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Cats fall from favour as research reveals more of us are choosing to keep dogs

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As Autumn begins, millions of horse chestnut conkers will tumble to the ground at the same time as wild mushrooms sprout up all over forests, parks and even people’s gardens.

While this abundance of flourishing fungi and cascading conkers can be a spectacular sight, and in some cases an edible delight, it can also prove deadly to cats and dogs.

The recent tragic poisoning of actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s dog following the ingestion of wild mushrooms is a stark reminder to pet owners of the dangers that natural plants and fungi can pose to pets.

Dogs in particular face a heightened risk of poisoning when walked in Britain’s many forests and parks.

However, it’s not just woodlands where wild mushrooms prosper at this time of year. Household gardens can also be fertile land for toxic fungi, making Britain’s green and pleasant backyards an even more perilous place for pets than usual.

According to findings from MORE TH>N, over three quarters of Britain’s gardens contain plants that are toxic to cats and dogs.

With such a large proportion containing toxic plants it’s perhaps no surprise that almost 10 per cent of cats and dogs have fallen ill after ingesting the dangerous plant life.

Of those, 43 per cent subsequently needed urgent veterinary care, while 15 per cent sadly passed away.

The findings form part of MORE TH>N’s ongoing Pet Safe campaign, designed to raise awareness of the issue of cats and dogs being poisoned by plants in gardens, parks and open spaces abundant in plant life and fungi.

As part of the campaign MORE TH>N is directly calling on plant producers, manufacturers of garden products and retailers to provide clearer labelling to help pet owners easily identify if items are safe or harmful to cats and dogs. For more information on this campaign petition please visit https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-protect-our-pets-through-clearer-labelling-of-plants-flowers-and-seeds

John Ellenger, head of pet Insurance at MORE TH>N, commented: “The MORE TH>N Pet Safe Campaign allows us to raise awareness of the dangers of plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs.

“The campaign is about taking direct and immediate action – by both urging suppliers and retailers of garden plants and flowers to provide clear ‘pet safe’ labelling, while also better educating pet owners on the issue.

“Through this campaign we’ll be arming pet owners with the practical advice and information they need to identify safe and dangerous plants, to recognise the symptoms of poisoning – and what to do in that eventuality – and above all to reduce the likelihood of their beloved pets becoming ill in the first place.”

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