Curling up on your knee to watch TV, running along beside you on long walks, and even accompanying you on your annual holiday - it's not hard to see why many pet owners see their cats and dogs as one of the family.

However, while it can be tempting to think that your four-legged friend will enjoy everything you do, experts have warned that feeding your canine companion the same as every other family member can be harmful to their health.

A recent survey by MORE TH>N Pet Insurance has revealed a worrying trend that many pet owners are feeding their cats and dogs popular human dishes including greasy, calorie-packed takeaways.

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of the pet owners polled admitted to allowing their cat or dog to munch on leftovers of human foods such as burgers, curries and fry-ups, with one in ten confessing that they do so on a daily basis.

And the number one culprit on the list of unhealthy human foods that find their way into the cat or dog bowel is fish and chips, with nearly half (45 per cent) of pet owners admitting that their pet has snacked on the popular British dish.

With obesity proving to be an increasing problem in the UK and one in three pets now overweight, animal nutritionist Stephanie Mehanna has warned pet owners of the dangers of letting your mutt or moggie tuck into fatty human foods.

"Obesity in pets is a serious issue and has become a much more common problem over the past few years," she said.

"Our pet's diet shouldn't be a mirror image of our own dining habits, and by allowing them to eat human foods we are adding a serious amount of extra calories into their diets and exposing them to ingredients they cannot tolerate."

Although you may feel that you are treating your furry-friend with leftovers, if you really want to give your pet the best, have them stick to low-calorie healthy dry dog food or cat food that will have them looking and feeling on top form.

Written by: Jayan