Mundaring weight loss challenge for dogs to help shed the kilos

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

The idea for the lifestyle change diet came to senior veterinary nurse Julie Parsons after seeing more pets suffer with obesity-related health problems.

She spoke to colleagues at the practice where she works, Mundaring Veterinary Hospital, and in conjunction with Hill’s pet foods organised the 12-week challenge.

“Some people are loving their dogs to death, literally,” she said.

“We frequently see animals with heart disease, diabetes, joint and skin problems, breathing difficulties, exercise intolerance and mobility difficulties.”

The challenge begins on Tuesday, when 10 dogs of mixed breed and age will begin the weight-loss trial.

“All the challengers have one thing in common – they are all overweight.

“Our goal is to give each dog a customised weight loss program and it will include 20 minutes of daily exercise,” Ms Parsons said.

She hopes the program will pave the way to healthier pets.

Each dog will have a health check by a senior vet, be weighed and measured, and then be given a weight loss goal.

The pets will attend a fortnightly weigh-in to check on their progress.

There will be prizes for high achievers and, for those who make it to the end of the program, a dog day graduation.

Hill’s Prescription Diet will provide the tailored diet programs for each dog and free food during the challenge.Ms Parsons said each dog was likely to average a monthly weight loss of two kilos.

Dog owner Vivian Whyatt, of Stoneville, has six-year-old german shepherd Zody on the weight loss program.

Zody has about 12kg to lose, while Mocha needs to shed 6kg to reach her ideal weight.

Mocha is a four-year-old Koolie owned by Chantelle Jacobson, of Wundowie.