Karen, 60 said: ‘He has gone from fat to thin to a bit fatter again. ‘His swimming lessons were stopped due to Covid, we paid £25 per week to go and he loved it.
‘I do allow him a little treat, especially with being back at home more.
‘He likes a little biscuit or a fig roll. He doesn’t have a favourite treat, he is just greedy, there is nothing he doesn’t like.
‘We are both guilty, I have let his weight creep up during lockdown.
‘It’s hard to motivate yourself when you’re stuck inside or the weather is rubbish.
Plan for When You’re Not There. Make sure your pets are provided for during those long hours when you’re away. Dr. Becker suggests technological options. “DOGTV has stimulation and relaxation channels, and there are apps that control contraptions that talk to your pet, or dispense treats. Pheromone sprays can also reduce anxiety, creating that kumbaya atmosphere.” And, of course, daycare and dog walkers are a great way to enrich your pet’s day. “Know someone who wants exercise? Maybe they’ll walk your dog.”
‘I am home all day now and who can resist those puppy dog eyes or that tail around your legs every time you go to the kitchen to make a cuppa.
‘He is a scruffy dog right now – he needs a haircut, like all of us in lockdown.’Oscar, who will be 15 in August, was his heaviest at 3st 6lbs and slimmed down to 2st 1lb. He originally lived with Karen’s parents, Kenneth and June, who passed away in 2015 and 2016.
Karen said: ‘He was spoilt rotten. My dad would serve him full Sunday dinners and he got so fat he couldn’t jump on the furniture. Oscar was their best friend and companion.’
Karen nicknamed him fat pie and was amazed when the dog lost the weight.
Now, Oscar struggles with his back legs so walking long distances is becoming harder.
That makes it even harder to keep trim without going for a swim.
Karen added: ‘He likes to go in the garden and he will certainly run rings around my feet for treats.
‘He was advised to have two, 20 minute walks each day but he is getting older now so we only go for one walk.
‘He is funny, if he has had enough, he will sit on his bum and not move an inch.
‘During the pandemic we haven’t been able exercise very much locally, I have been worried about taking him out. During lockdown so many dogs have been off the lead and a few have been attacked nearby so it makes me worried.’
Karen has vowed to keep a closer eye on Oscar’s treat intake, and is heeding wisdom from PDSA.
‘He does still have a habit of thinking he is going to have a bit of whatever you are having and then he looks at me with those big eyes.
‘He will eat anything. We call him hoover because he will literally hoover every crumb up.
‘Owners do have to be aware of what they are feeding their pets, PDSA were brilliant, we learnt so many tips. Now I only give him dry food because there is a lot of fat in gravy.
‘But it is the treats that make the difference. Did you know a packet of crisps is the same as two steak pies for us and a piece of toast to them is the same as a portion of chips for us?
People leave food and water for the dog (Picture: Youtube/Nafpaktia News WebTV) He refuses to leave the spot where his owner was killed (Picture: Youtube/Nafpaktia News WebTV) He became known as the Greek Hachiko (Picture: Youtube/Nafpaktia News WebTV)Local people have compared him to Hachiko, the dog which waited for its owner every day at Tokyo’s Shibuya Station after he died in 1925.
‘If you feed your cat three small cubes of cheese, that’s equivalent to two double cheese burgers and a tin of tuna for a cat is the same as 35 chicken nuggets for us.
‘He is a very greedy dog and he has those big eyes looking at you.
‘He is such a loving dog, so affectionate, he loves cuddles and playing outside. He loves fuss and attention from everyone, especially if they offer him something he knows he shouldn’t have.’
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Make him part of the family. Pets, especially dogs, need companionship. They are traditionally pack creatures and need the warmth and love that comes with living indoors with their family.