Owners Are Making A Dog S Dinner Out Of Mealtimes

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Owners are making a dog’s dinner out of mealtimes
11th August 2017

By Karen Pickwick

Sausage and mash, steak pie and beef roast dinner are among the meals  enjoyed by the nation’s dogs, according to a new survey.

Researchers looking into the dietary habits of the UK’s canines have revealed the top 20 list of ‘dog’s dinners’ – ones which are meant to be enjoyed by humans but which regularly find their way into the dog’s bowl.
 
The study of 1,500 dog owners by Freshpet shows just under three in 10 often give their pet human meals in place of their typical tucker, while 40% top up their normal meal with the family leftovers.
 
Meals such as shepherd’s pie, spaghetti bolognese and beans on toast are also frequently served up to dogs up and down the country. Other pooches have tried gammon with egg and chips, chicken stir fry and pizza in addition to their usual diet of dog food, according to the poll’s findings.
 
Hannah Edwards, senior marketing manager for Freshpet, which carried out the research via OnePoll.com, said: “We know there is a tendency for dog owners to humanise their pets and this study certainly reinforces that trend.
 
“So central are dogs to a family’s life, they’re now being included in mealtimes and in some cases even sitting down to dinner with the family!
 
“However, while it is lovely to see owners care for their pets, they should always show cautions when sharing leftovers. 
 
“It is thought around 40% of the UK’s dogs and cats are obese and this is growing to out-of-control proportions and obese pets run the risk of having the same health concerns as obese humans. 
 
“Also, there are so many human foods which can be harmful to dogs – for example gravy on a dog’s roast dinner has a high salt content and the tomatoes used in spaghetti bolognese are toxic to dogs.”
 
The study shows 42% of dogs eat at the same time as their owner, with 33 % sitting next to the dinner table.
 
Almost half of dog owners would go as far to say their pet often eats better than they do – with 33% cooking separate meals for their pets.
 
In addition to enjoying meals such as lasagne and chicken tikka masala, nearly one in 10 dogs have their food served up on a proper dinner plate.
 
Unfortunately the study shows on occasion, owners go one step too far, as one third admit to sometimes feeding their dog foods they know they shouldn’t.
 
Popular foods which are NOT meant to be consumed by dogs include chocolate (still fed by 41%) cheese (56%) and bacon (47%). Some dogs are also given bread (36%), milk (32%) and nuts (10%).
And 39% of owners admit they rarely check the ingredients on the food they’re giving their dogs.
 
Researchers also looked into the eating habits of the nation’s cats – polling 500 owners.
 
The study found that while cats are less likely to be humanised, a fifth have been fed some beef roast and 19% have enjoyed a little fish pie. One in 10 cats have sampled cottage pie, while eight per cent of owners have given their cat a bit of chicken stir fry.
 
Hannah Edwards said: “More than half of cat owners and nearly four in 10 dog owners don’t check the ingredients on the foods they are giving their pet.
 
“Responsible pet owners should be buying properly-prepared natural pet foods, which are designed to provide a completely balanced meal high in protein and vegetables with no artificial ingredients, rather than supplementing their dog or cat’s diet with human meals.”
 
Freshpet is one of the fastest growing pet food companies in North America, now available in more than 10,000 stores in the US and now in Tesco in the UK.