Are you feeding your pet 'toxic' treats?

Are you careful over what you feed your pet?
Are you careful over what you feed your pet?

57 per cent of British pet owners let their cats and dogs pig out on junk food.

Shocking new findings have revealed that people regularly feed their pets chips, popcorn, cheese, pizza, cake and even curry.

Others admit cooking up a feast of rice, sweet potato and bread.

Four per cent of owners even confessed that they give their pets chocolate, which is poisonous to cats and dogs and can result in shaking, vomiting and seizures.

The poll from Animalfriends.co.uk showed that 14% of British cats and dogs are currently overweight - making a whopping 2.2 million animals - and of those, three quarters have an overweight owner.

And that’s not surprising, considering a quarter of owners regularly dish up their leftover dinner scraps for their cuddly companions.

One in five of our furry friends are given a snack because they beg for them, while one in four give snacks to pets between meals.

In 2015, the PDSA released an Animal Welfare report which estimated that by 2020, obese animals would be more common than healthy ones.

Owners may think a morsel of cheese here and a crumb of cake there is OK but these types of foods are not designed for animals.

Dave Leicester, Head of Clinical Intelligence at pet emergency experts, Vets Now, said: “The results of this poll are very concerning as pets should never be given toxic foods such as chocolate.

“We see thousands of cases of chocolate poisoning a year and, in rare cases, dogs do not survive.

“Owners should also avoid giving their pets human foods which can be high in fat, salt or sugar, and especially take-away and processed food with hidden toxins like onion or garlic powder and the artificial sweetener xylitol.

“High fat or sugary foods can lead to obesity which, in turn, has been linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as debilitating life-limiting conditions including joint problems and respiratory problems.

“Too many pet owners remain unaware of the huge risk of feeding their pets unhealthy and dangerous foods. This needs to change.”

Westley Pearson, Managing Director at AnimalFriends.co.uk, said: “Many of the foods we eat contain things like natural flavourings. These can make your pet extremely nauseous. Salt, raisins, garlic and onions are just a few of the everyday items we eat without question, but could cause significant harm to your pet.

“Frequent feeding on this type of high fat, salt and sugar diet could result in numerous health problems, such as obesity and diabetes.”

According to the results, the average pet owner spends £21.74 a month feeding their pet, while almost one in five splash out over £40.