The PDSA's senior veterinary surgeon for science and welfare Elaine Pendlebury has advised pet owners about the common obstacles surrounding animal slimming.
Writing in a Huffington Post blog piece, the expert points out that both owner and pet must address the problem once an animal has been diagnosed as overweight or obese.
'When dealing with an overweight pet one frequent hurdle is the emotional aspect; for many owners food is intrinsically linked with happiness,' Ms Pendlebury wrote.
However, responding to a pet's cries for attention by doling out more dog food, cat food or treats is the owner's mistake – sometimes a game, cuddle or exercise can be an equally effective way of keeping them happy.
According to Ms Pendlebury, 'dogged determination and motivation' are required to break such bad habits.
Sticking to a new, healthier diet for your animal can be bolstered by regular checkups and weigh-ins at the vet, and many clinics run weight-loss programmes owners can take advantage of.
The vet's advice comes in conjunction with the first results of the PDSA's Pet Fit Club, which helped overweight animals lose a total of 68kg.