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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008, 00:59 GMT
Hefty hound wins slimming prize
Oscar before his diet
Oscar weighed 7st 7lb before his diet

An overweight dog who piled on the pounds after munching on sausages, roast chicken and creamy pasta has been named pet slimmer of the year.

Oscar the Labrador's waistline ballooned to such an extent that he collapsed under the weight.

But he lost one-and-a-half stone (9.5kg) after his owners, from Hamilton put him on a strict regime of diet and exercise.

Oscar has now lifted first prize in the UK-wide Pet Fit Club competition.

Oscar weighed 7st 7lb (47.7kg) before owners Gordon and Louise Critcher signed him up to the 100-day diet competition, run by veterinary charity the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).

His previous fatty meals became a thing of the past, and 10-year-old Oscar was put on a diet of dried food and water.

At the beginning Oscar didn't take to the diet and used to look at us, as if to say 'is that it?'
Louise Critcher
Oscar's owner

Oscar, who was 32% overweight, now weighs in at a healthier 6st (38.2kg).

Mrs Critcher, 53, said: "We were always under the impression that Labs were big dogs and we didn't think we were doing anything wrong by giving him treats.

"We used to feed him everything and anything.

"But then he collapsed and we thought he might have had a stroke. It turned out he had arthritis, but the vet recommended he go on the Pet Fit Club programme."

The couple have started taking Oscar on twice-daily walks, and their pet's progress is monitored by weigh-ins every fortnight.

Oscar after his diet
His owners say he is healthier and happier after losing weight

Mrs Critcher said: "At the beginning Oscar didn't take to the diet and used to look at us, as if to say 'is that it?'

"But he soon got used to it. Now he is a totally different dog. He is full of life, has tonnes of energy, his coat is glowing and his eyes are sparkling.

"It has been hard work but Oscar has done absolutely brilliantly. We are very proud of him."

PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Elaine Pendlebury said pet obesity was an increasing problem.

She added: "PSDA has seen a steady rise in pet obesity and related health problems over the past five years."

Seven overweight pets were enrolled in the programme in October 2007.

In joint second place were 10-year-old cocker spaniel Poppy from Nottingham, who lost 12lb (5.5kg), and 13-year-old mongrel Scooby from Gillingham, Kent, who shed 5lb (2.3kg).

Scooby's owner, Jennifer Thompson, said her pet had gained weight due to her love of chicken curry, fish and chips and ice cream.

Overweight cat George, from Everton in Liverpool, took third place after losing 3lb (1.4kg).

Fat cat Willie's slimming crown
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