When you’re having your dinner and those puppy dog eyes are looking up at you, it’s hard not to treat your dog to the scraps from your plate.
But it all adds up and it could be pretty bad for them.
According to a new study, dogs are eating an extra 54,000 calories a year – that’s the equivalent in a medium dog of a human eating 340 cheese burgers, 1310 chocolate chip cookies, or 360 ice creams every year, in addition to their regular meals.
For small dogs, their yearly overeating equating to 1362 hash browns, 1065 sugar doughnuts, or 717 slices of pizza in human food terms.
The survey by Royal Canin analysed the way 2000 dog owners feed their pooches.
One in five dog owners admitted that they believe giving their dog extra treats from their own plate shows them that they love them and that they are one of the family, with chicken (77%), beef (68%), sausages (67%), ham (63%) and vegetables (57%) listed as the most commonly fed foods.Hannah Poile, Scientific Communications Manager for Royal Canin Canine Care Nutrition, said: ‘The research has brought to light some shocking results and shows that we could be loving our dogs a little bit too much. By highlighting the differences between a human’s nutritional needs and their pet’s, we hope to enable owners to better understand the needs of their animal.
Most animals are creatures of habit. It will be important to develop a consistent schedule to follow with your new pet. Potty breaks at regular intervals, feeding at the same time(s) every day, playtime, walks – everything needs to be scheduled. At first, this can seem overwhelming but soon enough, you and your new pet will be on the same schedule.
‘The four most commonly fed titbits are different varieties of meat which you could assume are the healthy choice, however these foods could easily lead to digestive upset, weight gain, or even skin issues.
‘Portion size is also really important. A medium-sized dog needs almost 50% fewer calories than its owner to maintain a healthy weight and shape. Giving this size dog just one sausage roll could amount to over a third of its daily calorie requirements, so it’s really easy for this to quickly add up and result in a pet becoming overweight in a relatively short space of time.’