As in humans, obesity also poses health problems for pets.
As if the owner's weight problems aren't enough, pets are now treading in their masters' oversized footprints.
Too much food, too little exercise
Obesity is the most common form of malnutrition in pets and increases their risk of developing a whole range of health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer.
The disease has recently been declared the biggest pet health problem amongst British canines. And South African pets are following suit.
Over-feeding and under-exercising are the main causes of pet obesity. An excess calorie intake of one percent is enough to produce pet obesity by middle age.
Symptoms of an overweight pet
Look out for the following signs of obesity:
- An inability to feel a pet's ribs
- An inability to see a pet's waist
- Tiredness, lethargy or shortness of breath
If your pet really is your best friend and you want it to live a long and happy life, feed it the right amount of healthy food and take it for regular walks, which will help to beat the bulge.Your local vet can also give your pet a free weight check as well as advise you on how to put your pet on a weight management programme.
Information provided by Hills Pet Nutrition.