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Your dog's treat could be harmful for them

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There’s nothing more rewarding than the face your dog makes, when you open the fridge, or the cupboard and take out its favourite treat, which more often than not is some sort of human food.

It turns out that nearly half of UK dog owners surveyed feed their doggo human food at least two times per week, with over a quarter letting their pooches indulge in cheese, dairy and salty foods as revealed by a new study.

Everypaw pet healthcare researched into the habits of 1,000 dog owners and examined the daily diets of their beloved pets, finding that owners are in general willing to give their dogs human food– even if it may be harmful. Image Credit:Unsplash

The research showed that nearly half of dog owners admit to giving their dog human food one or two times a week, and over a quarter (27%) are happy to treat their dogs with cheese, despite dairy foods been on the list of the most common food allergies in canines.

One in five (19%) also consider it fine to feed their dogs bacon, despite salt causing potential difficulties such as upset stomachs and bloating.

An astonishing 44% of the owners have confirmed that their dogs are on a strict raw meat diet, even though vets say it could be harmful – as raw meat contains bacteria that could lead to cases of food poisoning.

As part of the study, Everypaw recruited three unfit dogs to take part in the Get Fido Fit Challenge, during which the dogs were given strict diet and exercise plans for a period of six weeks, based on the advice of Everypaw vets. The dogs were given a PitPat tracker to record their progress, and with a few lifestyle changes, every dog lost weight and became more active.

Everypaw vet Dr Anna Foreman BVetMed MRCVS said: “Most human foods should be avoided as they can be high in salt, fats and very calorific – feeding your dog a can of tuna, for example, is equivalent to a person eating three doughnuts. It’s especially dangerous to feed dogs dairy products because, as well as being high in calories, dogs do not have the enzyme needed to break down these foods, leading to upset stomachs.

The research shows that owners have a relaxed attitude to feeding their dogs bacon, despite higher salt foods predisposing to hypertension, heart disease and kidney problems. Raw food is an emerging trend, but it may carry a greater risk of exposure to food poisoning organisms, including E Coli, Salmonella and Clostridia”

Rachel Mulheron, Director of Pet Insurance at Everypaw said: “The health and wellbeing of pets is our passion. It’s great to see how much people love their dogs, but the research suggests some aren’t giving their dogs the right exercise and diet.

Dog obesity is a definite problem in the UK, and it’s important owners know how to take care of their pups for a long and fulfilled life. Our Get Fido Fit Challenge shows it’s possible to make a huge difference to your dog’s health in a relatively short space of time, with just a few small changes”.

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