One in ten dogs in Scotland does not get a daily walk and such lack of exercise is fuelling an obesity time bomb, a charity has warned.
Research for the PDSA found 12 per cent of dogs are not walked daily, with some owners mistakenly believing play in the garden is a suitable substitute. Poor diet is also contributing to the problem, with many pets regularly fed treats including cake, chips and even takeaway food.
The research found 30 per cent of dogs and 17 per cent of cats in Scotland are fed human dinners as part of their main meal, above the UK average.
A total of 29 per cent of Scottish pets are fed treats every day, above the UK average.
The charity is urging owners to “skip the treats and hit the streets” to keep their animals healthy, as it kicks off its national pet slimming contest the PDSA Pet Fit Club.
It is looking for 15 overweight dogs, cats and rabbits from across the UK to take part in the six-month diet and exercise programme, tailored by PDSA vets and nurses.
Early entrants to the competition include a dog who loves fish and chips with mayonnaise and a cat weighing more than double the amount he should.