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”