Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the slimmest of them all?

2012-10-06 00:00

PORKY pooches and fat felines are winning the battle of the bulge, with three KZN chubsters in the finalists of the Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year.

Tessa, a labrador from Kokstad, who supplemented her diet by thieving chicken feed, lost an impressive 40% of her bodyweight and is now a strong contender to win the pet food maker’s Slimmer of the Year title.

She has also regained her zest for life and lost the slight limp she had developed.

The competition is a small part of a campaign to combat a pet obesity “epidemic” in SA. People have until October 22 to vote for the pet that they think should be top dog (or cat) on www.petslimmer.co.za, where one can also see the weight-loss stories and before-and-after photos of some the porky pets.

The owners of the five pets with the most votes will each win R5 000 and the overall top dog (or cat) will be awarded the 2012 Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year title.

Veterinarian Dr Guy Fyvie, a leading expert on pet obesity in South Africa, said an estimated 50% of the South African pet population that visit vets are overweight and are at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

“Rather than thinking you’re showing how much you love your pet, when you over-feed or indulge them, you may actually be shortening their lifespan.”

Ten finalists, including nine dogs and one cat have lost, on average, more than a third of their bodyweight.

• Mr Tigger Dutton, a cat from Durban North, lost 44,56% of his bodyweight, going from 9,2 kg to 5,1 kg.

• Tessa Hackland, a golden Labrador from Kokstad, lost 40,57% of her bodyweight, going from 44,9 kg to 26,68 kg.

• Nemo John, a golden Labrador from Yellowwood Park, Durban, lost 21,56% of his bodyweight (51 kg to 40 kg).

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