Pets facing 'obesity epidemic'

Thursday, 20th October 2011

Instead of eating healthy portions of cat food and dog food, many pets across the UK are eating unhealthy snacks such as crisps and cheese.

The PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) has said this has led to an "obesity epidemic" among the UK pet population, with over half of UK pets eating fatty snacks.

Emily Malcolm, a spokeswoman for the PDSA, told the Scotsman: "In Scotland dogs get the most fatty treats, with 89 per cent of owners admitting to feeding inappropriate and fatty foods

"What is even more concerning is that 61 per cent of owners in Scotland say they think treats make their pet happy with just three per cent confessing to feeling any guilt about feeding naughty treats."

She added that one cube of cheese to a medium-sized dog is the same as a human eating half a pizza or one-and-a-half burgers.

One animal now on a diet with help from the PDSA is Bailey, a five-year-old Border Collie. Bailey's owner, Pauline Connor, said that the dog has lots of exercise but all the titbits he was given meant he piled on the pounds.

Research by Cats Protection recently revealed that more owners are naming their cats after foods, with names like Pringle and Sushi becoming popular.