Veterinary charity PDSA has revealed the heavy hounds, fat felines and even a rat who will be taken on the UK’s ultimate pet weight-loss challenge – PDSA Pet Fit Club.
According to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report up to 50% of dogs and cats are now overweight or obese and 80 percent of vet professionals believed that obesity in pets had increased over the past two years.
Since it began in 2005, the Pet Fit Club has helped 124 obese pets lose an amazing 71 stone and last year’s winner, Alfie the beagle, shed 34% of his bodyweight.
The 13 fat fighters include a might moggy too big for his cat flap and a scavenging dog who once stole an entire Sunday roast. The seven dogs, five cats, and one rat weigh a combined 201kg – that’s more than World’s Strongest Man and Game of Thrones actorHafþór Júlíus Björnsson. They need to lose a combined total of 75kg to reach their ideal weights.
Each pet will be placed on a strict six-month diet and exercise programme, tailored specifically for them, and progress will be overseen by vets and vet nurses at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.
PDSA Vet, Olivia Anderson-Nathan, said, “Pet obesity is an epidemic that is seriously impacting the lives of millions of pets across the country. As with humans, carrying excess weight has serious health implications for our four-legged friends. It increases the chances of life-limiting and life-threatening conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart diseases.
“With the help of PDSA and Pet Fit Club, these pets and their owners are making the necessary diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to get down to healthier weights. We will support them every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.
“If owners are worried about their pet’s weight they should seek advice from their local vet or vet nurse. They will make sure pets are on the right type of diet, being fed the correct amount and work with owners to help increase their pet’s exercise levels.”
All participants receive free diet pet food for the duration of the competition, courtesy of Dechra, and the overall winner will win a year’s free supply of pet food, a pet hamper and a pet friendly holiday, courtesy of Sykes Cottages.
You can follow all the participants’ progress here.
Meet the pets
Weighing in at a whopping 24kg (3st 11lb), Bella the Beagle has munched her way to 9kg (1st 6lb) heavier than her ideal weight (15kg/2st 5lb). Bella once stole an entire beef joint which had been cooked for Sunday dinner.
Weighing 11.3kg (1st 11lb), Benji has scoffed his way to become 61% over his ideal bodyweight. He needs to lose a colossal 4.3kg (10lb) to reach his ideal weight (7kg/1st 1lb). The five-year-old cat is now so large he can no longer fit through the cat flap!
At his heaviest, Elvis weighed a whopping 10kg (1st 8lb). He’s been on a diet since January and is making good progress, now down to 8.68kg (1st 5lb), still making him 58% over his ideal body weight. The cat, who is used to being fed an all-day buffet, still has a way to go to reach his ideal weight of 5.5kg (12lb).
11.25kg (1st 11lb) Billy has feasted his way to become 125% over his ideal bodyweight. The Shih Tzu needs to lose a colossal 6.25kg (1st) to reach his ideal weight of 5kg (11lb). Billy’s weight has ballooned over the past 18-months after discovering his puppy dog eyes could land him extra treats.
Bulging Borris has been spoiled so much he has now ballooned to almost double (80% overweight) the size he should be. Weighing in at a whopping 27kg (4st 4lb), the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s monstrous appetite even saw him once devour a set of false teeth. He needs to lose 12kg (1st 13lb) to reach his ideal weight (15kg/2st 5lb).
Weighing in at a whopping 7.6kg (1st 3lb), Chester has scoffed and snoozed his way to become 52% over his ideal body weight. The cat, who once stole and ate an entire cheesecake, needs to lose a colossal 2.6kg (6lb) to reach his ideal weight (5kg/11lb).
A monster rat from Neath, whose huge size earned him the nickname ‘Mr T’, has snacked his way to double the size he should be. Weighing 0.975kg (2.1lb), he needs to lose 0.475kg (1lb) to reach his ideal weight (0.5kg/1lb).
Pen the cat from Southampton weighs 10.1kg (1st 8lb). She has eaten and napped her way to around one-and-a-half times the size she should be. She needs to lose 6.kg (13lb) to reach her ideal weight (4kg/9lb).
This heavyweight cat, who is so big that she can no longer jump the garden fence, weighs in at a whopping 8.8kg (1st 5lb). Seven-year-old Pepsi-Cola has supped and snoozed her way to become around 60% over her ideal bodyweight. She needs to lose a colossal 3.3kg (7lb) to reach her ideal weight (5.5kg/12lb).
Pollyanna the Pug’s unhealthy love affair with cheese has left her 50% over her ideal weight. Weighing 11kg (1st 10lb), she needs to lose a huge 3.5kg (7lb) to reach her ideal weight (7.5kg/1st 3lb).
Cheese-loving Chihuahua Pug cross, Tia, has snacked her way to become a colossal 10.65kg (1st 9lb), making her 78% over her ideal weight. She needs to lose an enormous 4.65kg (10lb) to reach her ideal weight of 6kg (13lb).
This Lardy Labrador [main photo] weighs 42.2kg (6st 9lb), she has scoffed and dozed her way to become 41% over her ideal bodyweight. Sadie, who waddles rather than walks, needs to lose 12.2kg (1st 13lb) to reach her ideal weight (30kg/4st 10lb).
Super-sized Sasha weighs 27.7kg (4st 5lb), the Staffie cross has eaten and snoozed her way to become 39% over her ideal bodyweight. Her fondness for biscuits and doughnuts, means she needs to lose 7.7kg (1st 3lb) to reach her ideal weight (20kg/3st 2lb).