PDSA Pet Fit Club is back!
Meet the fat cats, dumpy dogs and rotund rabbits battling for the title of UK’s biggest pet loser
Below are the 16 supersized pets set to undergo a major transformation as they embark on PDSA’s annual pet slimming competition – PDSA Pet Fit Club.
The overweight finalists, comprising 9 ‘huge hounds’, 4 ‘mega moggies’, and 3 rotund rabbits, have been put on a strict six month diet and exercise plan by PDSA vets and nurses to help them slim down to a healthier weight, and improve both their life expectancy and quality of life.
Sadly, UK pet obesity levels are at a worryingly high level. In fact, around 2.5 million dogs (one in three) and over 2 million cats (one in four) are currently estimated to be overweight. Not only could their lives be cut short, many will also have a drastically reduced quality of life.
According to the charity, more than 10 million pets are getting fatty treats, due to owners sharing their own unhealthy eating habits in a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to make them happy.
Exclusive PDSA research shows that around nine out of ten owners (87%) give pets treats, despite the fact that 91% realise the resulting obesity can reduce their pet’s lifespan. PDSA’s PAW Report, produced in conjunction with YouGov, provides the biggest annual insight into pet health and welfare and has discovered that a wide range of inappropriate treats are being fed to pets. These include fast food, leftovers, crisps, biscuits, chocolate and chips.
Alfie, 109% overweight
This not-so-Miniature Pinscher weighs double what he should! His owner, Joanne, from Bradford, admits that she has spoilt him rotten with treats like pigs ears and meaty twists, but she’s learned her lesson now and feels terribly guilty that Alfie now struggles with stairs and can’t jump.
She’s desperate to help him get his life back, and entered him into Pet Fit Club when she saw the amazing transformation Ruby, last year’s winner, had made.
Bruce, 60% overweight
Heavyweight Bruce has always been a big boy and used to enjoy weetabix with goats milk and honey for breakfast! He hates exercise and plods so slowly around the field he’s practically going backwards! His owners are now determined to help him reach a healthier weight to improve his quality of life.
Ty, 60% overweight
Supersized Staffordshire Bull Terrier Ty (6) weighed in at a staggering 32kg – making him 60% overweight.
The chubby canine has gradually piled on the pounds over the years, partly due to his love of treats and large food portions. His owner, Brenda Martin, who’s had Ty since a puppy, said she knew he’d put on weight recently after hearing comments from friends and family about his size. She was shocked however at just how much he weighed when she took him along to PDSA.
Max, 71% overweight
Max, a six-year-old Jack Russell terrier from Hull, loves his owner Sylvia very much but, he loves left-overs and biscuits more than he should.
Now Sylvia’s arthritis means Max can’t get all the long walks he used to like. So the podgy pooch is paying for his love of food by tipping the scales at a hefty 14kg, making him over 70% overweight.
Daisy, 42% overweight
Daisy (5) is a full-figured Bulldog who could win an Oscar for her begging techniques. She will eat anything but has a particular taste for cheese and broccoli!
Her supervised sessions on an exercise treadmill proved counter-productive as she had to be bribed with ham to stay on it. Daisy is now a weighty 28kg – over 40% overweight – but her owner is determined to help this chubby canine reach a happier, healthier weight.
Millie, 43% overweight
Jack Russell terrier Millie (12) was the runt of the litter so her owner has always been generous with her food portions. However, her weight problem only began two years ago when Millie had a problem with her pancreas and the bed rest gave her a chance to be lazy and indulge her love of junk food, including doner kebabs and Yorkshire puddings!
The extra pounds are not helping Millie arthritis. So her owner now wants to see Millie shed the pounds so that she can jump on the sofa like she used to and get back to a healthier weight.
Diesel, 49% overweight
Bulky Boxer Diesel (4), from Poole, has been big since a puppy, but his love of treats has led to the pounds piling on. He now weighs a staggering 58kg – making him around double his ideal weight.
Custard creams were a particular favourite, but his owner, Suzanne Fox has now banned the sweet treat, as he can no longer squeeze through the dog flap.
Barney, 75% overweight
Barney’s trouble began just over a year ago when he was put on medication for a skin condition. Coupled with his tendency to eat and chew everything in sight (he once even tried to eat a newspaper!) he ballooned to nearly double what he should. Now he’s better, his owner is determined to help him regain his formerly svelte figure.
Tom, 96% overweight
Morbidly obese Tom is a creature who knows how to get everything he wants and more! Not satisfied with his generous allowance of cat food each day, this mischievous moggy also forces open the cupboard doors on the lookout for food and can even open the fridge.
