A couch-potato lifestyle and excessive food consumption is fuelling a four-legged obesity crisis, the PDSA has warned.
To help tackle the problem, the charity is searching for the UK’s chubbiest cats, dogs and rabbits, as it launches its annual pet slimming contest – PDSA Pet Fit Club.
Now in its 13th year, the national competition has helped 124 overweight and obese pets (79 dogs, 37 cats and 8 rabbits) lose an incredible 450kg (71 stone) since its launch in 2005: equivalent to a grand piano or 160,000 doughnuts! Last year’s winner, Alfie the Beagle, from Middlesbrough, successfully shed an astonishing 34 per cent of his bodyweight.
PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman said: “Sadly the UK’s pet population is suffering from an obesity epidemic. Latest scientific literature shows that at least a third of dogs and a quarter of cats are clinically overweight or obese, but the true figures could be as high as 40 per cent, making obesity one of the most common medical diseases seen by vets. It is a ticking time bomb that will have drastic consequences for our pets.”
Pets chosen for PDSA Pet Fit Club are placed on a strict six-month diet and exercise programme, individually tailored to their needs and overseen by vets and vet nurses at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.
Owners can apply online HERE. Entry forms are also available from PDSA Pet Hospitals nationwide. The closing date is Sunday, March 4.