Two thirds of owners are unaware of what their pets can and can’t eat safely.
New research has found that when shown a list of common household goods, including chocolate, grapes and alcohol, only 35 percent of owners could identify items that are poisonous to pets.
Over 75 percent of pet owners polled didn’t know that blue cheese can lead to convulsions in animals due to the mycotoxins present in the mould, while 91 percent who wouldn’t consider ice-cream a toxic treat, are unaware it can be hard for pets to digest.
Respondents were also in the dark over which non-edible household items prove a health hazard for cuddly companions. One in five didn’t know that slug pellets can kill, while 45 percent weren’t aware that alcohol is also a poison.
Letting pets eat normal household food like grapes, mushrooms, avocado and nuts, can cause bouts of diarrhoea, seizures and in the worst scenarios, death.
So far this year, www.AnimalFriends.co.uk, who commissioned the survey, have accepted 200 claims for treatment of poisoning, totalling a whopping £50,000 of veterinary treatment.
While 95 percent of owners regularly stock pet-toxic items, over 66 percent were clueless on the signs they’d see if their animal had been poisoned.
But it seems women are more clued up to what their animals can eat, as more pets owned by men have eaten something toxic.
Last July, Kensington Palace came under fire after it released photos of Prince George feeding a white chocolate Magnum to his pet dog, Lupo.
Westley Pearson of Animalfriends.co.uk, said: “Many people think our pets can eat the same food and drinks as us but their stomachs aren’t built that way, so however good they have been, don’t be tempted to feed them human ‘treats’ like blue cheese or chocolate.
“Certain foods can cause havoc with digestion systems and unfortunately, prove fatal – even things you may consider healthy, like raisins. Owners should stick to pet food that has been carefully created by specialists and take care to stash non-edible, toxic items out of reach.”
According to the stats, 9 percent of owners claim they put in more effort to safeguard their pet from poisonous items at home, than they do their children, while one in five owners ended up removing items from their home.
Sadly, 68 percent of those polled say their fears about poisoning extends to outside the home as they worry their animal may be deliberately poisoned while out and about.