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Nearly half of cats and dogs obese


Wednesday April 9th 2014

Vets now consider nearly half of all Britain's cats and dogs obese, according to a new report.

A study by the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA) has revealed that the cost of looking after overweight animals stands at a collective £215 million a year.

Over the last five years the number of overweight pets has greatly increased with up to 45% of all pets seen by vets now classed as obese.

Some 45% of dogs were found to be overweight, while this figure dropped to 40% for cats. Around 28% of rabbits and guinea pigs were classed as obese and 15% of caged birds were carrying too much weight.

Despite the findings 63% of pet owners still thought that their animals were a healthy weight.

One of the biggest factors in the obesity epidemic was owners feeding their animals leftovers, according to the survey of 200 vets and 1,000 owners.

Not giving their pets enough exercise and failing to follow feeding guidelines were also attributed to causing problems.

While only 37% said that they knew how to check if their pet was overweight, some 93% that would have concerns is their pet was obese.

The 'Pet Obesity: Five Years On' follows a similar report carried out by the PFMA in 2009.

Some 77% of vets believe pet obesity to be on the rise and asked owners to resist the urge to overfeed their animals and give in to excessive treats.

The report recommended owners exercise their dogs for at least 30 minutes two times a day, while cats need 40 minutes exercise and rabbits four hours each day.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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