Cats and dogs at risk from food poisoning in the UK

With Christmas just around the corner, loveable household pets can look forward to being spoilt with gifts and toys as well as tasty leftovers.

However, despite the good intentions of pet lovers, many are unaware of food that could be potentially harmful. The latest research from the Co-operative found that pampered pets who are exposed to rich foods are falling ill, costing millions in vet bills.

Whilst it is the season for over indulgences, animal health is seriously at risk from eating food such as chocolate, sugar and salt.  Yet 91% of cat and dog owners were found to be exposing their pets to potentially harmful food.

Fruit is said to be the most harmful food as it contains seeds, or stones which can be poisonous to pets. Chocolate is considered toxic for your four-legged friends, especially dogs, but 39% of pet lovers did not realise this and a further 12% admitted to feeding chocolate to their unsuspecting animal.

Nicci Townley, Pet Food Buyer at The Co-operative, said; “With 43% of households now owning a pet, it’s clear we’re still a nation of animal lovers, but owners need to be aware that feeding pets the wrong kinds of food can be dangerous.î

Bad diets and obesity is also a major problem for domestic animals. ìOwners wanting to care for their pets properly should feed them with nutritionally-balanced pet food to keep their faithful friends fit and healthy and only feed them specially formulated treats,” continued Nicci Townley.

The research also found that despite these findings, 62% of pets in the UK are uninsured. This costs the nation a staggering £21.6 million in vet bills each year.

The research also found that the average pet needs treatment from a vet at least twice in its lifetime because of something itís eaten. This costs an average of £222 for each visit, however, it jumps to a staggering £364.29 for those living in the North East.

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