By Niamh Shackleton
A Labrador whose weight rocketed to NINE STONE after gorging on roast dinners has been put on a strict diet.
Seven-year-old Alfie is was 90 per cent overweight when his owners took him to a weight loss group run by the PDSA – and weighed 9st 7lb, the same as a human.
His owner, Antony Mather, 75, couldn’t resist Alfie’s ‘puppy dog’ eyes and would cave whenever his four legged friend would ask for food.
And after feeding him slices of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings straight from his dinner plate, along with six bags of doggy treats a week, it wasn’t long before Alfie had ballooned.
Antony, from St Helens, Merseyside, said: “Alfie would eat everything and anything, and we find it hard to handle his huge appetite.
“We’ve tried so many diets and, so far, nothing has worked – we’ve even had blood tests to check there’s no medical problems causing it, but they all came back clear, so we were at a loss as to why he’s so big and always hungry.”
Due to his sumo size, Alfie has been chosen by the PDSA to join their annual Pet Fit Club along side other chunky cats and dogs.
Before starting his diet a few weeks ago, Alfie was the same weight as some grown adults.
While Antony’s four legged friend was going on two walks a day, Alfie’s weight often made it a slow plod rather than a energetic walk.
Antony added: “When we’re eating dinner he’ll sit there staring at you with his big puppy-dog eyes and starts drooling until you give him some food.
“Those eyes are going to be hard to resist but I know that his health is suffering and the excess weight is endangering his life.
“He’s showing some signs of arthritis and his weight will only make that worse; we want him to be around for as long as possible, which is why we entered him into Pet Fit Club.”
Alfie now has a long six months a head of him which will include an individually-tailored regime designed for his specific needs and overseen by the vet team at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.
The golden Labrador needs to lose 4st 7lb to reach his ideal weight.
Lizzie Whitton, the PDSA Vet who will be helping to oversee Alfie’s diet, said: “It is estimated that up to 40% of cats and dogs are overweight or obese.
“But with the help of PDSA and Pet Fit Club, Alfie and Anthony are making the necessary diet, exercise and lifestyle changes to help get Alfie down to a healthier weight.
“We will support them every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.”