A new report has helped to highlight the importance of keeping medications and potentially poisonous foods out of the reach of canines.

The study by Direct Line Pet Insurance revealed that more than three-quarters (78 per cent) of vets treated pets that have ingested human medication in the last year.

According to the research, the most common types of medication ingested were paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Nurofen, contraceptive pills, and anti-depressant pills.

Over the last year, some 243 cases of accidental ingestion were reported.

Commenting on the findings, Madeline Pike, veterinary nurse at Direct Line Pet Insurance, said: “It is concerning to see so many cases of pets ingesting human medication. Human medication is extremely dangerous to pets and often results in them being treated with medication to induce vomiting or a fluid treatment, which may cause them great distress. Any procedure carries a risk for animals, so unnecessary treatments should be avoided at all costs."

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of vets surveyed reported cases where owners have deliberately given their pet human medication in an attempt to help them, without realising how harmful it was.

The majority (76 per cent) of cases of pet poisoning involved dogs. The research also emphasised the importance of taking your dog to the vet as soon as possible after ingesting medication. If a pet is not taken within two hours, animals are usually given fluid treatment to flush out the toxins.

Within two hours, however, the vet may be able to induce vomiting with an injection and then feed the animal charcoal, which is used to soak up toxins.

Ms Pike added: "If you suspect that your pet has ingested human medication, it is essential that they see a vet immediately. If you are concerned about an illness your pet has, we strongly recommend seeking veterinary advice – do not assume that a smaller dose of human medication will suffice."

Written by: Hannah