A study has found that nearly half of UK owners feed their dog human food twice a week, with over a quarter letting them indulge in cheese, dairy and salty foods.

Research into the habits of 1,000 dog owners by Everypaw pet healthcare examined the daily diets of canines, finding that owners are willing to give their dogs human foods – even if they may be harmful.

According to the study, nearly half of dog owners admit they give their dog human food one to two times a week, and over a quarter (27%) are happy to let their dogs indulge in cheese, despite dairy foods been on the list of the most common food allergies in canines.

One in five (19%) also think it’s fine to feed their dogs bacon, despite salt causing potential threats such as upset stomachs and bloating.

When looking into owner’s views on the emerging dog food trend raw meat, nearly half (44%) say their dogs are on a strict raw meat diet, even though vets say it could be harmful – as raw meat contains bacteria that could potentially cause food poisoning.

The study looks to draw some conclusions as to what pet owners could be doing better to ensure their pets stay fit and healthy, and identifies diet as an area in need of improvement.

Everypaw vet Dr Anna Foreman BVetMed MRCVS said: “Most human foods should be avoided as they can be high in salt, fats and very calorific – feeding your dog a can of tuna, for example, is equivalent to a person eating three doughnuts.

"It’s especially dangerous to feed dogs dairy products because, as well as being high in calories, dogs do not have the enzyme needed to break down these foods, leading to upset stomachs.”

“The research shows that owners have a relaxed attitude to feeding their dogs bacon, despite higher salt foods predisposing to hypertension, heart disease and kidney problems.

"Raw food is an emerging trend, but it may carry a greater risk of exposure to food poisoning organisms, including E Coli, Salmonella and Clostridia”