Two of the Fylde coast’s porkiest pets have been picked for the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.
Pepsi-Cola, the 1st 5lb cat, and Tia, the 1st 9lb chihuahua pug cross, are the podgy pair to take part in the PDSA’s Pet Fit Club competition.
Seven-year-old Pepsi-Cola has eaten and snoozed her way to become around 60 per cent over her ideal bodyweight.
She needs to lose 7lb to get to where she should be.
Her owner, Nicola Bennett, 48, from Poulton, said: “We’ve now nicknamed her Diet Pepsi as she needs to lose weight!
“She really struggles to groom herself because of her size so I have to brush her religiously to keep her clean.
“When she goes outside she literally goes to the step and that’s about it. If she ever tries to jump the fence she just hits it and it sounds like there’s an earthquake.”
“My hope is that she will lose weight and be healthy. I hope the process will help us get to the root cause of her obesity problem.”
Cheese-loving chihuahua pug cross, Tia, has snacked her way to become more than 78 percent over her ideal weight and needs to lose 10lb.
Owner Charlotte Horne, 25, also from Poulton, took on four-year-old Tia as a foster dog a year ago when she was at her biggest.
She says: “She loves cheese. I try to give her healthy treats like carrots but she prefers cheese and chicken!
“She’s a gorgeous gentle dog and I find it hard to resist her puppy-dog eyes.
“She’s so overweight that she’s unable to run and play with my other dogs who are full of energy. I’m really excited about Pet Fit Club and seeing Tia’s transformation at the end of the six months.”
The podgy pair have been selected to compete against 11 other fat pets from across the UK, including dogs, cats and even a massive dumbo rat.
Pet Fit Club is a strict six-month diet and exercise programme. Participating pets are placed on individually tailored regimes, designed for their specific needs and overseen by vets and vet nurses at their local PDSA Pet Hospital.
Pepsi-Cola and Tia will be competing against six dogs, four cats, and a rat.
Two rivals are Benji the cat, too fat to fit through its cat flap, and Mr T the rat, who weighs 1kg – double his ideal weight.
About fit club
The PDSA Pet Fit Club is a national competition that has been running since 2005 and is the biggest of its kind in the UK.
To date it has helped 124 overweight and obese pets (79 dogs, 37 cats and eight rabbits) lose an incredible 450kg (71 stone) - equivalent to a grand piano or 160,000 doughnuts!
Last year’s winner, Alfie the beagle, from Middlesbrough, successfully shed 34 percent of his bodyweight and the 2016 winner, Oscar the spaniel – who loved Sunday roasts – lost more than 40 per cent.