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PICTURED: Fat cats and podgy pooches in pet obesity crisis spreading across London
These poor podgy pooches and fat felines are just a few examples of an animal obesity crisis spreading across the capital.
Around half of London’s pets are fed junk food and fatty treats - including biscuits, chips, takeaway titbits and even alcohol – according to the latest research from vet charity PDSA.
There are 2.5million dogs and more than two million cats currently overweight - triggering health problems such as heart disease and arthritis as well as shortening their life-span.
PDSA is today (March 27) launching its annual fat-fighting competition PDSA Pet Fit Club to help combat the “silent killer” of obesity.
Nine-year-old Wolf, from Bellingham, is an example of a pet whose collar is bursting at the buckle and has now been put on PDSA’s strict diet and exercise regime.
Weighing in at nine stone six pounds, he is classed as morbidly obese as he is 70 per cent overweight for his body size and suffers from arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Owner Helen Fitzgerald, who rescued him when he was three years old, said: “Wolf has always been a big dog and has an appetite to match his name.
“He is constantly begging for food and he’ll sit and stare at you whenever you’re eating anything.
“It’s very hard not to give into him, and we used to give him titbits and things. Plus he would steal the cat’s food as soon as I turned my back!”
She added: “I was aware he was a bit overweight, but the extra pounds had crept on so slowly I was very shocked when the vet explained just how overweight Wolf had become.
“I know it’s my own fault really, and I want to change things to help Wolf live a better life.”
Scotland topped the lardy league table in PDSA’s findings with 72 per cent of owners admitting to feeding pets unhealthy treats while three in 10 London pet owners confessed to giving their dogs cheese.
PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Elaine Pendlebury said: “Sadly, seeing morbidly obese pets is now an everyday occurrence in vet practices across the UK; it is one of the biggest welfare concerns facing the nation’s pets.
“It’s effectively a silent killer leading to long term health issues for pets.
“It’s tragic to think that millions of pets are suffering under the strain of carrying too much weight, when it is an entirely preventable condition.”
Owners can enter their pets to the PDSA Pet Fit Club before the deadline of April 27 at pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub
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