Chunky dog who looked like a ‘balloon on legs’ goes on diet and finds perfect home

Lily had difficulty breathing and moving, and even had sores on her belly because of how it dragged on the floor as she walked (Picture: RSPCA / SWNS.COM)

An over-fed and under-exercised dog who was so chunky she looked like a ‘balloon on legs’ has been rehomed by the RSPCA.

Jack Russell-esque Lily, eight, was found to weigh 13.7kg (2st), which is almost twice the weight a dog of her breed should be.

She had difficulty breathing and moving, and even had sores on her belly due to how it dragged on the floor as she walked.

Ultimately, her previous owner signed Lily over to the charity after they struggled to work with animal welfare inspectors to help the dog lose weight.

Since being put on a special dog diet, she has trimmed down to a healthier 7.7kg, and has a new lease on life with her new owner.

RSPCA inspector Demi Hodby said: ‘When I went to see her I couldn’t believe her size – she reminded me of a pufferfish. She was blown up like a balloon.

Lily before her weight loss (Picture: RSPCA / SWNS.COM)

‘She couldn’t even walk to my van, so I had to carry her.

‘Lily had no quality of life and was in real danger of dying prematurely from heart failure, so she really did need help.’

When she was taken to the RSPCA’s Lancashire East branch, she was put on a special dog-friendly diet by the team and given a number of small meals.

As the pooch lost weight, she was also able to exercise, which in turn helped her slim down even more until, in May, she was rehomed with an 80-year-old woman.

Jeanette Aimscough, animal centre manager at the branch, said: ‘Poor Lily looked like a balloon on legs when she first came to us, and she struggled to move.

‘She even had sores on her belly from it rubbing against the floor as she walked – she was struggling to breathe and panting.

‘But as she lost weight she began to enjoy playing – she was certainly a couch potato, and we were delighted when she went to her new home, and we know she is now enjoying a new lease of life and is much more active.’

Demi said: ‘She couldn’t even walk to my van, so I had to carry her’ (Picture: RSPCA / SWNS.COM)

Her new owner Ruth said: ‘My other pet dog died, so I was looking for an older companion and I came across Lily and was more than happy to adopt her.

‘She is a lovely girl – she likes to cuddle and sleep on the sofa – but has also found out how to run now so loves to have a little trot around.

‘She is still on a special diet and seems to be really happy and settled. She is a fantastic dog, and I am so pleased to care for her.’

Lily was put on a special diet (Picture: RSPCA / SWNS.COM)

Figures have indicated that nearly half of all cats and dogs are overweight.

RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Pet obesity is a serious welfare issue affecting a large proportion of our pets today.

“Recent studies have suggested that around half of all pet dogs are overweight and this can cause serious health and welfare issues for them such as heart disease and diabetes.

She’s much happier now (Picture: RSPCA / SWNS.COM)

‘Obesity can affect all types of pets and the main cause is from eating too much or not exercising enough.

‘As a rough guide for dogs and cats – you should be able to see and feel the outline of their ribs without excess fat covering them.

‘Other tips are that you should be able to see and feel their waist, and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above.

‘Anyone who is concerned about their pet’s weight should speak to their vet for advice.’

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