A porky pooch with a love of roast dinners has been crowned slimmer of the year after shedding a third of his body weight.
Luigi the Beagle had ballooned to 30 kilograms – nearly 40 per cent over his ideal weight – risking his health.
The five-year-old joined animal charity PDSA’s Pet Fit Club to shed some weight, embarking on a diet and exercise regime that saw him going on more walks and cutting out extra food and treats.
Six months later, he now weighs 20 kilograms and has taken eight inches off his waist – an achievement that saw him crowned slimmer of the year by the charity
“His love of roast dinners was entirely my fault, I love them myself. As a treat I would give him a bit of carrot or some beef. I thought I was being kind,” Luigi’s owner Perrie Eedy said.
“Since overhauling Luigi’s diet and exercise regime, the change we’ve seen in him has been unbelievable, he’s a different dog now.
“At first the weight came off slowly, but after a couple of months of being strict and really sticking to it, we noticed a big difference in him and his body shape.”
Ms Eedy, from Newport, South Wales, said Luigi’s fitness regime also had a positive effect on her and husband Matt.
“We spend more time outdoors exploring new places with him now, and it’s helped me with my exercise too as I go out on runs and long bike rides with him,” she said.
“He has totally transformed from the dog we used to drag out on walks before, he’s often running well ahead of us now.”
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, with a few hiccups along the way – including the time Luigi broke into a locked utility room at a boarding kennel and scoffed all the food.
“They found him head-first in a bag of food,” Ms Eedy said.
“We don’t know how much he managed to eat but he didn’t lose any weight that month.
“On another occasion he also managed to steal a birthday cake I’d made and left cooling on the kitchen counter before I decorated it.”
In second place as the PDSA’s slimmer of the year was Missi the Bulldog from Walsall, West Midlands, who lost 24 per cent of her body weight after ballooning to 43 kilograms thanks to a love of ice cream.
Vets consistently warn against the dangers of feeding animals treats and scraps from the table, with the risks including obesity.
“Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. We believe up to 50 per cent of dogs and cats in the UK are overweight or obese, which can lead to serious long-term health problems and a shortened life expectancy,” PDSA vet nurse Nina Downing said.
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