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News Release

Walkies for fat to fit canine winner

Blaze a Rottweiler cross from the Gold Coast, has won the state title of the 2008 Hill’s Pet Slimmer of the Year.

According to a recent survey called "Australia's Future Fat Bomb", Australia is the fattest nation in the world and our pets not may be far behind, as it is estimated that approximately 41% of all dogs and one-third of cats are either overweight or obese.1-3 And of concern obesity is now the most common form of malnutrition in pets4.

So, in tackling this epidemic, the nation’s longest running pet slimmer competition, the Hill’s Pet Slimmer of The Year, launched by pet food company Hill’s® Pet Nutrition ten years ago, raises awareness of the serious problem of pet obesity.

 

Blaze after

After weighing in at 26 kg (loss of 31% of her total body weight)

Blaze before

Before weighing at 33.6 kg

Weighing an enormous 33.6 kilograms, Blaze was not only eating her food, but sneaking her canine house mates food as well! She put on so much weight her owner who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis could no longer hold her on a lead at walk time and was concerned without regular exercise she would no longer be able to look after her beloved pet.

 

"I knew I had to find a solution to Blaze’s weight problem so I could once again enjoy walks with my girl," said Blaze’s owner, Klara Harrison.

Ormeau Vet Clinic, Nutritional Advisor Lisa Larman had just the remedy and enrolled Blaze in the Pet Slimmer Program which consisted of a lifestyle change including an exercise regime, feeding Hill’s Prescription Diet® Canine r/d® to reduce Blaze’s calorie intake and regular weigh ins.

In the following months with the help of Lisa and her dedicated owner, she shed 7.6 kilograms or whopping 31% per cent of her body weight.

"I cannot explain how much it has changed my life having Blaze fit, happy and healthy. I am so pleased to be able to walk her again by myself, as exercise is beneficial for us both", said Ms Harrison.

Like many domestic dogs and cats, Blaze’s pre-competition diet included treats and left-over table scraps. An owners’ over-generosity with food is very common, however can have harmful implications for pets.

"The best way to spoil a pet is with affection—not titbits," said Hill’s veterinarian Dr Karen Johnston. "Shortened life expectancy, arthritis, heart and respiratory problems, diabetes, arthritis, cancer and pancreatitis are all associated with increased weight," she added.

Blaze has maintained her healthy weight since finishing the program and entering the competition and currently weighs a slim 23.1kg and has lost 10 inches off her waist. As a state winner, Blaze has won a year’s supply of nutritionally balanced Hill’s pet food formulated to maintain weight.

To locate your nearest participating pet slimmer clinic or for further information on pet nutrition call the Hill’s HelpLine on 1800 679 932 or visit petfit.hillspet.com.au

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition Hill’s Pet Nutrition® manufactures Hill’s® Science Diet® brand pet foods, sold through veterinarians, RSPCA® and pet specialty food stores, and Hill’s Prescription Diet® therapeutic brand pet foods available only through veterinarians. Founded nearly 60 years ago by one veterinarian’s unique commitment to pet nutrition and wellbeing, Hill’s follows its mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets by producing the highest quality, great tasting pet nutrition. Explore petfit.hillspet.com.au for more information on pet weight loss and Hill’s Pet Nutrition and their products. ®Trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. ® RSPCA owned by RSPCA Australia Inc.

References:
1. Stewart S, Tikellis G, Carrington C, Walker K, O’Dea K. Australia’s future ‘Fat Bomb’: A report on the long-term consequences of Australia’s expanding waistline on cardiovascular disease. April 2008, BHRI, Melbourne, Australia.
2. RSPCA Study Data, 2000.
3.Over-weight or obese cats presented to Australian veterinary practices: risk factors and prevalence
Paul McGreevy, Peter Thomson, Cass Pride, Anne Fawcett, Tanya Grassi, Bidda Jones
4. Prevalence of obesity in dogs examined by Australian veterinary practices and the risk factors involved P. D. McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, MRCVS, P. C. Thomson, MSc, MAppStat, PhD, C. Pride, BA, A. Fawcett, BA, BSc, T. Grassi, MBBS, BSc and B. Jones, BSc, DipPub, PhD.

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with Dr Karen Johnston or Blaze’s owner Klara Harrison, contact:
Danielle Parkinson or Natasha Ciesielski
Tel (02) 9436 2088