Obese dog given a year to live
AN OBESE dog Patrick was given a year to live but thanks to diet, exercise and support from the RSPCA’s Pets Get Slim website, he lost 6kg and is looking forward to a healthier life.
Patrick, a Jack Russell/Corgi cross, weighed a massive 20kg and was clinically obese when Dani Halfpenny (16) adopted him a year ago after his elderly owner could no longer care for him.
Dani, of Cockermouth, Cumbria, said: ‘Patrick had been eating lots of treats, and hadn’t been getting much exercise. He was so big he could hardly walk and his stomach dragged on the ground. If he rolled onto his back, he couldn’t get up. When the vet said Patrick only had a year to live, we had to try and do something about it.
‘We carefully weigh out his ration of dog food and he now enjoys two hours of exercise a day. It’s taken a year for Patrick to reach his target weight I’m amazed at the change in his body shape, and he has a new lease of life.
‘I read about the RSPCA’s Pets Get Slim website in a national newspaper and decided to sign up. The website provided fantastic support and inspiration to keep the diet going. It’s satisfying being able to record your animal’s progress, and I found feedback from other owners invaluable. Patrick was also twice nominated Slimmer of the Week which helped boost our morale.’
The journey isn’t yet over as Patrick (9) will need to stick to his new diet and exercise regime if he’s to retain his new svelte figure. It’ll be hard work, but Patrick has already repaid Dani for her efforts by helping her overcome her fear of dogs.
She said: ‘I used to be terrified of dogs, but I started taking Patrick for a walk to try and help get over my fear. I ended up falling in love with him, giving him a new home and now hopefully a longer, healthier life!’
The RSPCA is urging owners of overweight animals to put their animals on a diet and help them live longer, healthier lives. The call comes after a shocking 65 per cent of animals seen in August last year by vets at the RSPCA’s Pets Get Slim roadshows were deemed overweight.
Pet obesity is not an issue to be taken lightly as it can affect an animal’s quality of life, lead to arthritis and cause internal illnesses like diabetes, liver disease and heart disease.
Diets can be difficult when a pet is begging for treats with pleading eyes - but by using the website, pet owners can share their experiences to help motivate each other. People can upload photographs and stories about their pets, share their weight-loss experiences with other owners, and be voted ‘pet slimmer of the week’.