Welwyn vets help chunky hounds lose the pounds

PUBLISHED: 10:22 13 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 13 January 2019

Archie the Bichon Frise. Picture: Supplied by Mimram vets.

Archie the Bichon Frise. Picture: Supplied by Mimram vets.

Archant

Vets in Welwyn have helped two dogs reach the final stage in a national slimming competition.

Coco before he started his programme of weight loss. Picture: supplied by Mimram vets.Coco before he started his programme of weight loss. Picture: supplied by Mimram vets.

Welwyn’s Mimram veterinary centre has entered two pooches - Archie and Coco - into the Royal Canin Healthy Weight Competition

The pair have been familiar faces at the slimming clinics run by the vets to support owners with overweight pets.

Both dogs are in the final six for the competition.

Archie, 11, was a podgy pooch who struggled with longer walks.

Coco the Labrador. Picture: supplied by Mimram vets.Coco the Labrador. Picture: supplied by Mimram vets.

The Bichon Frise has shed more than a third of his body weight since starting the clinics.

Head veterinary nurse Anna Wright said: “His owners were unaware just quite how overweight Archie was, as it never been raised by their previous vets.”

Anna added: “Archie’s mobility and energy have visibly improved.

“He has taken a liking to raw carrots as a treat and bangs his food bowl with his paw when he wants to be fed one.

Archie, Bichon Frise - before and after his weight loss programme. Picture: supplied by Mimram vets.Archie, Bichon Frise - before and after his weight loss programme. Picture: supplied by Mimram vets.

“He goes on longer walks, even walking five miles one weekend, something he had never managed before.”

Coco, a six-year-old chocolate Labrador once tipped the scales at 8st 10lb (55kg) - well above his ideal weight - due to too many leftovers and sweet treats.

Now, after a diet, care and attention from his owners, Coco has lost more than 10kg and is on course to shed more weight.

Anna said: “Coco was the biggest Labrador I had ever seen.

“This weight was putting a lot of pressure on his joints, putting him at risk of permanent damage.

“This was a huge challenge for Coco’s owners to undertake as they knew how overweight he was and had tried numerous different ‘low fat’ foods from the pet shops for years, but with little success.

“They knew his weight had got out of control and had previously suffered some verbal abuse from people whilst on a dog walk.

“With us there was no judgement, just support and encouragement.

“We all want the same result and thankfully we are seeing a big improvement.”

The winner of the competition will be announced on January, 14

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