Following new research out this morning showing 22 per cent of UK dogs are overweight, Andrew Bucher, the Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading online pet healthcare retailer, said: “It should come as no surprise that more than one-fifth of UK pets are overweight. Pets, just like humans, need a balanced diet and the right amount of exercise." "Quite often, in my experience as a vet, the main problem was that owners were failing to give their animals the correct type of nutrients or feeding them low quality products that can ultimately lead to obesity and other medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory distress, high blood pressure or even lead to certain cancers.

“Pet ownership is certainly something to be valued, but it is not inexpensive. Pets with avoidable health issues such obesity are likely to spend more time at the vets leading to either higher insurance premiums or becoming uninsurable.  

“If you think your pet is overweight then speak to your vet about the best way to help it slim down and consider your own and your pet’s current lifestyle. Remember, no more than 10% of your pet’s daily energy intake should be in the form of snacks or treats.”  

An easy way for you to check that your pet is of the correct weight is to ensure the following:

·         You should be able to feel (and ideally see) the outline of your pet's ribs without excess fat covering;

·         When you view your pet from above, your pet's waist should be both clearly visible and palpable. 

·         When you view your pet from the side, its belly should be tucked up not flat or convex.