MORE than half of UK dogs are overweight or obese, new research has revealed.

Data from the Pet Food Managers Association has revealed that 51 per cent of dogs, 44 per cent of cats and 29 per cent of small mammals are overweight.

Of the 500 pet owners who were surveyed, a total of 32 per cent admitted that they overfeed their pets by guessing portion sizes rather than following the recommended guidelines.

Since obese pets pose a huge concern for UK vets, Canagan have put together their top tips for dog owners looking to help their pet maintain a healthy weight.

The right weight for your dog depends on its breed; whippets, for example, have vastly different parameters to Newfoundlands.

There’s a healthy weight range for each breed, and if your dog falls within this, there should be no cause for concern.

Weight changes often aren’t that noticeable, especially if the change is gradual and over time.

Are the ribs, backbone or other bones visible? Can you see them from a distance? If so, this could be a sign that your dog is underweight.

Can you barely see the rib cage or not at all? This could indicate that your dog is overweight. There are also other medical issues that could cause bloating, so if this is the case, it’s best to book an appointment with your vet to rule these out.

Does your dog have a large or bloated looking stomach that hangs too low? This is another sign that they may be carrying a few too many pounds.

Canagan is encouraging owners to spot the signs of an overweight pooch, and to make sure owners are maintaining their pets health.

The pet food company while exercise is a good way to help your dog lose weight, sometimes, due to illness or old age, dogs can be less active.

Senior dogs are often a lot less mobile, meaning they burn less calories, so their food should contain a lower percentage of fats and fewer carbs.

Cutting out carbohydrates can also be helpful, but make sure you cut out the right ones.

Grains all contain high levels of carbohydrates which release their energy quickly so are best to avoid, but sweet potato releases energy slowly and is a great source of soluble fibre, so this makes a great addition to your dog’s diet.

Owners should feed their dogs based on a target weight in mind and feed the right amount of food for what your pet should weigh.

Owners could also rule out snacks and stop giving their four-legged friends so many treats during the day.