Consumers should strictly monitor the amount of pet food they give to their pet if it is overweight, according to a vet.
Dr Tracy Acosta, a US-based vet at Acosta Veterinary Hospital in Mississippi, expressed her belief that pet owners need to stop giving their animals treats and instead ensure they are not eating more calories than they expend.
She wrote on the Sun Herald: "The basics of weight loss in pets are similar to those in people: input of daily calories must not be more than what calories are spent.
"Therefore, what your pet eats daily matters, and how much daily activity your pet has also plays a huge role in your pet's body condition."
Dr Acosta also advised consumers to feed their pet twice a day, rather than offering them one large meal, as it should decrease the likelihood of begging.
Furthermore, if there are a number of pets in the house Dr Acosta recommends feeding them at different times to ensure that each animal is getting the same amount.