The Trade Union Congress knew it all along – new research finds the UK has a pet population of fat cats and dumpy dogs.

Sainsbury's Bank finds more than 60% of the nation's cats and dogs are overweight, with nearly one in four clinically obese. But only 12% of dogs and 7% of cats have pet insurance.

Sainsbury's Bank has launched a petcare insurance that is fixed at £9.99 a month for dogs and £7.99 for cats.

Gail Quinn, director at the bank, pointed out that vet fees were increasing by 10 to 12% a year.

The vets surveyed said nine out of ten pet owners were unaware of vet fees and how they varied depending on type of treatment required.