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03 October 2013

SA pets in battle of the bulge – Pet Slimmer of the Year

Not only people are shaping up for summer; the ten finalists in the annual Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year competition have just been announced; the nine dogs and one cat have lost an average 25% of their bodyweight and in total almost 100kg.

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Not only people are shaping up for summer; the ten finalists in the annual Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year competition have just been announced; the nine dogs and one cat have lost an average 25% of their bodyweight and in total almost 100kg.

Their dramatic before-and-after photos and inspiring weight-loss stories are on www.petslimmer.co.za where people can vote for their favorites. The five most popular pets at midday on 22 October will each be awarded R5 000 and the one with the highest number of votes will win the coveted 2013 Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year title.

According to studies, the real reward is a healthier, happier and longer life – the lifespan of an overweight pet is shortened by at least two years1 and obese dogs that lost weight were shown to have more vitality, less “emotional disturbance” and pain2. “Fat cats and dogs are at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer. Rather than thinking you’re demonstrating how much you love your pet, when you over-feed or indulge them, you may actually be shortening their lifespan,” says Dr Guy Fyvie, veterinary advisor for Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Obesity in pets is a big problem – South African vets say about half the patients they treat weigh more than is healthy. In response to this serious health issue, over 350 veterinary practices in South Africa and Namibia have started running weight loss programmes for their super-size patients.

Owners appear to not be a very objective when it comes to their pet; in the 2010 South African Healthy Pet Survey only 12.5% of dog owners and 20% of cat owners said they consider their pet to be overweight, yet according to vets the figure is nearer 50%.

How do you know if your pet is a healthy size? Ask your vet for professional advice or visit www.petslimmer.co.za – it has tools to help calculate ideal weight, loads of nutritional advice and a list of veterinary practices that run the Hill’s Pet Slimmer programme.

The 2013 Hill’s Pet Slimmer finalists are:

•             Benji Bekker, a yellow Labrador from Centurion, Pretoria lost 11.5kgs (23% of his bodyweight) and 22 cm from around his waist under the care of Bakenkop Animal Clinic.

•             Felix Botha, a Dachshund from Centurion, Pretoria lost 5.3kg (41% of his bodyweight) under the care of Zwartkop Animal Clinic. Felix went from dragging his tummy on the ground to bouncing about with his brother Triton.

•             Gina Van Zyl, a Beagle from Valhalla, Pretoria, lost a third of her bodyweight 7.5kgs under the care of Zwartkop Animal Clinic. Used to being fed all kinds of treats Gina got so big she developed a limp and was unable to get off the couch. Since losing weight she is playful once again, enjoys regular walks and chasing birds.

•             Hector Van Schalkwyk, a Rottweiler from Centurion, Pretoria that lost 25kgs (30% of his bodyweight) under the care of Bakenkop Animal Clinic.  His owners thought he was just ‘big-boned’ but since losing weight Hector’s skin problems have cleared up, he’s bouncing around and is a happier, friendlier dog.

•             Max Versfeld, a three-legged Labrador from Waverley in Pretoria, lost 8.4kgs (20% of his bodyweight) at Frystraat Animal Hospital. After being hit by a car and injuring his leg Max’s original owners no longer wanted him. He was adopted by the Versfeld family who showed how much he was loved with food and treats until they realised his ballooning weight was becoming a serious problem.

•             Mushi Haycock, a Giant Schnauzer from Pretoria, lost 12.8kg (24% of her bodyweight) under the care of Rietvallei Animal Clinic. Mushi’s weight ballooned when she was grieving, as her owners tried to tempt her out of her depression with extra treats.

•             Ollie Tully, an English Bulldog from Durban, lost 6.5kgs (18% of his bodyweight) under the care of La Lucia Veterinary Clinic. Ollie picked up weight after being neutered; since losing weight his skin is better, he snores less and even his flatulence has improved!

•             Penny Coni, the English Bulldog from Brooklyn, Pretoria, lost 8.85kgs (27% of her bodyweight) under the care of Waterkloof Veterinary Hospital. Her owner says went from being grumpy and struggling to walk properly to being like a new dog that has re-found her youth.

•             Preston McKay, a Boxer from Port Elizabeth, lost 9.5kgs (22% of his bodyweight) under the care of Kragga Kamma Animal Clinic. Preston can once again jump into the car and enjoy exercise since shedding his extra kilos.

•             Timmy Grove, a cat from Constantia Park, Pretoria, lost 1.1kgs (17% of his bodyweight) under the care of Rietvallei Animal Clinic. Timmy used to enjoy meals and treats with his owner but is happier, healthy and more active since losing weight.


Each person can vote for a maximum of five pets from midday 1 October to midday 22 October. Two voters will be randomly chosen each week to win a R150 Hill’s prize hamper.

 

-Issued by Paula Wilson Media Consulting for Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

 

 
 
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