Britons must conduct their own research before investing in snacks for their household pet, one expert has observed.

Sarah Linehan, CoPAS dog trainer and pet behaviourist at The Pet Experience, warned that due to the surprisingly high number of food types that can prove toxic to household animals, it is imperative that pet owners are well informed.

For instance, chocolate is very bad for parrots, according to Ms Linehan, who also confirmed that nuts can have a similarly negative impact.

Allied to researching particular food types, the pet expert called on animal owners to consider where in the house they should be kept.

"With cats," she said, "they need to be aware of household plants and anything they are going to walk on and lick off their paws.

"Dogs also need to be trained from a very young age not to eat anything in the house, they need to be taught not to chew things and to be aware of chocolate and grapes,which [owners] should never give them."

By feeding your pooch on premium dog food, you can avoid the hassle (and heartache) that can result from feeding them the wrong foods types.

Speaking more broadly about pet ownership, Ms Linehan said that "people need to do a lot more research than they already do before getting pets".

"Certainly in my job, all the time I see that people don't bother to do any research, they get a pet on a whim or because it looks cute and they don't really think about it fully."

Earlier this month, a study commissioned by Butcher's Pet Care found that some dog owners are forgetting the fundamentals when it comes to canine wellbeing.

The research confirmed that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of pet dogs are unhappy; what's more, one per cent of owners described their canine companions as suffering from depression.

Clare Scallon, from Butcher's Pet Care, observed that good nutrition is key to keeping a dog happy.

Written by: Hannah