Pet owners face over £4 million in costly vet bills because of copy cat diets

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08 February 2021
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With the New Year well under way, combined with continued concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, many Brits have developed a refreshed interest into healthier choices, with some pet owners even sharing their new diet plans with their furry family members.

However, what might be healthy for us, could in fact be harmful for our pets. According to pet food brand Webbox Naturals, imposing a copycat diet onto our furry friends could cause significant health problems and result in more frequent visits to the vet. 

Research shows that more people are opting into Veganuary and adjusting their meals to include more immune boosting and plant-based foods (Veganuary Campaign, 2021). However, when it comes to putting pets on a health kick, it’s important to be mindful of what healthy snacks for humans could actually be harmful for pets.

According to Webbox Naturals, just under half of pet owners (44%) admit to giving their pet food off their own plate. Pet owners are being urgently warned that feeding their cats or dogs unsuitable foods could not only cause their pet tummy troubles but could also land themselves with a hefty unforeseen vet bill. 

25% of the UK households own a cat or dog (Statista 2021) and with the average vet bill costing £60, even if just 1% encountered a bad reaction to human food, it’s likely to cost UK pet owner’s a mighty sum of £4,170,000. 

Research by pet health insurer Nationwide reveals that tummy troubles are one of the main reasons dogs and cats are taken to the vets each year. Intestinal upset and upset stomach are included in their top ten conditions for pets requiring vet care.

As the New Year diet plans get underway, Webbox Naturals has created a go to guide advising pet owners of the food trends they should or shouldn’t share with their pet companions. 

Plant Based Food 

Plant based foods high in Vitamin A have become a popular choice amongst health-conscious consumers. However, superfoods found in salads and smoothies such as Kale may not actually be a healthy or suitable snack for canines. Kale contains natural compounds such as calcium oxalate and isothiocyanates that can be potentially harmful for dogs. Consuming calcium oxalate can cause health issues in dogs including the development of kidney and bladder stones.

Spinach however is high in iron and can be a good source of vitamins, making it a good food for both owners and their pets.

Although avocados may continue to be one of the trendiest foods out there, they should be approached with caution when sharing with pets. Avocados contain persin which is a toxin found in the fruit, pits and leaves which can cause serious health problems when consumed by animals. 

Quinoa 

The gluten-free seed packed with nutrients has proved popular amongst food loving millennials and is also a common ingredient in dog foods. However, it’s important to consult a vet before sharing a spoonful with pups to ensure it’s safe. Many quinoas available can have additional spices and flavouring which could potentially be dangerous to canines. 

Smoked Salmon

It’s a no go for canine companions! This is because smoked salmon is cured so contains an excessive amount of salt, which can be dangerous for dogs. There is also a small chance that smoked salmon could contain parasites which can result in a fatal condition for dogs.  

TV Vet Paul Manktelow comments: “While feeding a small amount of appropriate human foods to pets can be OK, it’s important to remember what they can have and what they should never be given. 

“There is really no substitute for a proper diet based on nutritional species appropriate food which has all the right vitamins and minerals for your pet.”

Although the occasional snack at the dinner table may be okay for furry friends, pet-specific food is perfectly balanced for pets and contains all of the essential nutrients and vitamins they require. 

Webbox Naturals pet recipe consultant, Camille Ashforth said “As a nation of pet lovers and food lovers, we enjoy treating our pets, however it’s important to ensure they are getting all of the right nutrients from their pet-friendly food. The Webbox Naturals range has been carefully developed using high quality ingredients, which are also kind to sensitive tummies.” 

Camille continues “We are confident even the fussiest of pets will enjoy the humanized recipes we have on offer. The Lamb and Chicken with Sweet Potato, Peas and Mint has scored particularly highly amongst our furry test subjects, making it the perfect healthy dinner for pawfect pooches.”

At Webbox Naturals, we try to see the world from their point of view, so we can understand what they want and not just what they need. For more information on Webbox Naturals’ no-nasties food for pets, visit Webbox.co.uk