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Last Updated: Thursday July 05 2007 12:59 GMT

'Don't give dogs high-fat scraps'

An overweight dog

Dog owners need to think twice about giving scraps of high-fat food to their pets, vets have warned.

It comes after a survey suggested that a quarter of pet dogs in Northern Ireland are obese.

Vets also reminded people that dogs are a lot smaller than humans and needed to be fed smaller portions.

They added that larger humans often had larger dogs because they treat their pets with unhealthy snacks.

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

Experts say overweight dogs are likely have a much poorer quality of life, developing medical problems like arthritis and diabetes.

They also tend to have shorter lives.

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