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Pet slimming champs reveal their vital stats
Lucky is the Pet Fit Club Champ after losing 25% of his bodyweight
With pet obesity levels set to reach a shocking 50% by 2013*, PDSA today reveals the newly slim-line pets it has helped to buck the obesity trend thanks to the charity’s annual pet slimming competition – Pet Fit Club.
The biggest loser is formerly morbidly obese Labrador, Lucky (5) from Cardiff, who struggled to walk and whose diet used to include biscuits and roast chicken. He is now a shadow of his former self after losing a quarter of his body weight and five inches from his waist, which is likely to increase his life expectancy by an average of around two years. Had the once round hound remained overweight, PDSA vets say it is unlikely he would have survived much beyond nine-years-old due to the many health complications obesity brings. The average life expectancy of a Labrador is around 10 to 12 years.
And while Lucky is enjoying his newly slim-line physique, so too is his owner, Alyson King (49), who decided to support Lucky on his weight-loss journey with PDSA, by going on her own diet which has seen her shed five stone. Alyson explains: “I decided when Lucky started Pet Fit Club that I would go on a diet too. All the extra exercise I’ve been giving him has resulted in me losing five stone, so it’s been a real weight-loss journey for the both of us.”
The once heavyweight hound triumphed over fellow contestants - four dogs and six cats to take the title of Pet Fit Club Champ and is now the charity’s pet slimming ambassador.
In second place is Rottweiler Maddison (8) from Liverpool who shed 21% of her bodyweight. Joint third place goes to Cheshire based cat, Pie (10) and Portsmouth pooch, Max (4), who both lost 20% of their bodyweight.
In total this year’s 11 Pet Fit Club finalists have lost nearly 40kg in weight – equivalent to 700 sausages, 100 tins of pet food or 40 bags of sugar.
Winner – Labrador Lucky (5) from Cardiff:
When he began his diet and fitness programme last December Lucky, from Pontypridd, South Wales, weighed a whopping 51.2kg and was carrying around 46% extra weight. He is now a slim-line 38.5kg, after losing nearly 13kg - leaving him around 3kg from his ideal weight.
He was nominated for the fat fighting competition by his owner Alyson King (49), who is delighted at his success and said: “I’m so thrilled at the change in Lucky. Before Pet Fit Club he struggled to walk properly because of pain in his joints and hated all types of exercise. But that’s all changed now. As the weight has dropped off he’s become much more energetic. He certainly keeps me in check - if he thinks it’s time for walkies he starts whining at me so I don’t forget!”
Second place – Rottweiler Maddison (8) from Liverpool:
In December 2010 Maddison weighed 52.2kg. Having already slimmed down from 58kg before starting Pet Fit Club,she was still carrying around 25% extra weight. She is now a much slimmer 41.25kg.
Maddison was entered into PDSA’s highly successful pet slimming competition by her owner Bobbie Rhys-Chadwick (38). Bobbie adopted morbidly obese Maddison last July after seeing a video of her struggling to walk on a local animal rescue centre’s website.
Delighted at her success Bobbie said: “When we first brought Maddison home she could barely walk or wash herself - just getting her to move off her bed was a struggle. The video of her at the rescue centre was heart-breaking to watch - it took lots of staff to move her because she simply wasn’t strong enough to lift her own body weight off the floor. Pet Fit Club has given her a new lease of life and now that she has lost weight she’s like a different dog!”
Joint Third – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Max (3) from Portsmouth and black and white cat Pie (10) from Cheshire:
Max began his six-month diet and fitness programme weighing 20.2kg, and carrying around 124% extra weight. With PDSA’s help he now a healthier 16.05kg.
Pie weighed a massive 8.4kg and was carrying around 87% extra weight at the start of the competition. Six months later and he’s now a much slimmer 6.7kg.
Pet obesity facts:
Over the last four years, PDSA has assessed the weight of nearly 25,000 dogs across the UK and found that more than one-in-three (35%) of our four-legged friends are overweight. Cats don’t fare much better with current PDSA statistics showing that around one in four are overweight. If the trend continues around 50% of pets will be obese by 2013*.
Findings from the landmark PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report**, the biggest assessment ever produced about pet wellbeing, show that 2.4 million UK dogs (a third of the dog population) are fed scraps or leftovers as one of their main types of food and 42% are given treats daily which is bad news for their waistlines. Meanwhile, 86% of cat owners give their feline friend treats, including cake, cheese and chips.
PDSA Senior Vet, Elaine Pendlebury, says: “The transformation in Lucky and all of this year’s pet participants is truly fantastic. Obesity is a growing problem amongst UK pets. But this year’s Pet Fit Club finalists are a great example of what can be achieved and we hope this will inspire others to make a positive change to their pets’ lifestyles.”
Supporters can see all of this year’s finalists’ results and find out how to enter the next competition at www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub.
*PDSA data has been taken from PDSA PetChecks on over 30,000 dogs across the UK from 2006 to 2009
** Survey of 11,124 dog, cat and rabbit owners was conducted online between 21st September – 16th November 2010 through the YouGov panel. Data is weighted to be representative of dog, cat and rabbit owners in the UK.
Notes to Editors
PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, providing free veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of people in need and promoting responsible pet ownership. For further information about PDSA please visit www.pdsa.org.uk or call 0800 731 2502.
For media enquiries, please contact the Press Office on 01952 204 792, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.pdsa.org.uk/mediacentre
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