It is not only humans who struggle to control their weight. Animals can also suffer from obesity and it is hugely important that their owners control the cat and dog food they provide. If they give too much food or buy the wrong type of products, they can end up compromising the health of their creatures.

One organisation that is well aware of the rising problem of pet obesity is the PDSA, which is a UK-based veterinary charity. To help draw attention to the issue and to help animals in need of a healthier lifestyle, it has launched a Pet Fit Club.

Under the terms of the contest, owners are offered guidance from specialist vets in a bid to encourage their creatures to lose excess weight.

The competition will last for six months and it is set to finish in September. As well as getting a year's worth of free pet foods, the winning owner will also receive a holiday at the Four Seasons hotel in Perthshire.

In total, there are 11 dogs, five cats and two rabbits in the competition and they carry a combined excess weight of more than 24 stone. This is the equivalent of 380 tins of dog food, 35 average-sized cats or 50 Yorkshire Terriers.

Commenting on the issue of pet obesity, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sean Wensley said: "Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy. But the good news is that it's never too late to make positive changes to a pet's diet and lifestyle."

Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy pet foods available these days for consumers to buy, meaning they should not struggle to find products that are perfect for their animals. As long as they stick to the recommended portions, they should be able to effectively control their creatures' weights.

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