The organisers of the Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year competition have announced the 10 finalists, who include a Rottweiler called Hector van Schalkwyk, who lost 25kg, and Max Versfeld, a three-legged Labrador who lost 8.4kg.
The nine dogs and a cat have lost a total of 100kg. Eight of them are from Pretoria, one from Durban and one from Port Elizabeth.
Dr Guy Fyvie, a veterinary adviser at Hill’s, said excess weight shortened a pet’s life by at least two years.
“Fat cats and dogs are at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer.”
In the 2010 SA Healthy Pet Survey, only 12.5% of dog owners and 20% of cat owners said they considered their pet overweight – but vets said more than half were obese.
One of this year’s finalists, Preston McKay, a four-year-old boxer from Port Elizabeth, shed 9.5kg, or 22% of his body weight.
“I took him for a check-up and the vet entered him in the competition,” said Preston’s John McKay. “Now he’s able to jump into the car again and enjoy exercise.”
Before and after weight-loss pictures, and the pets’ stories, can be seen on petslimmer.co.za.