With an increasing number of dogs and cats in the UK being classed as overweight, many responsible owners are now seeking out healthy pet foods to feed their four-legged friends.

However, when choosing your pet's diet, sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, as with so many pet food brands on the market it can be tough to identify the healthiest choice for your mutt or moggie.

But if you are feeling a littlie overwhelmed by the choice on offer, Fiona Campbell, head nutritionist at Burns Pet Nutrition, suggests starting by carefully checking and comparing labels so you are aware of the ingredients contained in the wet or dry dog food.

"The actual ingredients are really important when you're looking for healthy foods," she says. "This includes the fat content and the ingredients. Ideally you'd want to avoid the types of food that have got added sugars or colourings."

This is particularly important if you're dealing with an overweight animal, as high fat content can cause your canine companion or feline friend to pile on the pounds.

Fiona points out that certain brands - including Burns dog food - offer specialist diets for overweight pets, so it is always worth looking out for these products if your furry friend is looking a little heavy.

But even if you've found a product with low fat content, it is just as important to check that it contains the correct levels of vitamins and minerals, and that it is not filled with additives or flavourings.

Fiona adds: "If you read the ingredients list and it is pretty vague and contains things such as 'cereals' but doesn't tell you what type of cereal or it contains meat but doesn't tell you what type of meat, then it means it is not a particularly good quality food."

Written by: Hannah