A survey by a pet insurer More Than indicates that almost 10% of pet owners in the UK treat their cats and dogs with human medication in order to save on veterinary bills. I find that shocking to be honest for the obvious reason that treating your cat or dog with human medication is clearly fraught with danger.
Paracetamol or antihistamines can cause liver or kidney damage. An estimated 1.4 million people in the UK have given their pet human medication when injured or sick.
On average these people have given their pets human medication seven times over the past year. A third of them say that they do it to avoid veterinary costs while 25% believe that medication to humans is safe to use on their cat or dog.
Sometimes human medication is appropriate for a cat or dog but the owner needs to be aware of which are, and which are not, suitable and importantly have knowledge of the amount of the dose and delivery which are very important. Realistically, only veterinarians are qualified to know the safe quantity of any particular medication to administer to a companion animal.
In addition, in the insurer’s survey of 1000 dog and cat owners in the UK, 5% of participants said that they have given their pet protein shakes and bars, vitamins, exercise supplements, diet pills and other such products which are meant for humans.
Far from me to be overly critical, but it does seem that a good percentage of cat and dog owners have a rather cavalier attitude to their companion animal’s welfare and health. Either that or they appear to be unaware of the specialist digestive system of the domestic cat and the harm that can be done in giving, for example, painkillers to a cat which are designed for people.
Pet owners should budget for vet visits. Pet owners should have sufficient funds to take proper care of their cat or dog’s health. If not they should not own a cat or dog.