There has been a 900 per cent increase of diabetes in cats and dogs in the UK since 2011, a five-year study has suggested.
The research, which looked at 9,000 animals, showed that cats are at higher risk of a diabetes diagnosis with a 1,161 per cent hike, compared to the 850 per cent rise in dogs.
The data, compiled by Animal Friends Pet Insurance, also revealed the type of breeds deemed at risk.
Figures suggested burmese, foreign shorthair and maine coon are the more common cat breeds to be diagnosed, and the dog breeds include the West Highland terrier, labrador, King Charles spaniel, husky and miniature schnauzer.
Westley Pearso, director of claims and marketing for the insurance company, said: “With weight issues and diabetes on the rise amongst humans, we assumed we would find the same in people’s pets but the 900 per cent rise we uncovered was shocking.
“It shows a clear gap in Britain’s knowledge regarding proper care of their pets.
“The fact that the increase is so much higher than in humans suggests that while people are beginning to think more about their health, their pets are being left on their old diet and exercise regimes.”
Mr Pearson has urged pet owners to look out for symptoms such as an increase of water intake and urinating.
Other symptoms can include lethargy, extreme dehydration and a change in appetite.
He added: “Weight loss is an often overlooked symptom. This is because the animal will often be overweight in the months leading up to a diagnosis so owners don’t recognise it as a problem when their pet finally starts losing the extra weight.”
Last year an Animal Welfare report was released by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals charity (PDSA). It estimated that by 2020 obese animals would be more common than healthy ones.
The document also suggested that a quarter of a million UK dogs do not get walked enough.

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