Sugar the pug is seriously overweight.
She weighs 1 stone 12lb (11.9kg) – twice what she should and the same weight as a toddler.
The dog piled on weight because her previous owner, who was partially sighted, wasn’t able to take her for walks or give her any exercise.
Now, finally, she has an owner who’s committed to getting the dog back to good health through a diet and exercise plan.
It’ll be a challenging journey, as Sugar has a whole host of health issues that may have been worsened by her size. She’s got poor vision, she’s deaf, and in the last few weeks she had to have all her teeth taken out.
Her owner Steve, from Caerphilly, south Wales, is up to the task, though. He has another dog, Winston, a bichon frise, who is a healthy weight, and since adopting Sugar he’s already helped her lose one kilogram.
Steve takes Winston and Sugar out for four walks a day.
‘I take Sugar out as well but we have to go at her pace and it takes a lot longer so she is walked once a day at the moment,’ says Steve.
‘Since she’s had her bad teeth removed she seems healthier and happier, so we’re going to try and increase her exercise.’
Focus on the Human-Animal Bond. “Dogs and cats have broken down the walls of our hearts. There haven’t been comparable domesticated species in 5,000 years.” For Dr. Becker, it’s clear that pets and people have evolved to benefit each other. He explains, “When you’re petting them, you both get this massive release of oxytocin, prolactin, dopamine, and a decrease in cortisol. It’s a reciprocal biochemical spa treatment.” As they age, it can be easy to take pets for granted. Make time for a little human-animal bonding every day.
Sugar has enrolled in the annual PDSA Pet Fit Club competition, so there’s even more of a reason to drop the excess pounds.
Best of luck, Sugar. We believe in you.
PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said: ‘Obesity has been a huge problem among UK pets for a number of years and sadly there is no sign of improvement.
‘It is one of the biggest long-term health concerns for our pet population, because it is so commonly seen by vets and nurses.
‘Animals who are overweight have a much greater risk of developing health problems such as arthritis and diabetes – which can have drastic consequences.
‘Excess weight can also seriously aggravate other medical problems, for example making it even more difficult for flat-faced breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs to breathe.
‘Research has also shown that carrying too much weight can even reduce a dog’s life expectancy by up to two years and six months.’