From hefty hounds to healthy hounds – two dogs share UK’s ‘biggest loser’ crown as vet charity crown Pet Fit Club Champs!
Two formerly obese dogs have been named joint pet slimmers of the year in 2018’s PDSA Pet Fit Club competition – after both shedding a quarter of their bodyweight – an incredible 18.8kg (equivalent to a Beagle)!
Every year vet charity PDSA helps the UK’s fattest pets battle the bulge in a six-month diet and exercise challenge, specially tailored and overseen by its vets and nurses.
Once-obese Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Borris, initially weighed-in at a whopping 28kg(4st 6lb) - 85% over his ideal weight (12kg/2st 13lb). After losing 25% of his bodyweight he’s now a trimmer and healthier 20.9kg (3st 4lb) figure.
Borris’ owner Annmarie Formoy (46) admitted that the family had fed him too many treats in the past, but said his loveable nature meant that even complete strangers would give him titbits.
His love of food also led to several mishaps over the years - including once raiding a cupboard full of chocolate Easter eggs, which could have poisoned him. He also once even ate Annmarie’s dad’s false teeth!
But after six months on his Pet Fit Club diet, Borris is like a completely different dog.
“I’m delighted, completely over the moon,” said Annmarie.
“Borris’ weight loss has been amazing. In the past his belly used to be touching the ground and he would refuse to walk. Now he loves his walks – even when it’s raining which he used to hate.
“The best part was the first time that I saw Borris taking his first few running steps, it made me want to cry, I was so happy. He hadn’t run in years!
“It has also helped show me just how bad his life must have been before with carrying around all that extra weight.”
An unexpected side effect of the weight loss has been the change in dynamic with the Formoy’s other pet, cat Charlie.
Annmarie added: “Before, she used to creep up and hit Borris with a paw and he was too fat too fight back. Now she thinks twice about it as he will chase her up the stairs.”
Borris’s weight-loss has been supervised by Louisa Carey, Head Nurse at Margate PDSA Pet Clinic
Once-lardy Labrador, Sadie, weighed-in at a whopping 42.2kg (6st 9lb) - 41% over her ideal weight (30kg/4st 10lb). She’s lost a quarter of her bodyweight, wowing Pet Fit Club judges with her 31.5kg (4st 13lb) figure.
George Chaplin (75), from Grays, Basildon, said back in May that Sadie’s unrelenting appetite and lots for leftovers led to her sumo size.
George said: “PDSA has given us the help we desperately needed to kick start the change, there’s no way I could have done this myself.
“She’s a totally different dog now and is so much happier. Before I would have to pull on her lead to get her on a walk but now she waits for me by the door, and she’s got so much more energy. She loves playing with a ball and toys too, which she wasn’t interested in before.
“We go on two walks a day with a group of dog walkers, at the beginning of her diet she would waddle at the back of the group but now she bounds ahead and that’s great to see.”
But the competition has not been without its struggles.
“There’s been times where I have been tempted to give Sadie treats,” says George “but I didn’t and I’m really glad about that now because our determination has paid off!
George is delighted that Sadie has won the competition, but said it was never about winning for him. He is simply thrilled that his much-loved pooch is now healthier and happier.
Sadie’s weight-loss has been supervised by PDSA Vet Nurse Kerry Griffith from the PDSA Pet Hospital in Basildon.
PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan, who helped to judge the competition, added: “It has been hugely rewarding to see our Pet Fit Club pets’ weight decrease over the last six months thanks to their new diet and fitness regimes. Their success is testament to the hard work of his owners and our PDSA veterinary teams across the UK.
“Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. Around 40% of dogs and cats in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese.”
Since its launch in 2005 Pet Fit Club has helped 85 dogs, 42 cats, 8 rabbits and two rats lose over 75 stone!
Find out more about this year’s pet slimmers and register your interest for next year’s competition at www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub.
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