London, Nov 5 : Feeding your pet at table or giving them chocolate treats might land you in jail, if new guidelines proposed to pet owners in Britain are to be believed.
The new code released for consultation, as a part of Animal Welfare Act 2006 to prevent cruelty, recommends that chocolate, raisins or grapes are "poisonous" for pets and a dog should not be disturbed when eating as this can cause "food-related aggression".
It also says that dogs should not be fed at the table as this can lead to begging, while "curious" cats should be kept away from windows or tumble dryers.
Although, the guidance says that breaching the three codes will not in itself be a crime, however it could prove to be the deciding factor in whether an individual is found guilty in court of a pet welfare offence.
The punishment includes a maximum jail sentence of six months or a fine of up to 20,000 pounds.
Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, said the new laws afford animals "greater protection than ever before".
"These three new codes of practice will outline the responsibilities of owners under the Act and give practical advice on how to fulfil them," the Telegraph quoted Benn, as saying.
"This means no one will be able to claim ignorance as an excuse for mistreating any animal," she added.
The code of practice for dogs advises against taking a dog for a walk during the hottest part of the day or feeding it less than an hour before vigorous exercise in order to avoid "bloating".
It also ask pet owners to groom dogs with long hair at least once a day and all dogs should have teeth cleaned with dog chews or canine toothpaste as part of routine care.
Training dogs should be done through "positive reinforcement" rather than punishment that can lead to behavioural problems in the future.
The Opposition politicians criticised the "over the top" rules that "take people for fools".
Bill Wiggin, the Tory spokesman on animal welfare, said the new codes are "absurd".
"Defra has missed the opportunity to produce a set of sensible proposals that would protect animals from abuse and mistreatment. Here we have this ridiculous guide, which tells people not to walk their dog in the heat of the day or feed it at the table," he added.