Cake-loving Bradford Labrador takes on PDSA’s slimming challenge.
Colossal canine Deco (3) has been undergoing a complete diet and fitness overhaul thanks to his owner, Jan Green, and the vets and nurses at Bradford PDSA PetAid hospital, the Jeanne Marchig Centre.
Deco was always quite a greedy dog, and used to follow Jan’s grandkids around and scoop up any food they dropped. He had extra treats regularly, and the neighbours even used to throw food over the fence for him as well. Jan said: “We didn’t really think about how many calories he was getting as he’s so loveable it was incredibly easy to spoil him, and he gradually piled on the pounds without us really realising.
We visited the vet last year and asked him if Deco could do with losing a bit of weight, and he confirmed that Deco was actually quite overweight. We were terribly upset when we realised just how overweight he was, and what this could be doing to his health.
We love him dearly and want him to have a long healthy life, so with PDSA’s help we started him on a diet immediately. He had already lost some weight already, but we entered him into Pet Fit Club to help him through the last stages to reach his ideal weight.“
Deco is incredibly greedy, and will eat anything he can get his paws on. He once stole and ate 36 buns that Jan’s grandchildren had just baked, but oddly enough he managed to leave all the paper cases lined up on the floor! His owner’s are very careful not to leave food out at all, and they’ve also politely asked the neighbours not to throw treats over the fence for him.
At the halfway point of Pet Fit Club, tubby dog Deco is making good progress in his battle with the bulge. After a few ups and downs, he is well on his ‘weigh’ to reaching his target weight of 35kg.
Owner Jan said: “It was hard changing our habits at first, and all the family had to learn not to give into his pleading eyes. But in fact, in cutting out the treats for Deco we’ve cut out some of our own little extra snacks too, so everyone is benefitting! He still hangs around hoping to gobble up any dropped food, but I’ve installed a safety gate in the kitchen now so he can’t get in while I’m cooking.
“The difference in Deco is incredible, he looks great and he can run and play for much longer now. Before, he’d be panting after a couple of goes of fetch, but his stamina is great now and he enjoys longer walks. It’s clear to see he’s so much happier than he was, although my mum is still convinced that we’re starving him!”
Starting weight: 44.3kg
% overweight: 27%
Ideal weight: 35kg
Finishing weight: 36.3kg
Total weight lost: 8kg (18%)
Waist decrease: 18cm
Larger than life Labrador Deco has lost 18% of his bodyweight by taking part in Pet Fit Club, losing an amazing 18cm from his waist!
The most challenging part for owner Jan was not giving in to Deco begging for treats. Eventually he got the message, helping him to lose 8kg over the six-month diet and exercise programme.
Owner Jan said: “Deco is still very young – only 3, so I’m hoping that he will have a long and healthy life as a result of the weight loss. He’s now almost at his ideal weight, so he won’t be continuing to diet, but we’ll keep the good habits and his healthy diet to maintain his weight. The help and advice you get in Pet Fit Club has been wonderful – and I’ve even lost weight myself!”
Sean Wensley, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, said: “Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy. But the good news is that it’s never too late to make positive changes to a pet’s diet and lifestyle.”
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