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7th September 2010

It's a dog's dinner

…meet the new generation of fast food dogs and fat cats

A recent survey of over 10,500 pet owners has revealed a massive 8 out of 10 are feeding their pets human food. The survey by Petplan, the UK’s favourite pet insurance provider, has revealed that our beloved pets are feasting on everything from ice cream and muffins to lobster thermidor and spaghetti hoops.

Luxury human foods being fed included, Gressingham duck breast, veal scampolini and after dinner mints, demonstrating that the nation’s pets are nothing if not discerning.

But the firm favourite is the Great British takeaway with nearly half of owners (47%) admitting to feeding pets with popular takeaway foods. Fish & chips, curry and Chinese were top of the menu. The findings may go a long way in explaining why the UK has recently experienced a rapid rise in pet obesity and why 2 out of 5 owners surveyed have felt the need to put their pet on a diet.

It seems that once pets have got the taste for human food they will stop at nothing to get their paws on it; nearly two thirds of owners have caught their pet stealing food in the home. Less surprising given that 1 in 5 owners admitted they allow pets to lick dinner plates and dishes clean.

Petplan Vet of the Year 2010, Mike Hewitt is concerned by the findings. "It appears that the strong emotional bond between us and our pets is resulting in a well-intentioned but misplaced tendency to "treat" our pets inappropriately. There are quite a wide variety of common foods such as chocolate, onions and even grapes and raisins that have been identified as causing severe problems and even fatalities in some dogs.

“Equally variety is not the spice of life for many of our pets and excessive variation in the composition of their diet can lead to digestive upset and in susceptible animal’s severe pancreatitis. Use treats responsibly - use appropriate foods, occasionally as a modest part of their diet.”

Alison Andrew, Petplan's Marketing Manager says; “The latest results from the Petplan Pet Census have given us further proof of the close bond that exists between pets and their owners but this shouldn’t include the sharing of food. At Petplan we’ve seen a year on year rise in obesity related claims, such as diabetes, and this is something that owners can try to avoid with responsible feeding practices.”

This research forms part of the Petplan Pet Census that aims to be the largest body of pet research ever undertaken to document the picture of pet ownership in Britain.

To be part of the Census, please visit www.petraitgallery.com/census

*Source: Petplan Pet Census and Petplan Pet Health survey, 2010

About the Petplan Pet Census

The completed Petplan Pet Census will be launched in the UK in 2011 to coincide with the National Census and will paint a true picture of what it is like to be a pet owner in Britain today. Incorporating information on health, finance, social and family, the Petplan Pet Census will be the first port of call for all you need to know about Britain’s pets.

At Petplan we live and breathe pets and we want to hear from every pet owner to make sure every pet is counted – please visit www.petraitgallery.co.uk/census – be part of it!

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit: