A group of dogs, cats and rabbits which between them carry around 30 stone in weight are taking part in a competition to shed the pounds.
Dogs, cats and rabbits losing the battle of the bulge have been signed up to a weight-loss club in a effort to shift the extra pounds.
Nearly two thirds of children have admitted being scared of family pets, according to a new report by veterinary charity PDSA.
Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said pet obesity causes "daily misery for millions of pets."
She added, "vet practices across the UK see the consequences of pet obesity every single day such as obese dogs unable to enjoy regular walks due to exhaustion, fat cats that can't jump or play, and rabbits so hopelessly overweight they can't clean themselves properly."
A report of nearly 4,000 dog, cat and rabbit owners has found that 13.5 million animals are "treated" to fatty or sugary treats and junk food.
- Nearly half of owners "treat" their pets because they believe it makes the animal feel happy
- Some 29 per cent of owners do so because it makes them happy
- More than 60 per cent of owners think severely overweight pets should be removed from someone who persistently ignores veterinary advice
- Over half of owners believe overweight people are more likely to have fat pets
PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report
Poor diets have put more than 18 million pets in the UK at risk of early death, a report has found.
Veterinary charity PDSA has found that dogs, cats and rabbit are fed "potentially life-threatening" meals, including takeaways, crisps and cakes.
The "deadly diets" have left many animals unable to walk, play or even clean themselves, at risk of arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
– PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, Sean Wensley
Each year there are awful stories of dogs attacking pets and people, sometimes with fatal consequences.
Tackling this begins with owners and breeders taking full responsibility for their dogs' behaviour and adequately socialising and training them from a young age.
It is also essential that young people understand how to be safe around all pets and learn how to become caring and responsible owners in the future.
In PDSA's view, this should include learning about a pet's five welfare needs at school as well as from other responsible adults around them.
A majority of dogs, at 61%, had not attended training classes within their first six months of life, according to the findings.
The research forms part of the second PDSA animal well-being report which claims obesity, aggression and illness are set to take over the pet population if they are not tackled.
An estimated 18.5 million dogs, cats and rabbits are being fed unsuitable diets and treats in spite of their owners knowing about the health risks, the report said.
The charity warned that an estimated 11.2 million pets are not vaccinated or neutered leaving them at "serious" risk of developing potentially fatal illnesses.
- 1.3 million dogs across the UK are displaying "problem behaviour" the PDSA have said.
- Nearly one in three, or 30%, of dog owners reporting being bitten or attacked by a dog.
- More than half of dog owners, or 51%, said they knew someone who had been bitten or attacked by a dog.
Owners who fail to socialise and obedience-train dogs at an early stage are fuelling "frightening" levels of problem behaviour in their pets, according to the report.
Children should be taught at school how to be good owners in the face of research showing "fundamental" gaps in knowledge about animal welfare, the PDSA said.