Pets in danger: 7 million pets in the UK are being fed toxic treats

• One in five dog owners feed their dogs chocolate, a snack that can result in vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures

• 60% of pet owners are treating their pets to human foods that are toxic

• 1.4 million animal owners are feeding milk and cream to their cats

A new survey has revealed that over 7 million (60%) pet owners in the UK are feeding their companions human foods that are toxic when consumed by dogs and cats.

The research, commissioned by leading pet food manufacturer Webbox, has found that the cat really does get the cream as 1.4 million pet owners are feeding their cats milk or cream as a treat. You’ve got to be kitten me?

Cats are often lactose intolerant, therefore strong dairy products such as milk and cream should always be avoided, otherwise it can result in gastrointestinal upset. If you cat goes crazy for cream, pet friendly alternatives can be purchased to ensure their safety.

Chocolate is a popular toxic treat that dog owners opt for, as one in five pet owners feed their dogs the snack. Chocolate contains theobromine, an ingredient that has high levels of toxicity when consumed by dogs.

All pets get excited over teat time, but you should always resist the urge to feed your pets foods that you find tasty. Fruits such as grapes and raisins, which are commonly fed to dogs and cats, can be fatal if consumed in large quantities.

Alison Price, BVetMed BSc (Hons) MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon, said: “Grape and raisin toxicity can cause acute kidney injury and renal failure in dogs and cats. If your pet has ingested even small amounts of grapes or raisins please contact your veterinary surgeon immediately.”

A morning cup of coffee or tea can prepare us for the day ahead, but if given to your dog it can leave them barking for the wrong reasons. Just under one million (942,060) dog owners allow their companions to sip on the stimulants, which can be fatal in large quantities.

Jennifer Dean, Nutritionist for Webbox, said: “Pets are increasingly treated as members of the family, but this does not mean that they can share the family meals.

“Owners need to be aware that some common human foods are toxic to pets, and even those that are not poisonous can cause harm in terms of providing extra calories that lead to weight gain and obesity.

“Pet food is specially designed to provide all of the nutrients they need, and there are a large variety of pet treats available. So instead of sharing your dinner with your pet, why not give them their dinner at the same time, or give them a healthy treat?”

Webbox have created “Purrfect Treat or Barking Mad”, an online quiz that provides pet owners with vet-approved advice on what foods they can give their pets and what foods should always be avoided.

To take part in “Purrfect Treat or Baking Mad?”, please visit https://www.webbox.co.uk/purrfect-treat-or-barking-mad/

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