Podgy pets join animal 'Fat Club'

Alfie from Bradford, a miniature pinscher weighing 9.5kg, who is taking part in the PDSA's Pet Fit Club Credit: Darren Casey/PDSA/PA Wire

A not-so-miniature pinscher dog more than double its ideal weight is among some of Britain's most obese animals who have been entered into a slimming competition.

Alfie, from Bradford, tips the scales at a staggering 9.5kg because his owner shows her affection by overindulging him with too many treats.

The 17 four-legged fat fighters bidding to shed their excess bulk also include bulging bulldog Daisy from Middlesbrough.

Her love for extra portions means she is more than 40% heaver than she should be, weighing in at over 28kg, when she should be 20kg.

Greedy fat cat Zorro, from Dundee, is a house cat with an aversion to exercise.

He craves cheese and onion crisps and wakes up his owner in the middle of the night for more food.

Zorro from Dundee, who weighs 9.4kg, who is taking part in the PDSA's Pet Fit Club. Credit: Nick McGowan-Lowe/PDSA

Zorro should weigh about 5kg but is over 9.4kg.

And it is probably no surprise that Jack Russell terrier Millie, from Newcastle, is 40% heavier than she should be because her family have been feeding her doner kebabs.

Veterinary nurse Kate Scott holding Jack Russell Terrier Millie, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, who weighs in at 9.3kg. Credit: Ian McClelland/PDSA

The chunky competitors are all taking part in PDSA's annual Pet Fit Club.

The vet charity coaches the owners of each animal as they attempt to battle the bulge and get their pets back in shape.

According to the PDSA, around one in three dogs and one in four cats are overweight, which can reduce their duration and quality of life.

Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said: "Obesity is one of the biggest welfare issues affecting pets in the UK today. Sadly, it also means millions of pets are at risk from potentially life-threatening health problems related to obesity.

"But the good news is that obesity is entirely reversible. With veterinary advice and guidance it is never too late to try and improve a pet's quality of life by tackling weight problems.

"The owners of this year's finalists will soon have happier and healthier pets and we hope their stories will help encourage other owners to take action."

The charity estimates that more than 10 million pets are getting fatty treats due to owners sharing their own unhealthy eating habits.