Porky Pets


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4-year-old Bailey the Labrador Retriever is one porky pooch, and living proof you can get too much of a good thing.

And this tubby tabby is known to his friends as Garfield or Fat Cat, his real name's Noddy.

Both animals are more than just cuddly or well rounded�they're part of a phenomenon of growing proportions.

It seems our sedentary lifestyle is rubbing off on our pets. Vets say the trouble is most people are used to seeing the pets overweight, and they don't realise what an overweight pet looks like.

Adelaide vet Nick Lloyd says a massive 40% of pets these days weigh more than they should, and it's a world-wide problem.

But exactly how big is it?

Bailey the dog weighs in at around 41 kilos, which is 45% overweight, while at over 8 kilos, Noddy the cat is 49% overweight.

Dr Lloyd says many people "love their pets too much", and think the best way of showing that is to feed them. But dogs and cats just like attention�a cuddle is just as good, or take them for a walk.

But help is on the way. Dr Lloyd has started a Porky Pets club, for owners and their four-legged fatties.

It's more like Weight Watchers rather than the Biggest Doggy Loser, though, because losing weight too quickly can put stress on an animal's system.

And, just like with people, it's important to get a medical okay before starting any exercise regimen.

Of course, there's no snacking between meals, but this isn't a crash diet.

Dr Lloyd estimates it will take Bailey two to three months to lose the weight he needs to, while Noddy will need no fewer than 30 weeks to get his weight down without putting too much stress on his body.

We'll check in with Bailey, Noddy and their owners in the months to come, to see how they're getting on.