It has been suggested that vets carry out weight checks on animals as a matter of course as new research shows two thirds believe obesity to be the biggest health issue facing domestic pets.
A survey carried out by pet food manufacturer Hill's Pet Nutrition shows that 89 per cent of veterinary professionals believe pets should be weighed each time they visit a vet's practice.
Furthermore 86 per cent said they thought vets should have an open-door policy in terms of weight checks, allowing owners to bring their pets to be weighed at any time free of charge and that advice should be given on food and exercise.
This, nutritionists claim, would help owners keep track of their pet's weight and commit to a weight reduction programme where problems are identified.
Libby Sheridan, veterinary affairs manager at Hill's Pet Nutrition, said: "We'd recommend that vet practices carry out weight checks as a matter of course during consultations to help educate pet owners on their pets' ideal weight."
The veterinary charity PDSA has found that dogs are more likely to be obese in areas of the country where there is a high prevalence of human obesity.