Diet tips for UK's overweight pets
The Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) has released diet tips to owners in a bid to tackle canine and feline obesity.
A PFMA spokesperson said that cats and dogs have a similar "calorie equation" to humans in that if they eat more than they exercise the pounds will pile on.
"Many pet owners are unaware that their pet is overweight," she said.
But the good news is it can be "easily prevented".
Not only do fat pets lead to increased pet insurance premiums, studies also show they have shorter lives as their ability to withstand surgery and fight disease is substantially reduced.
Pet insurance customers should work hard to help the weight loss via a calorie-controlled diet combined with an exercise regime, but must try to be aware enough to prevent obesity in the first place.
Of the 14 million dogs and cats in the UK, around 50 per cent are overweight, claims the RSPCA.
Health problems that can develop include arthritis, diabetes and heart and back strain.