A once podgy rabbit has been named runner-up in a national pet slimming competition.
Pebbles’ owner Christine Howard, once left pulling her hare out over her pet’s rampant eating habits, is now jumping for joy after he lost more than 10 per cent of his body weight to wow Pet Fit Club 2016 judges. Fattened up on a diet of muesli-style food and little to no exercise, Pebbles trimmed down to his target weight of seven pounds after getting his teeth into a healthier palate of spinach and broccoli instead.
Christine, 39, from Blackpool, said Pebbles hopped to the six-month challenge after getting so fat he was struggling to groom himself.
“He developed a ‘sticky bottom’, which can be really serious and cause fly strike,” she said.
“We signed him up for Pet Fit Club and haven’t regretted it. Before he would only come out of his hutch if it was sunny, and even then he was never very enthusiastic.
“Now it’s a struggle to catch him and get him back inside – he’s lightning fast.
He developed a ‘sticky bottom’, which can be really serious and cause fly strike
“The change in him has been incredible. He loves his new diet and doesn’t seem to miss the old food at all.
“We need to keep a close eye on him though; we have a pear tree in the garden and if we’re not careful he gobbles up any fallen fruit.”
Simone der Weduwen, from Blackpool’s PDSA Pet Hospital, added: “Pebbles has done amazingly well.
“Christine and her whole family have been very dedicated and worked extremely hard to help change his lifestyle for the better.
“They have stuck to the diet and helped increase his exercise levels and they’re now seeing the rewards for all of their hard work.”
Although Pebbles tipped the scales at a colossal 10 pounds – 50 per cent more than a healthy bunny should weigh – he was still way behind heavyweight Ralph, the world’s fattest rabbit.
The hungry hopper munched his way into the record books in 2013 – when he weighed almost four stone and cost £50-a-week to feed.