Time for some THIN-alot! Meet the fat cats and plump pooches set for a strict six-month diet and exercise regime in bid to battle their obesity
Overweight pets including a cat so fat she got stuck in a child‘s safety gate are about to embark upon a six-month diet and exercise challenge.
The latest batch of recruits have been signed up to the PDSA Pet Fit Club, with the winner receiving a year‘s supply of healthy food and an animal-friendly holiday.
The national competition sees each pet receive a plan tailored to their individual needs.
It has been running for 14 years and has helped more than 100 pets lose over 75 stone since 2005.
Luigi is 40 per cent overweight and will be joining eight other pets on the weight loss challenge which is now in its 14th year
This miserable-looking Labrador from St Helens, Alfie, is nearly double his ideal weight but should feel better soon
Chubby pugs Lucky and Percy (above) will be given special food and a healthier lifestyle after becoming overweight
Missi from Wolverhampton is 75 per cent overweight and will be taking on PDSA‘s Pet Fit Club competition to battle the bulge
Among this year‘s nine contestants is seven-year-old Alfie, a Labrador from Liverpool who is nearly double his ideal weight at 9st 7lb.
Alfie‘s opponents include Bonnie, a spaniel from Blackpool whose penchant for sausage rolls has left her 7.7kg overweight, while Sox, a large cat from Gateshead, once got stuck in a child‘s safety gate due to her size.
The pets will receive free weight management food from the SPECIFIC range during the competition, and will be overseen by the vet team at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.
Sparkx the cat is close to double her ideal weight and has been selected for the course which takes six months
Sox, whose excess waistline once caused her to get stuck in a child‘s safety gate, will be taking on PDSA‘s Pet Fit Club
PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman said Pet Fit Club is ‘a great example of what can be achieved if owners are dedicated and determined to help their pets live a healthier lifestyle‘.
She added: ‘If owners are worried about their pet‘s weight they should seek advice from their vet or vet nurse, who can also make sure pets are on the right type of diet, are being fed the correct amount, and recommend ways to increase exercise levels.‘
Last year‘s winners Borris and Sadie – both dogs – lost 25% of their body weight during the competition.
Percy the pug with her owner Chloe and a PDSA vet. Percy and eight other pets will be eating less and exercising more
Vet Sian Williams with Bonnie from Blackpool, who loves sausage rolls and leftovers and will be taking part in the Pet Fit Club
Last year‘s winner was slimmed-down spaniel Oscar, 10, who lost 40 per cent of his bodyweight after once tipping the scales at 3st 6lb.
The former heavyweight was put on a strict diet and exercise programme, including hydrotherapy, after getting fat on Sunday dinners and leftovers, leaving him breathless on walks around the garden.
Oscar‘s owner, June Lawrence, 78, from Wolverhampton, admits that she spoilt the black-and-tan dog after her husband died last year.
June‘s daughter, Karen Allen, said: ‘Before Pet Fit Club Oscar didn‘t get much exercise.
‘My mother is disabled so struggled to walk him. As he piled on the pounds he wanted to exercise even less and it became a vicious cycle.
‘He couldn‘t even jump on the sofa he was that big.
‘He is a completely different dog now – like a puppy again. People don‘t recognise him because he‘s changed so much, in looks and personality.‘
Oscar before and after he shed almost 40 per cent of his bodyweight (PDSA/PA)
Ms Allen, 56, added: ‘We walk for miles and he runs around the house with his toys, nudging you until you play fetch with him.
‘He wasn‘t impressed with the diet at first – he missed his scraps and treats.
‘But we stuck with it and we‘re so glad we did. He still tries his luck and begs for food when you‘re eating but we don‘t give in to him any more.‘
PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman, who helped to judge the competition, said: ‘Oscar‘s transformation during Pet Fit Club is truly incredible. He is living proof that it‘s never too late to make positive changes.‘
Overall, last year‘s seven Pet Fit Club finalists lost a total of 4st 12lb (31kg). A Chihuahua called Tyty, from Glasgow, and Kaspa, a Labrador from Cardiff, each lost 29 per cent of their bodyweight and were awarded joint second place.