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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June 2005, 01:37 GMT 02:37 UK
Fat pets warned over lifestyles
Our bad habits are rubbing off on our pets, says the PDSA
The unhealthy lifestyle of many Britons is rubbing off on their pets, with an increasing number suffering from heart disease and diabetes, a study suggests.

Animals in Scotland and Wales were most at risk of being pampered into bad health, animal charity PDSA said.

"Owners really should think twice before they share sweets or biscuits with their pet," it warned.

The PDSA examined the medication given to more than 45,000 cats and dogs it treated to assess the health hot spots.

'Start walking'

London's pets were found to have the fourth highest rates for diabetes and heart disease, which the PDSA said could be attributed to busy lifestyles, the dangers of intense traffic and a lack of green spaces.

"We often treat pets as a member of the family, and as a result, it's inevitable our diet and exercise choices will have an impact on their health and well-being too," the PDSA said.

Offering advice for breaking out of bad habits, it suggested: "With summer on the way, what better time to start walking together?"

The PDSA found the healthiest pets were in the North West.

Both diabetes and heart disease are linked to poor diet and lack of exercise.

Pets are six times more likely to suffer heart disease than diabetes, PDSA said. It is almost twice as common in dogs as cats.

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