A formerly heavy hound from Middlesbrough has been named biggest loser in the UK’s largest pet slimming competition after shedding an incredible 34 percent of his bodyweight in just six months.
Alfie the Beagle once weighed-in at a 4st 10lbs (30kg), – 67 percent over his ideal weight (2st 12lb/18kg). His health was at serious risk from his excess pounds, say PDSA vets.
But after pounding the streets and cutting back on the excess food, he’s lost a third of his bodyweight and wowed the Pet Fit Club judges.
He is now a much healthier 3st 1lb (19.7kg)
Each year, PDSA helps the country’s fattest pets take on a strict six-month diet and exercise challenge, specially tailored and overseen by the charity’s vets and nurses. Pet Fit Club helps our four-legged friends slim down, and raises awareness of the serious health and welfare implications of pet obesity.
Since its launch in 2005 the Pet Fit Club competition has helped 79 dogs, 37 cats and 8 rabbits lose a total 71 stone – equivalent to a grand piano (or 16,000 doughnuts!)
Owner, Emily Simcox said: “Taking part in PDSA’s Pet Fit Club is unquestionably the best thing I have ever done. Seeing the transformation in Alfie has been incredible. He’s a completely different dog and we’re over the moon.
“Before, he was sluggish, tired and looked sad a lot of the time. He couldn’t even walk up the stairs; he’d struggle half way up and then had to stop for a rest before getting to the top. On walks, he would sluggishly walk towards a ball we’d thrown and often wouldn’t bother even trying to bring it back. But since being on the diet his tail hasn’t stopped wagging! He leaps and bounds, and is so full of energy.”
Alfie’s weight-loss has been supervised by PDSA vet nurse Steph Williams, from Middlesbrough PDSA Pet Hospital.
She said: “Alfie’s transformation over the last six months has been incredible. He is unrecognisable from the dog that waddled into our hospital for his first weigh-in six months ago. He’s much healthier and will be able to enjoy a much happier life.
“His owners Emily and Neil have been very dedicated to adjust his lifestyle for the better. They have listened to all the advice and stuck to the diet religiously. It’s helped increase Alfie’s exercise levels and showed what can be done with determination!
PDSA vet nurse Katy Orton, who helped to judge the competition, added: “It has been great to watch Alfie transform over the past six months. His success is testament to the hard work of his owners and our PDSA veterinary team at Middlesbrough Pet Hospital.
“Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. Up to forty per cent of dogs and cats in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese. Recognising a healthy body shape is an important first step, so we are encouraging pet owners who are concerned about their pet’s weight to speak to their vet or vet nurse as soon as possible. This expert advice can help owners make the necessary changes to ensure their four-legged friends lead a happier, healthier life.”