Dog owners beware! Don't indulge your pets in these 'toxic' treats

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US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Christopher R. Kavanaugh, gives a treat to his eager dog, Doug, during a reunion of beagles from Envigo, at the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA in Charlottesville, Virginia, US February 11, 2023. —Reuters
US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia, Christopher R. Kavanaugh, gives a treat to his eager dog, Doug, during a reunion of beagles from Envigo, at the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA in Charlottesville, Virginia, US February 11, 2023. —Reuters

A cautionary alert has been sounded for dog owners as a recent study conducted by Burns Pets Nutrition, a British natural pet food maker, exposes a troubling trend of owners providing harmful treats to their pets, Daily Mail reported. 

Shockingly, a third of surveyed pet owners, as revealed by the research, are unknowingly jeopardising their dogs' well-being with unhealthy indulgences.

The survey of over 2,000 individuals disclosed that 34 per cent of pet owners nonchalantly offer their canine companions the same junk foods contributing to the obesity crisis in Britain. A staggering 50 per cent of dogs in the UK are reportedly overweight or obese, according to a 2021 report from Burgess Pet Care.

Alarmingly, nearly half of the polled owners confessed to feeding their dogs items like chicken nuggets, with an expert warning that a single wrong dietary choice could prove fatal for these furry friends. Burns Nutrition Manager, Laura Crotch Harvey, emphasised the potential dangers, stating, "Giving dogs even a small amount of human food that is toxic to them could prove fatal."

The study further revealed that 34 per cent of respondents were aware of the health risks associated with feeding junk food to dogs, but continued to do so.

Notably, even though women admitted to providing more junk food to their dogs than men, they were less likely to have overweight dogs, with almost three in 10 male owners admitting to having pudgy pooches compared to less than two in 10 women.

The concerning trends extend to various age groups, including 12 per cent of owners aged 25 to 34 admitting to giving chocolate, a known canine toxin, to their pets. 

Additionally, a worrying four per cent of Gen Z dog owners admitted to allowing their dogs a sip alcohol and caffeinated drinks, posing potential health risks to these faithful companions.