A PORTLY pooch from Basildon has been entered into a slimming competition.

Jack Russell Barney, from Basildon, has been ordered to lose weight because too many snacks have caused him to pile on the pounds.

He is one of 17 four-legged fat fighters across the country bidding to shed their weight at PDSA’s annual Pet Fit Club.

It is hoped with help Barney will get back to a healthier weight.

The vet charity coaches the owners of each animal as they attempt to battle the bulge and get their pets back in shape.

According to the PDSA, around one in three dogs and one in four cats are overweight, which can reduce their duration and quality of life.

Gallery - 6 fat pets in pictures

Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said: "Obesity is one of the biggest welfare issues affecting pets in the UK today. Sadly, it also means millions of pets are at risk from potentially life-threatening health problems related to obesity.

"But the good news is that obesity is entirely reversible. With veterinary advice and guidance it is never too late to try and improve a pet's quality of life by tackling weight problems.

"The owners of this year's finalists will soon have happier and healthier pets and we hope their stories will help encourage other owners to take action."

The charity estimates that more than 10 million pets are getting fatty treats due to owners sharing their own unhealthy eating habits.

Alfie, from Bradford, tips the scales at a staggering 9.5kg because his owner shows her affection by overindulging him with too many treats.

Southend Standard: Treats - Alfie from Bradford, a miniature pinscher weighing 9.5kg, who is taking part in the PDSA's Pet Fit Club. PICTURE: Darren Casey/PDSA/PA Wire

The 17 four-legged fat fighters bidding to shed their excess bulk also include bulging bulldog Daisy from Middlesbrough.

Her love for extra portions means she is more than 40 per cent heaver than she should be, weighing in at over 28kg, when she should be 20kg.

Greedy fat cat Zorro, from Dundee, is a house cat with an aversion to exercise.

He craves cheese and onion crisps and wakes up his owner in the middle of the night for more food.

Zorro should weigh about 5kg but is over 9.4kg.

Southend Standard: Daisy from Middlesbrough, who weighs 28kg. PICTURE: Ian McClelland/PDSA/PA Wire

Southend Standard: Zorro from Dundee weighs 9.4kg PICTURE: Nick McGowan-Lowe/PDSA/PA Wire

Popcorn-snacking Poppy is a bulky bunny from Aberdeen who gets spoiled during the winter months and weighs almost a third more than her ideal weight.

And it is probably no surprise that Jack Russell terrier Millie, from Newcastle, is 40 per cent heavier than she should be because her family have been feeding her doner kebabs.

Southend Standard: Veterinary nurse Kate Scott holding Jack Russell Terrier Millie, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, who weighs in at 9.3kg. PICTURE: Ian McClelland/PDSA/PA Wire

Southend Standard: Boxer dog Bruce from Gillingham, who weighs 55kg, who is taking part in the PDSA's Pet Fit Club. PICTURE: PDSA/PA Wire

Southend Standard: Chunky - Alfie PICTURE: Darren Casey/PDSA/PA Wire