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8th December 2010


Petplan highlight's trend of overindulging pets at Christmas

Christmas Turkey

According to Petplan, the UK's favourite pet insurer, new research shows that 60 per cent of Brits will prepare a Christmas meal for their family pet*. However, Petplan's network of vets warn that those well intentioned meals could end up doing more harm than good, in both the short and the long term. As a result, Petplan has created a special Christmas recipe ideal for cats and dogs so that they don't miss out on a festive feast with the rest of the family.

Whilst many pet owners consider their pet an integral part of the family, unlike humans they can't just hit the gym in January. Petplan warns that sharing leftover meat, gravy and chocolate can affect the long term health of cats and dogs, meaning that well intentioned owners need to be extra vigilant.

"I recommend the 'light and white' principle, meaning light carbohydrate foods…"

Brian Faulkner, Petplan Vet of the Year and advocate of raising awareness about this problem, commented: "Christmas time is one of our busiest times for food related illnesses. Well intentioned treats can be lethal; poultry and lamb bones can block or perforate bowels, chocolate is very toxic and many human foods can cause nasty vomiting and diarrhoeas. Not only are these illnesses tough on our pets, they are often require intensive care or surgery which can be especially expensive during the holiday period."

Christmas is an ideal time for a little doggy and feline food thievery and additional data from Petplan reveals that 64% of owners have admitted their cats and dogs have stolen food before. Brian adds: "chocolates and sweets should be positioned in those hard to reach places and never left unattended. I have heard dozens of stories of pets running off with the turkey from the kitchen as well as demolishing Christmas presents containing chocolates that have been left under the tree."

Brian says: "If you wish to treat your pet with human foods at Christmas, I recommend the 'light and white' principle, meaning light carbohydrate foods, such as rice, and white meats such as a little cooked chicken or turkey. Try to avoid red meats such as beef or lamb as well as gravy. Avoiding bones is essential. Ham tends to be too salty. Most vegetables are fine but avoid corn, onion, garlic, rhubarb or raw potato.

Following Brian's advice, Marie Rayner, a top UK food blogger and author of 'The Big Blue Binder Book' has exclusively commissioned some pet-friendly recipes for Petplan. "As a pet owner myself, I know how easy it is to spoil your pet so I've created some stress-free recipes that are as delicious as they are healthy!"

Christmas Holly

Alison Andrew, Head of Marketing at Petplan adds: "We all know it's easy to over indulge at Christmas, but if you can't be strict with yourself, at least be strict with your pet – and as our claims show, they will suffer more than us."

To see Marie's delicious recipes and find out how you can recreate them at home, click here.

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit: