The PDSA has launched its annual pet slimming competition by revealing some seriously chunky contenders.

Early entries for Pet Fit Club include a miniature pinscher called Alfie who tips the scales at 9.5kg, a bulging bulldog called Daisy who is over 40% heavier than she should be and beefy boxer dog Bruce, who tips the scales at a whopping 55kg.

Another contender for Britain’s porkiest pet is Zorro the cat. The gigantic ginger feline spends his days snacking on cheese and onion crisps and tips the scales at an epic 9.4kg – almost twice his recommended weight.

According to PDSA figures, around 2.5 million dogs (one in three) and more than two million cats (one in four) are estimated to be overweight.

Exclusive PDSA research shows around nine out of ten owners (87%) give pets treats, despite the fact 91% realise the resulting obesity can reduce their pet’s lifespan.

Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, said: “Obesity is one of the biggest welfare issues affecting pets in the UK today. Sadly, it also means millions of pets are at risk from potentially life-threatening health problems related to obesity.

“But the good news is obesity is entirely reversible. With veterinary advice and guidance and it is never too late to try and improve a pet’s quality of life by tackling weight problems. The owners of this year’s finalists will soon have happier and healthier pets and we hope their stories will help encourage other owners to take action.”

The winning cat and dog win a year’s free food from Hill’s, and the winning rabbit wins a year’s free Burgess Excel food. The overall Pet Fit Club champ’s owner will win a pet-friendly break, sponsored by Hill’s.

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