Press release

Killing with kindness

Thursday 9 April 2009

  • Dog owners still feed their pet chocolate
  • Cat owners unaware that cows milk can affect their pets health
  • 72% of owners worry about maintaining pets healthy diet
  • For more information on Saga Pet Insurance call 0800 056 5096 or visit

Over a third (35.9%)* of over 50s own a cat or a dog and Saga knows how much they love their pets, but this Easter, many owners may be doing more harm than good. Saga Pet Insurance would like to remind the nation’s pet owners that the chocolates and titbits they are lovingly feeding their pet may in fact be harmful to their health.

Research conducted by Saga Pet Insurance shows that over 50% of these pet owners worry that their pets are over weight and almost three quarters (72%)** worry that their pet maintains a healthy diet.

Many other foods pet owners “treat” their pet to can also have ill effects on their furry friends. For example, tins of tuna meant for human consumption do not contain the vitamin B1 that cats need. Cat owners are also known to give their pets cow’s milk, however this contains lactose which many cats find hard to digest and can lead to stomach upsets.

Even meaty treats for pets can be harmful. Many dog owners still feed poultry bones to their pet, seemingly unaware that these can split, cause internal damage and result in a trip to the vet. Feeding liver more than twice a week can result in high levels of vitamin A, a build up of which can cause muscle and bone problems in pets.

Other foods that can be harmful to pets’ health may come as quite a surprise for pet owners, for example grapes contain a toxin that can damage the kidneys. Onions are also dangerous , as these can damage red blood cells and cause anaemia.

Saga has published a free guide which provides advice and guidance on the main aspects of pet health. To obtain a copy please go to or call 0800 056 5096.


* GB TGI 2008 Q4 (July 2007 - June 2008)

** Data based on internal research from April-June 2008

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.



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