Pet dogs are polishing off festive leftovers over Christmas – but it's not good for them – iNews

Christmas can be a period of over indulging, but it’s not just people who see their healthy food intake dip over the festive season – pet dogs do, too.
New research has found that many of the nation’s pooches are fed large amounts of tasty leftovers high in fat and salt, which can be damaging to their health and in some cases even fatal.
A survey by dog food maker Acana found that a third of UK pet dogs are being fed festive tidbits and leftovers, while across the year 47 per cent of owners admit they give their pets leftovers from takeaways.
The research found that nearly one in 10 dogs are allowed to polish off puddings, with over half of owners believing their pooch prefers human food to their own.
But experts warn that many of these meals, especially around Christmas, are a far cry from the varied, nutrient-dense meals pets should be eating.
“We can all get a bit greedy over Christmas, and whilst we have good intentions, traditional festive fare such as mince pies, raisins, turkey stuffing, and Christmas pudding can actually make your pet seriously ill if consumed, or worse still they can prove fatal,” said TV Vet and animal welfare campaigner Dr Marc Abraham.
“Owners need to be vigilant throughout the festive period, especially as pets can easily sniff out any presents under the tree which contain dangerous food, such as chocolate.”
He urged anyone who suspects their pet has swallowed something they shouldn’t have to call their vet immediately.
“It’s also important to politely ask any visiting guests, including children, to refrain from feeding your pets anything at all,” he added. “Extra food, such as leftovers or treats, offered to your pet by anyone other than yourself, can increase the chances of painful pancreatitis, vomiting and diarrhoea, and even a trip to the emergency vet; enough to ruin yours, your guests’, and your pet’s Christmas fun too”.
The study of 1,500 dog owners also found that the average UK pet dog will eat the equivalent of four portions of cake and four slices of toast each month.
And they also gobble up an average of four chunks of cheese, four spoons of bolognese sauce, four bites of cheese toastie, three fish fingers, three slices of pizza and three rashers of bacon a month.
Other human food favourites are chicken nuggets, with dogs eating three a month on average, sausages, also enjoyed three times a month, and even steak, with British pooches enjoying at least two scraps of the finest fillet or T-bone each month, according to the report.
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