The Pet Slimmer of the Year
A Cavalier King Charles spaniel called Oscar has become The PDSA’s pet slimmer of the year. The dog had become morbidly obese after being fed roast dinners by his owner.
Oscar’s owner started feeding him comfort food after his wife died. The dog would tuck into whole plates of Sunday roast and with all the trimmings. The pooch ended up weighing a porky 3st 6lbs. This is 80% more than he should have weighed. Oscar was facing serious health issues and probably a very short life. But then he started his weight loss programme.
Pet Fit Club
When Oscar was enrolled in the PDSA’s annual Pet Fit Club by his owner’s daughter he was incredibly obese and struggled to manage 15 second sessions in the swimming pool. The trainer would then have to grab hold of him to prevent him from drowning as he was so out of puff. Something had to be done!
Successful Weight Loss Campaign
Six months later, Oscar had lost a third of his body weight and was down to 2st 1lb. He was able to swim happily for 10 minutes and then beat off stiff completion from other dogs and a rabbit to become Slimmer of the Year.
The Dangers of Human Food
Many pet owners are not aware of just how many calories they are giving their pets when they treat them to human food. A roast dinner may be perfectly manageable for a human but is far too much food for a small dog. PDSA vet Paul Manktelow has warned owners that a packet of crisps is equivalent to two big steak pies for a small dog. Giving your dog three pieces of cheese is the equivalent of feeding a person two cheeseburgers.
All those treats and leftovers quickly become problematic. Many dogs in the UK are not overweight placing enormous strain on their joints and internal organs. Dogs will always tuck in when food is presented to them and have no concept of when they have eaten too much.
Oscar’s owner was cooking roast dinners especially for the dog but his kindness was slowly killing the 10-year-old pooch. Many cats are now also overweight because they are being treated to luxuries like tins of tuna. But, for a cat, just a single tin of tuna is the equivalent of a human eating 35 chicken nuggets! Cats are quite good at regulating the volume of food that they eat but that doesn’t help if the food is highly calorific.
Diet and Exercise
A good exercise regime is as important for dogs as the right diet. It takes willpower, time and effort on the part of owners to keep their pets fit and healthy. But all that effort and self-restraint will pay dividends. Dogs and cats will lead longer and happier lives without all those calories and the resulting spare tyre.