A DOG from Shipston is half the hound he used to be after giving up his favourite treat of leftovers.
Labrador Alfie has shed 11kg – almost two stone – and has been crowned a super slimmer by Shipston Vets where he’s been attending weight-loss clinics.
Alfie, 12, had tipped the scales at almost 50kg – around 8 stone – through wolfing down leftovers and treats that were high in fat, but after attending weight clinics at Shipston Vets and following their advice and a sensible diet, he’s now a much healthier 37kg (5 stone 11lbs).
Shipston Vets veterinary nurse Jasmine Hill, who helps run the practice’s weight-loss clinics, said that Alfie now has lots more energy and is finding it easier to get around.
She said: “I’m extremely proud of Alfie for losing all of this weight and he looks so different that I can’t believe he’s the same dog.”
Alfie shed the pounds slowly, over a period of 12 months, and popped in to see Jasmine regularly so she could check his weight loss was on track.
Jasmine said: “To help get Alfie trim, I advised his owner to cut out any extras he was having, and we worked out how much dog food he should be eating each day. I also suggested that if she did want to give him a treat, she could keep a little bit of his daily allowance back and use that instead of giving him something unhealthy.
“Increasing exercise is important to help dogs lose weight, but in Alfie’s case this needed to be restricted due to lameness.
However, we arranged for him to have hydrotherapy sessions, which provides intense exercise while supporting the joints. His lameness has now dramatically improved.”
Alfie’s owner, Christine Kennedy of Tredington, who rehomed the dog through the Blue Cross five years ago, is delighted with his transformation.
Christine said: “Alfie’s as lively as a puppy. When he was overweight, everything was a bit of an effort for him, but now he leaps into the car and he can run up and down the stairs.
“The weight crept on because he was having leftover food and I was giving him treats like pigs’ ears, but now he just has a lower calorie pet food and Jasmine helped me work out the correct portion sizes.
“Jasmine has been really helpful and I’m so grateful for all the advice and support she’s given me. I have tried to put Alfie on a diet before, but it’s not easy if you have a dog that enjoys food so much. Jasmine kept a record of his weight, so we could track his progress, and she also looked at his overall body condition as well as just putting him on the scales, which gave us a better idea of how well he was doing.
“Alfie is a friendly dog with a lovely nature and it’s lovely to see him like this – it’s like he has a new lease of life.”