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ANIMALS

Italy littered with fat cats and pudgy pooches

A diet of leftovers and snacks is fuelling obesity among Italy's pets, a report by YouGov, a UK-based market research firm has found.

Italy littered with fat cats and pudgy pooches
More than a quarter of Italians say their pets are fat. Photo: Juddo/Wikicommons

Twenty-nine percent of pet owners in Italy said their dogs and cats were overweight. The report was commissioned by Hills pet food company and polled around 1,300 Italians.

The main reason is because 26 percent of Italian animal owners feed their pets leftovers and snacks, compared to eight percent in the Netherlands and 13 percent in Britain.  

Giuseppe Casillo, who has two dogs and a cat, told The Local he occasionally treats his pets to pasta, rice and biscuits. However, he believes the problem is more to do with lack of exercise.

"There are plenty of food shops especially for dogs and cats, so a lot of animals eat very healthily," he said.

"But I don't think they get taken out for walks much."

An estimate for overweight pets in Italy could be as high as 95 percent for cats and 63 percent for dogs, the poll found. 

Poor diet can lead to heart disease and diabetes, the report warned.

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