During the festive period, the number of poisoning cases seen by vets rises, as opportunist dogs take full advantage of any unguarded scraps. In some cases, owners are giving their dogs these foods in an effort to include them in the celebrations.
Tails.com, which tailor-makes food for a specific dog's needs, recently polled 1,000 owners in the UK to find out what was the most common food or drink they had given their dog.
There are a number of festive foods that we enjoy around this time of year that could be potentially damaging to your dogs health. Ice cream, chocolate and bones were found to be the most common dangerous foods given to man's best friend, with one in eight owners admitting their dog had even tried beer or wine.
Owners could be seriously damaging their dogs health and research showed almost half (49 per cent) feed their dogs harmful food and leftovers. Tails' research showed nearly a quarter of owners (23 per cent) think it's safe to feed a dog ice cream and a third of owners (32 per cent) have let "puppy eyes" get in the way and knowingly fed their dog an unhealthy scrap.
18 per cent also believed bones were alright for their dog despite the possibility of causing serious damage to the digestive tract and blockages caused by splinters and large piece of bone becoming stuck.
Dr. Samantha Ware, lead nutritionist at tails.com, comments, "Dogs are very much part of the family and because of this there can be a tendency to feed them food from the dinner table or give them treats like chocolate or ice cream that could be really harmful. There are some nutritious and tasty human foods which can be used as treats such as sweet-tasting vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potato, which can be very popular with dogs. However all treats are best enjoyed in moderation complimenting a tailor-made diet that is as unique as your dog."
Ten most commonly fed harmful foods
- Ice cream - can cause diarrhoea and other digestive problems due to some dogs' lactose intolerance. Can also be high in fat.
- Chocolate - all kinds of chocolate include theobromine which is poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, tremors and seizures.
- Bones - bones can splinter and cause blockages. Raw bones that are not stored hygienically can cause stomach upset and cooked bones are prone to splintering.
- Tea - dogs are more sensitive to caffeine than humans and can cause problems similar to chocolate.
- Nuts - most nuts are bad for your dog. Pecans can give them an upset stomach or cause an obstruction. They also have a high fat content.
- Grapes - a toxic substance in grapes can lead to acute kidney failure in dogs.
- Mushrooms - certain mushrooms are highly toxic to dogs. Category A mushrooms can destroy their liver and kidneys, category B and C can affect the nervous system and category D can cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Beer - can affect the dog's liver and brain, even with a small amount. Drinking alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and could put your dog's life at risk.
- Onions - can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia. They can cause impaired oxygen transportation.
- Raisins - can have same affect as grapes and contains the same toxic substance.