Pets growing portly on table scraps

With more than half of Kiwis owning pets, vets say people need to pay attention to their animal's weight (Newshub. / file)
With more than half of Kiwis owning pets, vets say people need to pay attention to their animal's weight (Newshub. / file)

Tubby tabbies and portly pugs are a growing problem in New Zealand, a Southern Cross pet insurance survey has found.

One in 10 dogs and 15 percent of cats are overweight, and the release of the survey coincides with Pet Obesity Awareness Day.

Pets being fed human food is part of the issue - three-quarters of dog owners and more than half of cat owners admit slipping their furry pals some table scraps.

Southern Cross pet insurance head Anthony McPhail says people need to keep in mind how the different portion sizes - and nutrition - stack up.

"A bit of your lunch here and there is the equivalent of an extra meal for an animal and can add up to significant weight gain," he says.

"This puts a lot of stress on the animal's joints, and can lead to diabetes, heart conditions and generally a shorter life span."

With more than half of Kiwis owning pets, vets say people need to pay attention to their animals' weight.

It's essential pets get appropriate levels of daily exercise as well as nutritional food at correct portion sizes.

And for their own sake, keep them away from your goodies.

"The health risks of obesity for a pet are significant and can be costly - if you think your animal is overweight you need to discuss it with your vet and put a plan in place to fix it," Mr McPhail says.

So no matter how sad those puppy eyes get, or how mournful the kitty yowls, it's better to keep the people's food on the people's plate.

Newshub.

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