She’s considered morbidly obese, in fact, weighing in at 22lb – nearly double the healthy size of a dog her breed.Skylar piled on the pounds thanks to her puppy dog eyes and a love of cheesy crisps, happily scoffing down an entire bag of Tangy Cheese Doritos or Mini Cheddars whenever she gets the chance. But after developing problems with her breathing, Skylar has been put on a dedicated weight loss journey. From now on, Skylar’s owner Mandy Hannigan, 59, will be increasing the distance of the dog’s daily walks and swapping out her crisps for carrots.
Mandy, from Solihull, said: ‘She was only a puppy when we got her and she was extremely slim.
‘She kept growing and growing – my other dog is a bit fussy about his food so Skylar would end up eating his food as well.
‘Skylar eats absolutely everything, and it’s very difficult to say no when she gives you those puppy-dog eyes.‘She absolutely loves Doritos – she would eat about a third of a bag every time I’d had some, which would be a few times a week. ‘She also eats mini Cheddars, Hula hoops, pickled onions, sausages, you name it.
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‘My neighbour calls her twice a day and gives her leftover meat, biscuits, cheese so now she’s been banned to give her anything now.’Skylar’s need to lose weight has led Mandy to enter her into PDSA’s Pet Fit Club competition.
Vets at PDSA reckon Skylar needs to lose half her body weight to get her down to a healthy 11lb.
They’ve recommended swapping the dog’s usual snacks for chopped up carrots and taking her on walks for an hour or two per day.Mandy said: ‘Skylar just loves to snack.
‘She is very determined when she wants something. Over Christmas she somehow managed to find a box of Ferrero Roches I had hidden with other presents, break into the plastic and eat all of them.
‘We were really concerned but thankfully she was alright.
‘We know we need to be more active but it’s difficult because she doesn’t like long walks.
‘I realised she needed to get on a diet because people commented on her weight all the time, “Oh she is so fat” and she started to get a bit breathless and struggling to jump up the sofa.
On hot summer days, walk your dogs before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. — or walk them only in shady or grassy/dirt areas.
‘She still sits by the side of me when I eat something, I just have to ignore her.’