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Charity's warning over pet obesity

Thursday March 26th 2015

Obesity among pets is a growing problem, a leading animal charity has warned.

The PDSA has carried out research that showed that 80% of vets and veterinary nurses believe that there could be more overweight pets than healthy ones in the next five years.

The research, which was part of the charity's latest Animal Wellbeing Report, found that four out of five vets have seen a rise in overweight pets in the last two years, though more than half of owners were unaware of the problem.

The PDSA is launching its annual fitness competition to help animals battle the bulge as obesity can lead to shorter life expectancy, heart problems, cancer and diabetes.

PDSA's head of pet health and welfare Nicola Martin said part of the problem is that owners feed their pets inappropriate foods such as takeaways, cake, cheese and chips.

The problem is compounded by the fact that not enough pets are getting the right amount of exercise. She said that "treating" pets with unwanted food is sometimes killing them with kindness.

The YouGov poll, which surveyed 1,069 pet owners and 572 vets, found that dog owners (83%) were far more likely to feed their pets unhealthy treats than cat owners (38%).

Copyright Press Association 2015