In This Issue
Pets at Home aims to attract high-street shoppers with the opening of its first convenience store
Independent pet stores under threat from Pets at Home's one-stop shop scheme
Somerset pet shop set to close in the New Year
Pets Corner donates £6,000 to improve rabbit welfare
Westland makes sure quality counts at its bird food factory
Petface introduce innovative Rota Dental & Treat device
Revealed – UK’s pet slimmer of the year
Nutriment win through on a tight budget
Johnson's produces 'flea jumper' to promote 4fleas range
Search is on to find Tunbridge Wells’ most deserving dog
Pets Corner manager conquers fear of heights and raises over £1,500 for charity
Pets can meet Santa in his grotto at Derbyshire garden centre
Dog Rocks looks to appoint Head of Sales
Irish pet food firm wins £1.5m Dutch deal
Watch the 2015 Canicross Championships
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Revealed – UK’s pet slimmer of the year

A formerly bulging Bullmastiff – who used to enjoy a roast on Sundays and cornflakes for breakfast – has been crowned pet slimmer of the year after shedding nearly a third of her bodyweight in just six months.

Kayla (7), from Glasgow, has lost an incredible 2st 9lb (17kg) and beaten off competition from 14 other super slimmers to be crowned PDSA Pet Fit Club Champ 2015!

Each year, vet charity PDSA recruits the UK’s fattest pets to undertake a six-month diet and exercise competition. Supervised by the charity’s vets and nurses, Pet Fit Club helps them back into shape and creates awareness of the serious issue of pet obesity, which affects millions of household pets.

Overall, this year’s 15 Pet Fit Club finalists lost a total of 11st 7lb (73kg) – equivalent to Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor.

Back in June, Kayla from Glasgow weighed 9st 4lb (59.4kg) leaving her dangerously at risk from serious health problems and a shorter life span.  But she wowed the PDSA judges with her amazing 2st 9lb (17kg) weight loss (28.5% of her total body weight) to be named the UK-wide winner.

Kayla’s owner Agnes Higgins, admits to being at fault for her beloved pooch’s once-bulging waistline. She used to cook enough for two portions at every meal – one for her and one for Kayla, with the portly pooch regularly enjoying Sunday roasts, pizza and even bowls of cereal for breakfast.

But all that changed with Pet Fit Club. Agnes says: “As soon as we enrolled in the competition the extra treats and leftovers stopped.  It took her a while to stop begging and expecting food whenever I ate but she has adjusted and doesn’t grumble at all now.”

Prior to her weight loss Kayla would get breathless on short walks and rarely exercised.  But the new slim-line Kayla is bursting with energy and can be regularly found playing ‘football’ with balloons in her garden (they get through two or three balloons a day!), she also loves running around her local field and playing with Agnes’ grandchildren.

“I’m thrilled Kayla has won Pet Fit Club, but for me the real achievement is her weight loss.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.  I didn’t realise before that I was slowly killing her with huge portions and unhealthy treats. Hopefully she will live a longer and happier life as a result of the changes that we’ve made.”

Kayla’s weight-loss has been supervised by PDSA vet Hannah McIvor, from Glasgow Shamrock Street PDSA Pet Hospital. She said: “Kayla has done unbelievably well on Pet Fit Club. Agnes has been so dedicated and worked incredibly hard to help her shift every one of her excess pounds.  They have stuck to the diet and they’re now reaping the rewards for all of their hard work.

“Kayla looks amazing, is much happier and more energetic. I’m very proud of how far she’s come and I hope it encourages other owners to do the same for their four legged friends.”

PDSA Vet Vicki Larkham-Jones, who helped to judge the competition, added: “Kayla’s transformation on Pet Fit Club is amazing. Her success proves that it’s never too late to make positive changes to improve our pet’s health and wellbeing. All of this year’s Pet Fit Club slimmers are enjoying a better quality of life thanks to their weight loss. I encourage any owner who is concerned about their pet’s weight to speak to their vet, they will be able to help start them on the road to a happier, healthier life.”

Other top pet slimmers in the annual competition include:

Second place: Springer Spaniel, Poppy (3), from Liverpool has reached her ideal weight after losing 1st 2lb (7.3kg) - nearly a quarter of her bodyweight (23.7%).

Third place: Rolo (3) the Pug from Surrey weighed 2st 1lb (13.3kg) when adopted by his owner.  She immediately put the ‘food motivated’ pooch on a diet and now, thanks to PDSA, he weighs a healthier 1st 10lb (10.8kg), having lost around a fifth of his bodyweight.

Top cat: Ruby (9), who has been known to steal ham and cheese sandwiches when her owner isn’t looking, weighed in at 1st 3lb (7.9kg) at the beginning of Pet Fit Club. Six months later she has lost nearly 18% of her total body weight, an incredible 3lb (1.4kg).

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