Findings from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report say four out of five veterinary professionals have seen an increase in pet obesity cases in the past two years.
Around 80% of vets and veterinary nurses believe there will be more overweight pets than healthy weight pets in five years’ time and PDSA is stressing the need for urgent action.
To help combat the pet obesity crisis, the animal charity has today (March 26) launched its annual Pet Fit Club competition, and is inviting owners of the UK’s biggest pets to apply for a chance to take part in the fat fighting contest.
Nicola Martin, PDSA head of pet health and welfare, said: “Over the past decade, Pet Fit Club has transformed the lives of some of the UK’s most obese pets, having helped nearly 100 animals shed more than 60 stone, so we are welcoming entries again and offering our expertise.”
Pet Fit Club participants will take part in a tailored diet and exercise programme, overseen by expert vets and veterinary nurses over a six-month period.
Ms Martin added: “PDSA’s research has shown pet obesity is a growing problem and too many people are continuing to feed their pets inappropriate foods, including takeaways, cake, cheese and chips. Sadly, many pets are also not getting enough exercise.
“Pet obesity is entirely preventable and we’re trying to help owners understand while their pets may beg for food and giving a treat is seen as a way of showing affection; ultimately, it could be killing them with kindness.”
Owners can enter their pets at www.petfitclub.org.uk
The deadline for entries is April 26, 2015.