Are pet owners making a dog’s dinner out of their feeding habits?

A new study has revealed that as many as four in ten dog owners are feeding their dogs leftovers which could be causing a health crisis for our nation’s canines – with almost 30 percent of dog owners admit to substituting dog food with human meals entirely.

Researchers found that the most popular offending meal to be consumed by dogs was beef roast dinner, with 39 percent of dog owners admitting to treating their dogs to this dish. Among the list were also sausage and mash, steak pie and spaghetti bolognese.

Astonishingly, a further four in ten dogs are lucky enough to enjoy a splash of gravy with their cottage pie or fish and chips.

Almost half of dog owners go as far to say that they spoil their pet with food more than themselves, with many dogs enjoying meals such as lasagne and chicken tikka masala across the UK.

With almost one in ten dog owners going to the lengths of serving their pooches meals on a proper plate, it’s become apparent that spoiling our pets has gone too far.

It seems our pets exotic diets may be the cause of many health implications. Its believed that a shocking 40 percent of cats and dogs in the UK are now obese, with this problem becoming increasingly out of control. Obese pets run the risk of having the same health concerns as obese humans.

Hannah Edwards, senior marketing manager for Freshpet, which carried out the research via OnePoll.com, said: “There are so many human foods which can be harmful to dogs – for example gravy on a dog’s roast dinner has a high salt content and the tomatoes used in spaghetti bolognese are toxic to dogs.”

One third of dog owners admit to sometimes feeding their dogs foods they know they shouldn’t. Researchers found that dogs were being treated to foods which are NOT meant to be consumed by dogs, including chocolate (41 percent), cheese (56 percent) and bacon (47 percent).

Dogs are also being fed bread, milk and nuts.

Researchers also looked into the dietary habits of CATS – polling 500 cat owners to find out how they treat their felines.

The study concluded that while cats were less likely to be humanised than dogs, a fifth have been fed roast beef and 19 percent have been treated to fish pie.

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Hannah Edwards, Senior Marketing Manager for Freshpet meals, which provide pets with all their nutritional needs, continues: “We know there is a tendency for dog owners to humanise their pets, and this study certainly reinforces that trend.

“So central are dogs to a family’s life, they’re now being included in mealtimes and in some cases even sitting down to dinner with the family!

“However, while it is lovely to see owners care for their pets, they should always show cautions when sharing leftovers.

“Responsible pet owners should be buying properly prepared natural pet foods which are designed to provide a completely balanced meal high in protein and vegetables with no artificial ingredients, rather than supplementing their dog or cat’s diet with human meals.”

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