Meet roly-poly Marshall whose penchant for chicken nuggets might just have made him the Fylde coast’s most portly pug.
But there could be light at the end of the tunnel for the pint-sized porker, who has been chosen to take part in a six-month diet with the aim of shedding close to half his body weight.
The three-year-old, who tips the scales at 2st 4lb, has been selected to compete against six other fat pets from across the UK, including dogs, cats and even a giant rabbit in PDSA Pet Fit Club.
Marshall, who lives in Lytham with his owner Richard Molyneux, will be given slimming help over the next six-month in a bid to get him down to his target weight of 1st 4lb.
And the free supply of diet pet food will be a big change for the podgy pug, whose usual eating habits – including steak fat, chicken nuggets and leftovers – leave a lot to be desired.
Richard said: “He has no set meal times and eats whatever he wants.
“He’s forever stealing food from the kids who happily feed him leftovers from the table.”
Marshall is well known for his huge appetite. A few months ago he had to be rushed to Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital after his ear was bitten when he got into a fight with another dog over food.
But Richard is determined to change things, for the good of his family’s beloved pet. He said: “Marshall’s a much-loved part of our family and we want to have him around for a long time, but with his weight this high we’re afraid he won’t be.
“We need to get him fit and healthy.
“At the moment he doesn’t do much exercise so we’re looking forward to being able to take him for walks and for him to actually want to go.”
“I’m hoping this will help Marshall to have a better quality of life and he can live to a ripe old age.”
Marshall’s six-month Pet Fit Club diet and exercise programme will be specially tailored and overseen by the vets and nurses at Blackpool PDSA Pet Hospital.
Terry Ogdin, the PDSA vet who will be helping to oversee Marshall’s diet, said: “Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets.
“Carrying excess weight can have serious health risks and increase the chances of pets suffering from life-limiting and life-threatening conditions including arthritis, diabetes and heart diseases.
“For Marshall, his excess weight is even more concerning because he is a flat-faced breed and being overweight can worsen the breathing difficulties they face. This makes helping him lose weight all the more important.”