A food-stealing Chihuahua who is almost 85% overweight and a cat who weighs over a stone have reached the finals of a UK-wide pet slimming competition.
Dog Tyty, from Helensburgh, and Entei the cat, who lives in Dundee, have been selected to compete against 11 other fat pets from around the UK in the PDSA’s Pet Fit Club competition.
Nicola Martin, head of pet health and welfare for the veterinary charity, said: “With the help of Pet Fit Club, these pets and their owners will be making positive changes to their lifestyles to help them slim down to a healthy weight.”
Tipping the scales at nearly a stone (5.5kg), seven-year-old Tyty’s weight-gain has been caused by his thieving ways and his dislike of going for walks.
He takes the lion’s share of the food from his canine housemates and has been known to take food from other dogs’ mouths when they are eating.
Owner Julie Brennan, 31, said: “Tyty will eat anything. Chicken is his favourite food but I remember one time I was eating a chocolate bar when he snatched it off me and ran off. I managed to get it back but he wasn’t happy.”
Six-year-old Entei, who weighs 1st 2lb (7.2kg), is nearly 45% over his ideal weight of 5kg. He was already overweight when new owner Andy Edwards, 48, adopted him.
Mr Edwards said: “When he came to live with us he used to wolf down his food so quickly.
“Apparently he had been living with several other cats and, because he’s deaf and a bit vulnerable, he probably had to eat it before the others could get their paws on it.”
As part of the competition, Tyty and Entei will embark on a strict six-month diet and exercise programme, tailored by the vets and nurses at the Glasgow and Dundee PDSA pet hospitals.
Ms Martin added: “Pet obesity is a serious issue affecting millions of UK pets.
“Like humans, pets carrying excess weight risk developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. It can even shorten their lives.”