Just like an overweight human, if your dog starts packing on the pounds it can have serious implications for its health.

Statistics from the animal charity reveal that more than a third of canines in the UK are overweight, which can lead to problems such as diabetes, respiratory conditions, arthritis and behavioural issues.

This can be become more and more a problem as a dog reaches old age, as it will exercise less, spending more time lazing about the home. However, many owners are completely unaware that their mutt is getting a bit chubby.

It is recommended to get a vet to examine your dog’s weight regularly, but it is possible to do this yourself with a simple set of bathroom scales if your porky pooch is small enough.

All you have to do is weigh yourself and then do so again but while holding your dog at the same time. To work out its weight you just have to calculate the difference.

You can also work out how fat a dog is based upon a physical examination, feeling across its flanks and abdomen. You should be able to feel its ribs but not see them. You should also be able to see the dogs waistline when looking at it from a bird’s eye view, as well as see it visibly tuck up when looking from the side.

There may also be fat deposits along the spine and the base of the tail, bulges in the stomach area and it may also sag downwards.

If the symptoms seem quite serious, you should see the vet right away. However, if it is just a bit obese then your dog may just need a new exercise regime and a very strict diet, which means no feeding it leftovers from your own meals.

Written by: Hannah