Obese pets should be given light versions of pet food as it can help them lose weight, it has been claimed.
Charlie Powell of Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine claimed that switching to low calorie food is an ideal way to for pets to achieve healthy weight loss.
He said: "Many over-the-counter brands of pet foods offer 'light' versions as well as therapeutic diets developed for weight reduction. Owners can ask veterinarians about what kinds would be best for their pets to make sure the animals get essential nutrients.
"This is especially true for cats, since feline dietary recommendations have changed dramatically in the past few years."
Mr Powell advised consumers to contact a vet if they wish to give their animal a prescription diet.
Pet owners should also be set a weight loss plan, according to Mr Powell, which includes a target weight, recommended daily calorie intake and exercise regime.