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PDSA spreads pet obesity awareness

Wednesday December 15th 2010

A national slimming contest has been launched to raise awareness regarding obesity among pets, a problem that can increase your veterinary bills if you do not have pet insurance cover.

Pet charity People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA)'s competition has five dogs and six cats as its finalists this year - including a 22lb cat and 45lb dog.

The animals will face a strict exercise and dietary regime to cut down their combined weight of 87kg (192lbs).

The charity warned that fat pets are susceptible to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Elaine Pendlebury, senior veterinary surgeon at the PDSA Pet Fit Club said: "Overweight pets are less mobile, less willing to play and more likely to develop a number of serious health conditions and have a reduced life expectancy.

"But it's never too late to achieve positive change with the help of your veterinary practice."

The charity found recently that a third of dogs and a quarter of cats in the UK are overweight. Pets with more than 20% of their ideal body weight are considered obese or overweight.

Dr Alex German, an animal obesity specialist from the University of Liverpool Veterinary School, hailed PDSA for bringing up the issue, adding: "It is vital that owners recognise their pet's weight problem, seek veterinary advice and do something about it."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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