Japanese firm develops doggy body-fat monitor

Obesity in pets can lead to avoidable chronic conditions

We'll keep this brief - and no it isn't 1 April again - lest your eyes roll irretrievably back into your head. Japanese healthcare specialist Kao has apparently come up with a body-fat monitor ... for dogs.

The monitor is currently used only in-house as part of the company's research, but it can be only a matter if time before the nation's pampered pets are subject to home health checks. If you need any convincing, Kao runs a doggy health laboratory that you can check out here - it's Japanese only, but the photos are worth the trip.

Serious business

Although it may sound ridiculous to pay such close attention to a pet's metabolism, there is serious concern that dogs are suffering from the same obesity epidemic as we humans.

Symptoms of canine obesity include snoring, overheating and joint disease, which can - of course - be easily avoided with gadgets like this and a little common sense.