Obese Capital dog battles to be UK’s biggest loser

Challenge: Harley.

Challenge: Harley.

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A podgy pooch is battling to become the UK’s biggest loser – by shedding the pounds in a national pet slimming competition.

Harley the cocker spaniel, who is carrying so much flab he has been likened to a panda, is among 17 podgy pets in vet charity PDSA’s Pet Fit Club 2015.

The huge hound from Edinburgh weighs around 4st 4lbs and is nearly 60 per cent bigger than he should be, but is now set to begin a dramatic transformation as he goes up against fat pets from all over the UK.

Owner Lisa Mitchell said: “He’s so big he got stuck under a caravan while chasing rabbits recently and I had to push his bum to get him through.

“I want him to lose weight for his health and his happiness. He is spoilt but I want him to live longer.

“It’s also about educating us as a family. I need to stop feeling sorry for him as I feel guilty when I don’t feed him a treat.”

PDSA Pet Fit Club was launched in 2005 and has already helped 63 dogs, 26 cats and six rabbits lose a total of 60st 6lb – the equivalent of more than 500 blocks of lard.

But Amanda Shearsby from PDSA Edinburgh Pet Hospital said pet obesity levels are on the rise across the country.