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News Release

Weight loss success for food loving canine

Abby the Labrador from Greenwith, 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.


Abby the Labrador before and after

Before weighing at 44.6 kg. After weighing in at 30.5 kg (loss of 32% of her total body weight)

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.


Weighing an enormous 44.6 kilograms, Abby was almost 50% over her ideal body weight for a three year old dog and had a rotund waist of 31 inches.

"I knew Abby was overweight and had tried a few diets in the past with no success. She just loved food and would regularly raid our cupboards and bin, there was just no stopping her," said Abby’s owner, Donna Robins.

Tea Tree Gully Veterinary Hospital, Veterinary Nurse Lisa Goodwin-Towers had just the remedy and enrolled Abby 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 Abby’s calorie intake and regular weigh ins.

In the following months with the help of Lisa and her dedicated family, she shed 14.1 kilograms or a whopping 32% per cent of her body weight.

"Abby now acts like a young dog again. She loves to run and play with the kids, no longer scavenges for food and her waist is now down to a trim 22 inches. We could not be happier with the result," said Ms Robins.

Like many domestic dogs and cats, Abby’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.

Abby has maintained her healthy weight since finishing the program and entering the competition in August this year. As a state winner, Abby 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

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 for more information on pet weight loss and Hill’s Pet Nutrition and their products. ®Trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. ®RSPCA trademark owned by RSPCA Australia Inc

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 Abby’s owner Donna Robins, contact:
Danielle Parkinson or Natasha Ciesielski
Tel (02) 9436 2088