Some 90% of dog owners have confessed to feeding food scraps and leftovers to their pets.
According to a survey of 2,000 owners by pet food retailer Natural Instincts, over half (54%) believed their dogs health and fitness needed improving.
The research shows that, on average, dog owners who feed their canine pals’ scraps, typically do this 11 times a month. A lack of understanding is behind the scrap snacking, with over 1 in 3 (35%) confessing to having a very minimal understanding, or even no understanding at all, when it comes to what their dog can and can’t eat.
Also, over a third (36%) admitted to be unaware of correct food portion sizes needed improving.
As a result, over half said their dog’s diet needs improving, and 42% admit they try to adopt a healthier diet for their dog in 2020, as well as themselves. When it comes to fitness, over half (54%) also said their dog’s fitness needs improving this year.
A spokesperson for Natural Instinct said: “We know ourselves that following a balanced diet, along with regular exercise can make us feel more energised, fit and healthy. This is the same for our dogs.
“The last five years has seen a concerning increase in pet obesity, with an astonishing 51% of dogs overweight. It has never been more important to look after our canine friends.”
Kate Bendix, author of The Dog Diet, added: “Feed them roughly 2 to 3% of their bodyweight per day – making sure the food they get is what they need, not what those begging eyes want.
“Giving a 10kg dog one digestive is the equivalent to an 80kg human dunking eight in their cuppa – a sure fire to weight gain. A diet made from whole foods – meat, fish, veg and fruit is pretty much the perfect diet. Human processed food, sausages, gravy, pasta or bread for example are high in salt, sugar and fat which can affect their liver and kidneys.”
She continued: “When it comes to fitness, going out for a 20-minute walk around the block and letting your dog meander and sniff every lamppost is the best thing, especially if you’re strapped for time. Sniffing is extremely good for mental health, as is physical exercise and fresh air. Go at their pace and take a moment for yourself too.”