SPCA pleads for Kiwi pet owners to stop letting animals get so fat

The SPCA wants Kiwi pet owners to keep an eye on their animal's weight as pets can be fed too many treats.

CEO Andrea Midgen told The AM Show owners are giving into their pets begging and sharing too much food, leading to a raft of health issues.

"It's really bad, people just don't realise. You get those pleading eyes looking at you going 'give me that tidbit of that bacon butty or whatever' and people do it and pets just get fatter.

"Then it impacts on their health, I mean it can reduce a dog's life by about 25 percent and cats 20 [percent]. "

Midgen said pet owners could be confused by what the optimum size for a pet is because people's ideas of what is appropriate have changed over time.

"There's a body score indicator by Purina, one being emaciated and nine being obese, the right is five, but typically these days people think six, seven, eight is the right thing."

She recommended looking into ways to reduce the weight slowly and speaking to a professional about the best way to go about it.

"So cut it down slowly, put them on a diet, restrict it. Vets can help and give you plans for doing that."

Midgen said the animal may get upset, but you just have to see past all the pleading looks to ensure they're not faced with joint or organ issues.

"You've just got to cut down the amount of food and be aware of how much food you're actually giving them cause that little treat there and there just adds up."