New research out today has revealed that seven in 10 dog owners have admitted to feeding their dogs leftovers. With almost a quarter admitting to feeding their dogs from their own plates daily, experts are concerned that more dogs could be poisoned by potentially toxic human foods.

The findings, which have been released by Direct Line Pet Insurance highlight a potentially worrying trend that dog owners don’t always know what impact certain foods could have on their dog’s health.

For example, three in 10 dog owners have admitted to giving their dogs dairy-based products like cheese and milk.

Why it’s dangerous? When consumed, dairy products could leave dogs experiencing acute intestinal distress such as gas, diarrhoea or vomiting.

In the wake of Easter, nearly one in ten owners admitted to still feeding their dogs chocolate which contains theobromine, a toxic component.

Why it’s dangerous? Chocolate takes dogs much longer to digest allowing the theobromine to build up to toxic levels which in some cases can prove to be fatal.

While a third of dog owners have also admitted to feeding their dogs bones from joints of meat.

Why it’s dangerous? Feeding cooked bones can cause injury to dogs as they become brittle and can splinter inside the dog’s digestive track, damaging important internal organs.

Sarah Page-Jones, Chief Veterinary Officer at PawSquad commented on the pet insurers findings saying, “Owners should think twice the next time they’re thinking of feeding their pets human food, as what seems to be a nice tasty treat could inadvertently poison their pet.”

In the worst cases of animals digesting human foods, owners could end up paying over a thousand pounds for treatment. The data showed that one in ten owners that had taken their dog for treatment due to eating human food, having paid between £300 to over a £1000.

Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse at Direct Line Pet Insurance, says: “Responsible pet owners should acknowledge the importance of providing a healthy diet to their dogs. In the case of a dog digesting harmful human food, it is important to have insurance cover to make sure you can treat your pet without being out of pocket.”

If you are determined to give your dog some human food, there are some options available that are healthy when given in moderation.

Here are 5 you should know about, according to K9 Magazine.

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