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A whopping 97% of British dog owners believe they are aware of what treats are safe to feed their dog, according to a new survey. However, nearly a third of them admit to giving their pooches treats that are potential choking hazards that can seriously injure their beloved pets. TVs practicing veterinary surgeon, Rory the Vet, claimed more education is needed around dog treats and urged owners to be more careful when it comes to their pups’ nutrition.

Rory Cowlam, vet on CBBC’s The Pets Factor, said: “Speaking as a dog owner and vet, I find it incredibly hard to find a long-lasting, healthy, easily digestible chew for Nala and my clients.

“I know how important it is to treat your pet to build that amazing bond, but as these shocking results show a large proportion of people are still feeding dangerous treats to their dogs!

“Dog owners need to stop feeding cooked bones – particularly chicken as these will often splinter and become very sharp leading to a risk of gut perforation and very serious issues!

“I generally avoid raw hide too – it’s really tricky to digest and can cause both gut and tooth issues.”

Answering the survey by Pooch Snax, nearly a quarter (23%) of dog owners admitted to treating their dogs to cooked beef bones and cooked chicken bones (18%).

At the same time, nearly a third of dog owners (31%) said they choose natural meat treats for their dogs ‘most of the time’ that they believed were safe to chew (69%).

The survey also exposed that nearly 1 in 4 (23%) regularly treat their dog to rawhide – a product that also can cause choking if eaten in large chunks or swallowed whole.

The results also showed that in addition to giving potentially unsafe treats to our canine companions, our doggie friends are also chewing on perilous household objects.

Meanwhile, over a third of Brits (36%) revealed their dog has chewed on slippers or shoes, whilst 1 in 4 (25%) said their kid’s toys had also received a chomped fate.

Chewing household or everyday objects also has consequences the survey discovered.

Over 1 in 4 (27%) dog owners said that this caused their dog to be sick, with 1 in 5 (20%) also admitting, chewing on everyday objects resulted in a trip to the vets.

A spokesperson for Pooch Snax said: “Treats, as part of an overall nutritious diet are a great way to bond with your dog.

“They can help to keep teeth and gums healthy and provide a way to express normal chewing behaviour.

“However, it’s important that we give our dogs the right kind of treats to avoid unnecessary chewcastrophes!”

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The top 10 most common items dogs have chewed are:

  • Tennis balls (43%)
  • Sticks (37%)
  • Shoes/slippers (36%)
  • Socks (33%)
  • Kids toys (25%)
  • Toilet rolls (24%)
  • Drinking/water bottles (21%)
  • Cushions (20%)
  • Sofa (18%)
  • Plants (17%)

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