A new study has found that 58 per cent of surveyed pet owners admit to feeding their animal companions dinner scraps and other human food.
The survey, carried out by Purina Pet Care, showed that pet owners who don’t know that animals’ digestive systems are not designed to process rich foods may unknowingly put their pet in danger over the Christmas period.
While summer barbecues are a great time to spend with your pet in your backyard, experts warn of the health risks associated with giving it treats from the grill. Too much fat can cause gastroenteritis and pancreatitis in animals, while eating too much onion can cause haemolytic aenemia in both cats and dogs.
Although chocolate is much-loved among humans, it contains an alkaloid called theobromine which animals metabolise slower than us, which can lead to poisoning in pets, particularly dogs. Signs that your pooch has sniffed out a chocolate stash may include restlessness, panting, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures, arrhythmias and in worst cases, death.
Another potential hazard for pets are cooked bones, which unlike raw bones can splinter easily and lodge in your pet’s throat.
Purina Pet Care resident vet Dr Lisa Chimes warns that it’s best to give pets food that has been designed with animal digestive tracts in mind. “We all love our pets and want them to have everything we have – from comfortable beds, to designer clothes, and fancy food,” she says. “The reality is that pets don’t have the same thought processes as us.”
If you do find that your pet requires medical attention over the festive season, Dr Chimes recommends contacting the free Purina Pet Care advice line on 1800 738 238.Related Links:
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