THE owners of massive moggies and podgy pups are being targeted by a vet charity aiming to reduce the weight of Scotland’s pets.
The country’s domesticated animals top the lardy league table with 72 per cent of owners admitting to giving their favourites everything from takeaways to biscuits and even booze.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) has launched its annual fat fighting competition, the Pet Fit Club, in a bid to bring the weight issues which blight many animals into the public arena.
Curvy cat Lucky has been put on a strict diet by PDSA vets after her weight ballooned up to eight kilos, making her morbidly obese.
Sixty-year-old owner Ann Ward, who rescued Lucky ten years ago, said: “Lucky had been badly neglected throughout the first year of her life. She had actually fallen seven storeys from a building and was under-fed.
“I think she had been eating scraps of cold meat and when I first got her I couldn’t get her to take any cat food.
“I was concerned about her weight so I went to the vet and I’ve eventually found a type of cat food that Lucky enjoys.”
Ms Ward, whose Balerno house is home to three other cats, is hoping that Lucky’s weight continues to decrease.
“Lucky is the only one who is overweight,” said Ms Ward. “She doesn’t go out much, plus she doesn’t really understand how to play with the other cats due to her difficult start in life, so this probably hasn’t helped with her weight.”
John Whitehouse, 84, from Sighthill, is trying to get the weight of tubby bulldog Angus down from a massive 30 kilos after a lifestyle of skipping exercise and scoffing sausages caused him to pile on the pounds.
Mr Whitehouse said: “He gets normal dog food, and sometimes some biscuits, but he does get the odd sausage and I know I’ve probably been feeding him too many. He hates going out too; when I say ‘walkies’ he runs and hides under the bed!
“I didn’t really realise how overweight Angus had got until the vet told me, but now I’m very keen to slim him down.”
Across the UK around 2.5 million dogs and over two million cats are currently overweight and, not only could they have their lives cut short, many will also have a drastically reduced quality of life.
PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Elaine Pendlebury said: “Sadly, seeing morbidly obese pets is now an everyday occurrence in vet practices across the UK.”