If one thing is for sure, Britain is a nation of food lovers. We also happen to be a nation of pet lovers. But what happens when we mix the two? With 77% of British pet owners claiming to have a picky pooch or fussy feline, Webbox Naturals have conducted nationwide research of British pet owners to find out what’s really going on behind closed doors when it comes to feeding our pets…
So what are we feeding our pets?
This may come as a surprise but a shocking 44% of UK pet owners regularly let their animals eat food from their plate and 34% even let their dogs and cats lick their plate clean! 25% of pet owners have fed their fur babies crisps and 15% have fed their dog pizza. More than one in twenty pet parents have fed their cat birthday cake and 5% of felines have happily destroyed a slice of marmalade on toast. A staggering 27% have fed their cat or dog ice cream, while as many as 28% of the nation’s pets regularly sit down to a full roast dinner with all the trimmings.
One in ten British dog owners have also been known to regularly serve up a full English, while 44% of owners admit to feeding their pet sausages. 13% of owners claim their dogs enjoy spaghetti bolognese, while 36% offer steak on a regular basis.
Why do pets love human food?
If you have a pet, you’ll know that trying to eat a meal without your fur baby trying to get in on the action is easier said than done. We have to ask ourselves, what is it about human food that our dogs and cats love so much? It turns out that dogs and cats love the aroma of human food and the enhanced flavour associated with it. There is a better solution than feeding your pet human food though!
What are some good human food alternatives?
We know, we know, pets can be fussy at mealtimes. Just because your pet loves human food doesn’t mean that you should feed them whatever they’re begging to eat. Dogs and cats have very specific nutrition requirements and it’s your responsibility as their owner to meet them. There are great alternatives to human food available, such as Webbox Naturals wet food. The high meat content in the main meals gives it a strong aroma, which your pets will absolutely love.
A staggering 32% of British pet owners claim they like to serve their furry friends the very best food that money can buy so we’re willing to bet that if you’re reading this, you only want the best for your fluffy pal.
What do the professionals have to say?
Webbox Naturals pet recipe consultant Camille Ashforth said: “It’s great to see from the research just how dedicated the nation’s pet owners are in terms of feeding their pets quality food.
We are confident even the fussiest of pets will enjoy our yummy range which has been carefully developed using high quality ingredients which are also kind to sensitive tummies.”
TV Vet Paul Manktelow commented: “While feeding a small amount of some human foods to pets is OK, it is important to remember what they can have and what should never be given to pets.
There is really no substitute for a proper diet based on nutritional animal food which has all the right vitamins and minerals for your pet.” We’ve teamed up with Paul to share these top tips for feeding your fussy eating pets
- Choose high quality ingredients
The quality of your pet’s food can be instrumental in tempting their appetite. ‘Humanised’ flavours containing high-quality proteins and rich nutrients are often more appealing to our four-legged companions, as well as being better for them. For example, Webbox Naturals Lamb and Chicken with Sweet Potato, Pea and Mint wet dog food, has a 65% meat content and a good balance of vegetables to give your dog just what they need.
- Use age appropriate food
Just like us, pets experience a gradual decrease in appetite as they get older. This is often due to their senses changing, and so their food may not taste or smell as appealing as it did before. For your older pets, look for a food specifically designed for seniors, this will help ensure they get all of the nutrients they need in their later years.
Similarly for puppies and kittens, their nutritional needs are different at different stages of life so ensure you’re choosing the right food for them at their age!
- Try using wet food
Wet food can be more palatable as the moisture releases aromas, making it smell more appetising. If their own food is smelling strong and delicious, they will be less likely to beg for yours!
When changing your pet’s food, do it gradually over a period of 3-4 days. To get your pet used to their new food, try mixing the old food with the new so it isn’t too much of a change, this will help their tummies adapt to the new food and you can start reducing the amount of old food that’s in the mix.
- Create a mealtime routine
Being consistent with your mealtime routine is particularly important when encouraging a fussy pet to eat. Providing food at the same times each day reassures your pets that they are being looked after and loved, stimulating an increased appetite.
As tempting as it is to feed pets scraps at the table – there is no need to feel guilty when they can now enjoy food fit for a king with the new and improved Webbox Naturals range.
For more information please visit the website www.webbox.co.uk