Looking to treat your pooch of the Christmas? Whatever you do, don't give them chocolate.
That's the warning dished out by researchers at the University of Liverpool who have found that chocolate is four times more likely to be given to dogs around the festive season than any other time of the year.
According to the Irish Times, sources of chocolate included bars and selection boxes, chocolate cake, liqueurs, advent calendars and Christmas tree decorations. Dogs are twice as likely to be treated with chocolate at Christmas time than at Easter.
The researchers said:
'Here we describe significant peaks of chocolate intoxication, most notably at Christmas and to a lesser extent Easter presumably reflecting the enhanced availability of seasonally-related chocolate such as Easter eggs, chocolate Santa figurines and Christmas tree decorations, possibly in the hands of younger members of society.'
Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine, that can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, agitation and seizures in dogs.
To conclude, if you're flashed with the puppy dog eyes while scoffing on your Celebrations this year, just say "no".