A slimmed-down spaniel has won a national pet weight loss contest after shedding almost 40% of his bodyweight in just six months.
Ten-year-old Oscar once tipped the scales at 3st 6lb (22kg) but is now a trim 2st 1lb (13kg) after taking part in veterinary charity PDSA’s annual Pet Fit Club.
The former heavyweight was put on a strict diet and exercise programme, including hydrotherapy, after getting fat on Sunday dinners and leftovers, leaving him breathless on walks around the garden.
Oscar’s owner, June Lawrence, 78, admits that she spoilt the black-and-tan dog after her husband died last year.
June’s daughter, Karen Allen, said: “Before Pet Fit Club Oscar didn’t get much exercise.
“My mother is disabled so struggled to walk him. As he piled on the pounds he wanted to exercise even less and it became a vicious cycle.
“He couldn’t even jump on the sofa he was that big.
“He is a completely different dog now - like a puppy again. People don’t recognise him because he’s changed so much, in looks and personality.”
Ms Allen, 56, added: “We walk for miles and he runs around the house with his toys, nudging you until you play fetch with him.
“He wasn’t impressed with the diet at first - he missed his scraps and treats.
“But we stuck with it and we’re so glad we did. He still tries his luck and begs for food when you’re eating but we don’t give in to him any more.”
Oscar’s weight loss - which won his owners a pet-friendly holiday courtesy of cottages.com - has been supervised by PDSA vet nurse Kay Brough, from the charity’s Wolverhampton pet hospital.
“Oscar has done amazingly well,” she said. “His family have been very dedicated and worked extremely hard to help change his lifestyle for the better.
“He has virtually halved in size; his whole personality has changed. They’re all now seeing the rewards for their hard work.”
PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman, who helped to judge the competition, said: “Oscar’s transformation during Pet Fit Club is truly incredible. He is living proof that it’s never too late to make positive changes.”
Overall, this year’s seven Pet Fit Club finalists lost a total of 4st 12lb (31kg).
A Chihuahua called Tyty, from Glasgow, and Kaspa, a Labrador from Cardiff, each lost 29% of their bodyweight and were awarded joint second place.