How 'love goggles' turned pet pooch into a porker

12 October 2017 - 16:06 By Suthentira Govender
DOWN WITH THE FAT: Trim Kapow with pet parents Johan and Nadia Uys.
DOWN WITH THE FAT: Trim Kapow with pet parents Johan and Nadia Uys.

Pet parents Nadia and Johan Uys had their “love-goggles” on when it came to feeding their beloved Labrador retriever Kapow.

The Limpopo couple did not realise they were overfeeding the pooch by treating him with leftover meat‚ biltong and biscuits.

When Kapow ballooned to 48kg‚ they knew it was time for him to slim down.

Kapow‚ who lost nearly 16kg‚ is now in the running for the Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year title‚ along with eight other dogs and a cat.

The annual contest was started to create awareness of pet obesity‚ an issue that according to local vets‚ affects more than half their of their furry patients.

Judging takes place during October - national Pet Obesity Month - and the top three will be announced on November 1.

Vet Dr Guy Fyvie said: “Research clearly demonstrates that overweight pets have shorter lives and are at higher risk of arthritis‚ heart problems‚ urinary conditions‚ skin issues and even cancer.”

He said nine out of 10 pet owners mistakenly believe their pet’s weight to be normal.

As was the case with Kapow‚ who was tiny when he arrived as a puppy.

“We fell in love with him and did our best to feed him up so he would grow healthy and strong‚” said Nadia.

The couple’s dogs are fed with dog food and in addition Johan often drops them treats. “He would give them left-over meat‚ tinned food and biltong as well as a biscuit every time he left the house‚ which could be several times a day.

“We had our love goggles on. We didn’t realise how big Kapow had become.”

A vet visit confirmed that the dog was “seriously overweight“ and recommended a diet‚ which reaped rewards for Kapow‚ who slimmed down from 48kg to 32.2kg.

Java‚ the Rhodesian Ridgeback‚ who lost 23kg‚ is also a contender for the title.

Port Elizabeth couple Samantha and Daniel Bosman became concerned when Java slipped into depression after his mate died of a snake bite.

“He was grieving and went from being very active to not exercising at all. We didn’t feed him a huge amount. At dinner he would get some leftover table scraps on top of his food but we thought nothing of it‚” said Samantha.

It was a vet again who pointed out Java’s weight problem and he was put on a programme to cut out the fat.

Java now has a new lease on life.