Many dog owners will feel that, faced with those big brown eyes, sometimes it can be all too tempting to slip your pooch a treat from the dinner table or add a little extra food to their bowl.
However, vets and pet nutrition experts are warning that this tendency to overfeed our pets is leading to a nation of overweight dogs that are at risk of a number of serious health conditions.
"We know from our work with pet-owners that many view an overweight pet as cute and cuddly," says PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, Sean Wensley. "What they don't see is the threat that obesity poses to their beloved animals' health and lifespan."
Therefore, if your pet is a little on the heavy side, it is important to take steps right away to help them fight the flab.
The quality and quantity of food your dog eats is absolutely key to their health and the size of their waistline.
If your canine companion is overweight, then the simple fact of the matter is that they need to be fed less, so speak to your vet about a suitable amount of dry dog food to feed your pet depending on their age, breed and size, and then stick to this firmly.
This also means that you're going to have to resist the temptation to sneak your pooch treats and be sure that they're not scavenging or stealing food from the bins.
The type of food your dog eats will also pay a part in their weight loss. Many owners choose to feed their pups prescription diets when helping them shed a few pounds, but a cheaper alternative is to opt for a product such as Burns dog food, which offers diets designed to boost weight loss.
The other key component of every canine weight loss plan should be physical activity. Although all dogs should receive two walks a day of at least half an hour, some owners can be a little lax when it comes to exercise, and their dog's mental and physical health suffers as a result.
Even if your dog is reluctant to go outside you're not doing them any favours by letting them snooze on the sofa all day so encourage them to walk, run and play whenever you can.
The exact amount of exercise your dog requires will depend on their age and breed, so if you have a high-energy pooch or one that tends to put on weight be prepared to spend plenty of time out walking.
Although the majority of the time weight gain in canines can be tackled with a controlled diet and plenty of exercise, sometimes there can be an underlying medical condition causing them to be overweight.
In addition, canine obesity can lead to a number of serious medical conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, so as you embark on a weight loss regime it is a good idea to get your pooch checked out by your vet to make sure there are no medical problems that need to be examined.
Your vet is also the person best-placed to advise you on a suitable diet for your pup and will help you to switch the food gradually so as not to upset their stomach.
Therefore, make sure you pay a trip the veterinary surgery and stick firmly to your canine weight loss plan, and you should see the pounds dropping off your pooch in no time.
Written by: Hannah