Most pet owners can think of a time when they have overindulged their pet, perhaps slipping them a few too many titbits under the dinner table.
But we are doing more harm than good, it seems.
Figures from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reveal that 53 per cent of canines are estimated to be too heavy, while 58 per cent of cats are also piling on the weight.
In other words, some 80 million pets are tipping the scales, which is dangerous for their health.
Dr Mike Hutchinson of Animal General, said: "It's a silent epidemic that's killing our pets. Obesity is increasing every year. And that's the sad thing. We would think with education it should be decreasing."
Two to three meals a day, rather than one daily bowl of food, will help your pet to slim down and be healthier, he added.