Elizabeth Molloy, Tom’s owner, turned to PDSA for help after she found it easier to lift her young granddaughter than her cat.
Dave, 58% overweight
Dave will eat everything in sight, will steal his sister’s food given half a chance and has even been known to pilfer a donut! Described as a ‘yo-yo’ dieter, his owner’s previous attempts to reduce his food intake have met with yowls and cat-tantrums.
But with PDSA’s help his owner is determined to stick to her guns and help lazy Dave lose weight so he can be a ‘proper cat’ again.
Zorro, 88% overweight
Zorro the cat from Dundee is a bit like his animated counterpart Puss in Boots from the Shrek movies – especially when he piled on the pounds!
This ginger feline is no swashbuckling hero and instead prefers to spend his days lazing around, sneaking a few of his favourite cheese and onion crisps whenever he can.
Bailey, 75% overweight
Fat cat Bailey tips the scales at around 9kg making him double the weight of a healthy cat. The bulging black cat has a passion for food, food and more food and even out-muscles his canine companions – Ozzie and Ellie – when it comes to feeding time.
Bailey’s owner, Janet, from Dagenham, worries that he has an unhealthy obsession with food. In fact the mega moggie’s appetite has become so monstrous he’s even been known to make light work of a pig’s ear - a treat more often associated with dogs.
Poppy, 32% overweight
Popcorn-snacking Poppy has piled on the pounds along with her play-mate Joey in the past 12 months.
Despite owning a perfectly healthy sized English Setter called Harry, Donna says the family’s rabbits seem to just get bigger and bigger.
She puts it down to them being fed too many treats and big portion sizes over the cold winter months.
Joey, 28% overweight
Greedy Joey demands extra food by clanging his bowl against his cage to grab attention.
The black and white bunny started to gain excess weight after too many sweet and high calorie foods such as carrots and apples, causing him to become super-sized. His owner Donna is now determined to get him back to a healthier weight thanks to Pet Fit Club.
Snowball, 35% overweight
The Crump family rescued Snowball from a pet shop, after spotting him in the window and it was love at first sight. He was very underweight when he first arrived in to his new home.
The five-year-old Dwarf Lop is a very affectionate rabbit, which has led to the whole family spoiling him rotten. They have been guilty of giving him too many treats, which has caused his waistline to balloon. But this is all set to change since starting his Pet Fit Club six-month diet and exercise programme.
Last year’s Pet Fit Club winner was Jack Russell terrier Ruby, from Sunderland, who shed an impressive one-third of her bodyweight. When she started the six-month diet and exercise programme back in May 2013, she tipped the scales at 9.1kg (1stone 6lbs), making her morbidly obese and more than 50% overweight.
Ruby’s waistline grew after she was adopted by owner Angela Martin four years ago. A former stray, Ruby was ‘spoilt rotten’ to compensate for her tough start in life. But all the snacks and titbits led to unhealthy weight gain.
“It got to the stage where she couldn’t jump on the sofa or the bed,” said Angela. “The only thing she would move for was food. But now she’s like a puppy again and loves to run on the beach. Entering Pet Fit Club is the best thing we have done for Ruby.”
Find out more about Ruby's story here:
Pet Fit Club Hall of Fame
PDSA Fit Club is now in its ninth year and over that time the competition has helped many pets slim down to a healthier weight and live longer and happier lives. Meet the former Pet Fit Club champs
Your free guides to keeping your pet healthy
Learn more about keeping your pet healthy, including diet and exercise tips and how to assess your pet’s correct shape. You can also download PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing Report, revealing the state of our pet nation.
There are also useful posters to download which you can use to assess what a healthy shape is for your dog, cat or rabbit:
2014 Competition Sponsors
Diets for the dog and cat finalists are kindly supplied by Hill's. Hill's is also kindly supplying a year's free Hill's diet food for the overall national cat and dog winner and a pet-friendly mini break up to the value of £300.
Diets for rabbit finalists will be kindly supplied by Burgess. Burgess will also supply a year's free rabbit food for the overall winning rabbit.
There are 10 links on this page which are in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. In order to view them you will need the free Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer.
Download Diet & Nutrition Leaflet
Download our Diet and Nutrition Leaflet (PDF - 3.02 MB)
Spaniel Jack was rehomed by his new owner at a staggering 105% overweight. He's since gone on to lose almost half his bodyweight, and is now a much happier and healthier dog.
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