London, For a long time, many may have been aware that Britons were turning fatter -- but it seems now their pets too are following their masters.
Nearly half of Britain's dogs and cats are now regarded by vets as obese, a new report has revealed -- and the epidemic is costing owners 215 million pounds ($3.5 million) a year.
The number of overweight animals in Britain has greatly increased during the last five years, with up to 45 percent of all pets seen by vets now classed as obese, the study by the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA) has shown.
Nearly half (45 percent) of dogs were found to be overweight, while the figure for cats was slightly lower at 40 percent. Over a quarter (28 percent) of small furries, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, fell into the obese category, while 15 per cent of caged birds were too fat, The Independent reported Sunday.
But two in three (63 percent) pet owners liked to differ and believed their pets have correct weight!