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Thousands of dogs will be poisoned by chocolate this Christmas

Thousands of dogs could be fatally poisoned this Christmas by gobbling down festive chocolate treats left lying around by their owners, new research has shown.

By the end of 2016 an estimated 6,609 dogs in the UK will have suffered chocolate poisoning, with over a quarter of cases (27 per cent) expected in December alone.

Reported cases of chocolate poisoning have also leapt by an estimated 25 per cent since 2015, according to figures from a leading pet insurance company.

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