Excessive weight is a troubling concern in the U.S., afflicting people of all ages including young children. It’s led to an array of health concerns, such as an increase in diabetes cases.
Veterinarians also are seeing a rise in obese pets. According to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 59.5 percent of cats and 55.8 percent of dogs are considered to be excessively overweight.
Figures shared by USA Today show that in 2018, 18.9 percent of dogs and 33.8 percent of cats were obese. In 2013, 16.7 percent of dogs and 27.4 percent of cats were obese.
Keeping dogs in tiptop shape means feeding them healthy and appropriate food, not a ton of table scraps. They need an abundance of exercise, grooming and vaccines.
Kai, a beautiful and gentle golden retriever, had been overfed to the point of extreme obesity. Instead of putting Kai on a diet and making sure the sweetheart engaged in enough exercise, Kai’s owner took him to the veterinarian.
There, the owner demanded Kai be put to sleep instead of properly cared for by someone else.
Thank goodness the veterinarian refused to comply with Kai’s owner’s demands. Instead, the vet phoned Misfits of Alberta Animal Rescue to help with Kai.
Volunteer rescuer Pam Heggie agreed to foster Kai. When she first met him, she couldn’t believe how out of shape he truly was — it took him 20 minutes to climb a short set of stairs just to walk into her home.
“I could not believe my eyes. His size was staggering. The pictures don’t do justice to how huge he was, and how difficult even a few steps was for him.”
The poor golden retriever weighed a whopping 173 pounds.
A healthy-sized full-grown golden retriever weighs 55 to 75 pounds with females tending toward the lighter side. That meant Kai had to lose more than half his weight.
The task ahead of her was daunting, but Pam was not about to give up on him like his previous owner did.
“I do not know anything about Kai’s previous owners and quite honestly, I prefer it that way. I don’t believe in shaming people so I’m not sure blame is the right word. I do believe that as animal caretakers, our job is to help animals be as healthy as possible. We owe them that much. I believe educating people in how to care for their animals is more powerful than shaming or blaming.”
Kai embarked upon a journey to better health that included a strict doggie diet and engaged in water therapy to strengthen his legs and build up his stamina. Pam led him on a walk three times a day to build up his endurance and help him lose weight.
“At first, he could only go a few steps before resting or lying down.”
When Kai started shedding the weight, he became a new dog. He developed a curiosity for everything around him and was finally able to pursue what piqued his interest.
“It was more exciting to watch him regain his freedom than watching the numbers change. I never dreamed he would be an active dog able to run, play and enjoy life as he does now. Kai was 10 when he was surrendered, so he is now 11 and full of life.”
Kai looks and acts like a frisky pup today. Pam can’t believe the metamorphosis and fell so deeply in love with Kai’s determination that she ended up adopting him herself.
“Kai exemplifies what we all find the good in this world- an indelible spirit and unconditional love. He could have chosen to lament his past and give up, but instead, he chose to embrace the chance to be better. We all need to believe we can be better. He is a very grateful soul, and I am extremely lucky to have him in my life. I am now his adopted mom, and he will live out his life with me. I am the lucky one.”
The transformation from overweight to healthy is incredible! Kai is a lucky boy to have Pam and we agree, she’s lucky to have such a wonderful dog in her life, too.
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Source: Bored Panda