Pets face obesity crisis

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Animals charity the PDSA has selected North Lanarkshire as one of just 10 locations in Britain for a special pet wellbeing roadshow this year.

The vet charity’s staff will be arriving in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth after it was identified as a hotspot for pet health issues.

The figures make bleak reading, particularly for an area where pets are so popular and where most people may imagine they are looking after their animals properly.

In fact, according to the vets, we’re turning our four-legged friends into overweight moochers who share their owners’ same predilection for unhealthy junk food.

The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report revealed that North Lanarkshire’s pets are missing out on many basic health care requirements, mainly due to misunderstanding of their pets’ needs.

PDSA Vet Nurse Jen Clarke is hosting the new month-long programme, which will include a week of doggy health checks and free microchipping from the charity’s touring PetCheck vehicle, preceded by three weeks of talks to schools and community groups on all aspects of pet wellbeing.

A fifth of pets in Scotland have never been vaccinated, leaving thousands at risk of preventable and life-threatening disease and illness. Less than half (48%) are microchipped, compared to 61% nationally.

Meanwhile nearly three quarters (72%) of owners in Scotland (the highest of any UK region) admitted feeding pets junk food and fatty treats, such as takeaways, chips, biscuits and even alcohol.