Almost all of us are guilty of putting on a little weight over lockdown – and our furry friends are no exception.
When dog owner Tania Pieterse took in six-year-old bichon frise Tommy in March this year from her mum, he weighed a staggering 13.5 kilograms and was so overweight he collapsed at the groomers because his legs couldn’t support him.
But after putting the pooch through four months of a controlled diet and lots of exercise, Tania got Tommy down to a healthy 9kg – meaning he can now happily play with Tania’s other dogs, as well as chase the family cat.
Tania, 52, from Chelsea in West London, said: “I took it upon myself to help him lose weight because I love a challenge so it felt like the right thing to do.
“He’s managed to lose weight very quickly and he now looks amazing.
“I knew it was bad when one time he collapsed on the grooming table because he couldn’t stand up for any period of time.
“I was told he was like an overweight human waiting for a heart attack because he was so unhealthy.
“It’s taken a lot of dedication and commitment but I’m really proud of how far Tommy has come in such a short time.
“We have a whole clan of dogs who he enjoys playing with now. He definitely has a lot more energy but he still has his lazy moments!
“He now also likes to chase my cat so that’s another thing that shows he’s much healthier and playful.”
Tania, an online business owner, bought Tommy as a puppy for her elderly mother, but after she was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and put into a care home, Tania decided to take Tommy in herself.
And Tania believes her mum’s condition meant she overfed Tommy, as she would forget she had already given him a meal.
She added: “I think my mum was forgetting that she had already fed him throughout the day so that could be how he put on all of the weight.
“He was also quite fluffy and furry which made him look even chunkier – he almost looked like a sheep.
“When I used to pick him up, he was like a big, heavy marshmallow.
“At first, my mum was sad to leave him to go in the care home but now she always tells her carers that I look after him really well which is nice.”
Currently, Tommy has shed four kilos and weighs 9.5kg – but Tania’s goal is to get him down to his goal weight of 8kg.
She said: “He’s done very well so far and it would be amazing if he can get down another kilogram.
“I take him to visit my mum and she really enjoys seeing him and his progress.
“He’s always very happy to see her as well.”