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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
A quarter of all NI dogs 'obese'
An obese dog
Owners may be showing their pet too much love
A County Down vet says half of all dogs coming into her surgery are obese.

Joanne Martin was responding to the results of a survey by pet charity PDSA, which suggests 25% of all dogs in Northern Ireland are obese.

"Of course it has to be said I'm seeing mainly unhealthy dogs. The healthy ones are at home," she said.

Joanne added that many fat owners had fat dogs, this being linked to the feeding of high-fat scraps to their four-legged friends.

"If an owner is overweight they may well have a high-fat diet and are therefore feeding high-fat scraps to their dog.

"However, there will, as with everything, be exceptions to this rule."

'Less grub'

The vet who works at Better Pets Veterinary Surgery added that "owners have to bare in mind that dogs are much smaller than ourselves" and shouldn't be fed anywhere near the same amount of food.

Experts say overweight dogs are likely to die two years earlier that lean ones and have a much poorer quality of life, developing conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.

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