A LOCAL author has spoken of her shock after she realised a throwaway line in one of her books gives misleading information which could be harmful to dogs.
Janeta Hevizi, who has written a number of children's books set in west Cornwall, said she was surprised when she learnt raisins can be toxic to man's best friend.
Now she wants to highlight the risk after reading a warning sign and realised that in her story – Shanti The Wandering Dog Of Sennen And Land's End – she had described a man feeding his pet a slice of fruit cake.
During a recent visit to the vet, the writer said she felt "sick to the stomach" when she looked at a noticeboard alerting the public about common foods that are "toxic to dogs".
"I feel I should have thought this bit through more – in the book the old man puts some tea in the dog's bowl and throws a large piece of fruit cake for Shanti to eat – it was written for humour," she said.
The author added she hopes no one actually feeds the cake to their animals and said she feels "writers have a responsibility for what they write" and stressed her concern for what was originally intended as a humorous part of the tale.
"It's horrible to think that feeding raisins to dogs could be fatal. So please don't feed chocolate or fruit cake to dogs, as it is toxic," she stressed.
"I love dogs and it is a human being's duty to look after them."
Advice given by the RSPCA stated that any quantity of grapes, raisins, sultanas or currants "can be toxic" for dogs.
An RSPCA spokesman said: "Cooking or baking doesn't reduce the risk of poisoning. Poisoning may initially result in vomiting and diarrhoea and subsequently in kidney failure; this may occur a few days after the initial effects."