Milo is a calendar canine for 2012
OVERWEIGHT pet pooch Milo has shed the pounds to earn himself a place in a national calendar and the chance to inspire others in their new year’s drive to lose weight.
Milo has plummeted from hefty hound to fit Fido after going on a special doggy diet.
The seven-and-a-half-year-old Norwegian Buhund lost an awesome 9.7kg through a programme from pet food manufacturer Royal Canin, going from 25.7kg in May 2008 to his current weight of about 16kg.
At his lightest weight in February 2010 he weighed just 15.85kg.
Milo’s owner Marie Noble (70), of Green Street, March, had been told unless Milo lost the weight, he could not be expected to live into his old age.
Mrs Noble spoke of her delight over Milo’s improved health.
She said: “He’s the most adorable dog. He loves everybody and that’s how he was even when he was overweight. Having lost his weight, he hasn’t changed, but obviously it’s better for him and I’m so pleased I have been able to find a way of keeping him longer.”
In recognition of his transformation, Milo was named as one of 12 finalists in the Royal Canin’s national Weigh-in Club competition, which saw entries from more than 170 pets across the UK and Ireland who were successful in reaching their weight loss target.
As a result, Milo and the other champion slimmers will feature in a calendar and hopefully inspire others to follow their lead.
Mrs Noble said she was “over the moon” about Milo’s star role.
She said: “I wish I had not had to do it in the first place, but he has done it and kept his weight down.”
Milo’s weight had been driven by a strong appetite, cheekily helping himself to the meals of Mrs Noble’s two other dogs - and, if given the chance, hers as well.
She said: “I would put my breakfast, two lots of toast, on the side, come back and it would be gone.”
Mrs Noble, who has had Milo since he was less than two months old, said she had not realised he was overweight. Once it had been pointed out to her, however, she took action and with the support of the Best Friends veterinary practice in Upwell Road, March, the pounds began to tumble.
Head veterinary nurse Sara Rolfe spoke of the transformation.
She said: “When you have got a dog that is overweight they may be enthusiastic about things, but they just look tired. When you have got the weight off them they are not lugging that all around and it just shows in their face. They are so much brighter. The difference you see in them is quite dramatic, even though their personality is the same.”
Despite Milo’s new regime, he has not said goodbye to his old tricks and Mrs Noble said she needs to push food to the back of the kitchen work surface and out of his range if she leaves the room.
She is determined to keep her four-legged chum in pedigree condition, though.
She said: “He’s the most adorable pet anyone could wish to have. I will do my utmost to make sure he will live to an old age.”
Royal Canin’s Gudi Stuttard, a veterinary support manager, said: “With canine and feline obesity on the increase, veterinary nurses have an important role to play in educating pet owners and supporting the weight loss process. Choosing the right nutrition is key, along with a tailored exercise plan, regular monitoring and commitment from the owner.”
DOGGY DIETER: Milo celebrates being picked for a calendar with owner Marie Noble and veterinary nurse Sara Rolfe, Pictured below is Milo in his days as a heftier hound