Blubbery Borris the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and lardy Labrador Sadie have each been awarded with first prize in the PDSA’s annual Pet Fit Club competition. Such was Borris’s ravenous appetite that he once raided a cupboard to get at potentially harmful Easter eggs and even chomped on a pair of false teeth. Remarkably, both of the portly pets managed to lose a quarter of their bodyweight with a six-month diet and exercise regime run by the veterinary charity.
Borris’s love of treats and titbits, even from strangers, and Sadie’s unwavering appetite for left-overs are blamed for weight problems that blight so many of our animals.
With around 40 per cent of Britain’s millions of pets overweight or obese, the need to help our overfed and under exercised animals has never been greater to avoid a host of life-threatening health issues.
Both Borris and Sadie are being hailed as shining examples of how overweight pets can be transformed with expert guidance.
Bulging Borris the joint winner in Pet Fit Club contest (Image: PDSA)
Lardy Labrador Sadie was 41 per cent over her ideal weight (Image: PDSA)
Slimline Sadie has lost almost two stone (Image: PDSA)
Fat-busting Borris now weighs a trim 3st 4lbs (Image: PDSA)
Owner Annmarie, 46, from Deal, Kent, described how Borris has become a different animal since embarking on his fitness regime.
She said: “Borris’s weight loss has been amazing. In the past his belly used to be touching the ground and he would refuse to walk. Now he loves his walks – even when it’s raining which he used to hate.
“The best part was the first time that I saw Borris taking his first few running steps, it made me want to cry, I was so happy. He hadn’t run in years. It has also helped show me just how bad his life must have been before with carrying around all that extra weight.”
Besides eating dentures and scrounging for Easter eggs, Borris’s lovable nature also meant he got spoilt by complete strangers giving him treats.
Sadie began the weight loss competition at 41 per cent over her ideal weight, but now she not only looks more sylphlike but has boundless energy, too. She tipped the scales at an enormous 6st 9lb (42.2kg) at the start of the contest, 41 per cent above her ideas weight, but having lost a quarter of her bulk she now weighs 4st 13lb (31.5kg).
Sadie before she began weight loss regime (Image: PDSA)
As owner George Chaplin, 75, from Grays in Essex, explained: “She’s a totally different dog now and is so much happier. Before I would have to pull on her lead to get her on a walk but now she waits for me by the door, and she’s got so much more energy. She loves playing with a ball and toys, which she wasn’t interested in before.
“We go on two walks a day with a group of dog-walkers. At the beginning of her diet she would waddle at the back of the group but now she bounds ahead and that’s great to see.”
Since its launch in 2005, Pet Fit Club has helped 85 dogs, 42 cats, eight rabbits and two rats lose over a combined 75 stone. This year’s 11 cats and dogs shed a combined 4st 7lbs (28.5kg).
PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan, who helped judge the competition, commended all the contestants.
She said: “It has been hugely rewarding to see our Pet Fit Club pets’ weight decrease over the last six months thanks to their new diet and fitness regimes. Their success is testament to the hard work of their owners and our PDSA veterinary teams across the UK.
“Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. Around 40 per cent of dogs and cats in the UK are estimated to be overweight or obese.”