The health of Britain's pets is deteriorating and vets advise that insurance on the family friend could bring peace of mind to owners, according to MORE TH>N.
Eight out of ten vets surveyed by the insurer said that they are seeing a "huge increase" in the number of obese pets they treat - but a poll of pet owners found that just one in ten believes that their pet is overweight.
"Diet is the biggest issue as many pet foods and particularly treats contain too much sugar and salt and the fact that most owners are unaware of this is something that needs to be addressed," said Sophie de Pelet, veterinary advisor for MORE TH>N.
But poor diet is not alone in increasing the weight of pets. Over-feeding and lack of exercise are also factors - along with misconceptions about what animals want.
"The key thing for pet owners is to understand their animals and not to misinterpret their behaviour," said Ms De Pelet.
"Pining by a cat or dog is often read as a sign of hunger and hence owners feed them rather than recognising that it is more often than not a call for attention."
With the health of pets on the slide 95 per cent of vets surveyed by MORE TH>N said that pet health insurance helps bring peace of mind to owners.
Along with financial peace of mind Ms De Pelet advises that owners take their pets for regular health and weight checks, remember that tidbits and treats count when monitoring what they eat, make sure that the pet has daily exercise and know what its ideal weight is.
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