1. ITV Report

Warning to pet owners - skip treats - hit the streets

Photo: ITV News.
Four Million UK pets are fed human dinners as their main meal of the day.
16 percent of dogs in the East Midlands are not regularly walked.

A deadly diet of treats and table scraps, coupled with a couch-potato lifestyle, is fuelling an obesity time bomb for East Midland's pets, according to vet charity PDSA.

The organisation is now urging pet owners to 'skip the treats and hit the streets' to tackle the growing problem.

The charity's call comes as it kicks off its national pet slimming contest: PDSA Pet Fit Club.

New findings from a report reveal 5.7million are fed treats every day.

1.5 Million cats are fed human leftovers from their owners. Credit: PA

Loving but indulgent owners admitted 'treating' their pets to a range of dangerous foods including crisps, cake, cheese, chips and takeaways. PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman explains the reasons behind owner behaviour:

"We love our pets and owners often enjoy showing their love by giving food. Nearly half of owners across the UK told us that they give treats because they believe it makes the pets happy, and over a quarter do it to make themselves feel good. Many also say they confess to giving treats because their pets begging and puppy dog eyes are hard to resist. Treats and human food can be high in fat and sugars whichare bad for pets' waistlines and teeth. Some foods, like chocolate, are poisonous to pets and can even be fatal."

– PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman.
Million dogs are fed human leftovers from their owners.
Million cats also feast on a diet of human scraps.
Rabbits are given human food which their owners have been unable to manage.

Bad diets aren't the only problem as millions of pets in the East Midlands are not getting enough daily exercise.

Credit: ITV News.

Across the UK a shocking 1.6million dogs (17%) aren't walked daily, some of these are never walked because their owners mistakenly believe that playing in the garden is a suitable substitute.

Around 16% of East Midlands pets are missing out from daily walks.