Do you buy your pets a Christmas present?

RSPCA
RSPCA

More than three quarters of southerners treat their dogs to Christmas presents, a poll by the RSPCA has found.

The survey discovered 77 per cent of dog owners in the South have bought Christmas presents for their dogs, slightly more than in the North and Midlands.

But when it comes to treating cats Midlanders are most generous, with seven out of ten (71 per cent) picking up pressies for them.

In the North both cats and dogs are more likely to have a special Christmas dinner than elsewhere in Britain.

Lisa Richards, dog welfare expert at the RSPCA said: “It’s lovely to hear that so many people will be treating their dogs and cats to a Christmas present or special dinner.

“As a welfare charity we see so many sad stories of unloved and unwanted pets, it’s great to think that many people do in fact treat their pets as part of the family, and for so many, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without their pets to share it with.”

When it comes to Christmas dinners, pet owners can be tempted to spoil their furry friends with extra food and especially tasty treats from the dinner table, but the RSPCA says to be careful as some human food can be toxic to pets, and food which differs from their normal daily diet can cause stomach upsets.

Lisa added: “A little bit of turkey is a nice treat for a dog or cat but it’s best not to give them all the trimmings too as no one wants a dog with diarrhea or a vomiting cat on Christmas Day.”

The RSPCA poll discovered:

76 per cent of dog owners have bought their pet a Christmas present. Male owners are more likely to treat their dog (79 per cent) and those aged 25 to 34 (85 per cent).

68 per cent of cat owners have bought their pet a Christmas present. Female owners are more likely to treat their cat (69 per cent) and those aged 16 to 24-years-old (83 per cent).

For healthy homemade treats, pet owners can visit the RSPCA’s YouTube page which has step-by-step videos showing simple, safe and easy to make pet treats.

But not all animals will be enjoying a Merry Christmas with presents and special dinners.

During winter, the RSPCA receives one call every four minutes about neglect to animals - that’s 15 calls an hour on top of answering other calls about abandonment and deliberate acts of cruelty.

To help the RSPCA to continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care, and to support the winter Love Animals, Hate Cruelty campaign, visit www.rspca.org.uk/lovehate2016 or text LOVE to 66880 to donate £3.