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Pet Slimmer Finalist

The only treat for Jessie now is her transformation!

Lost 6.7 kgs
20% of her bodyweight.

Give a paws up

Cross Breed (Medium), Female

Starting Weight: 34 kgs
Current Weight: 27.3 kgs
Percentage Lost: 20%

Slimmer Practice
Vital Vet, George 

Slimmer Supervisor
Hollie Coates

Jessie - progress 1 Jessie - progress 2

Jessie’s Story

Jessie is our rescue dog adopted 6 years ago from the SPCA in George. We thought she was an Airedale, but once at home it became apparent, when we did our research, that she most certainly was not. Browsing the internet we came across Border Terrier, and she matched the standards, physique and behavior.

As the years went by, Jessie had a robust appetite, brought on perhaps by her traumatic earlier years of neglect. Also, strangely enough, Border Terrier websites claimed that the breed would eat anything and everything put in front of them, and owners had to watch their diets carefully. The real reason though that Jessie’s weight got out of control, was the way we fed her. Having two dogs, we gave them equal amounts of food. As if this was not bad enough, Jessie being the dominant dog, would sometimes eat the other dog’s food. Dog politics can be so complicated!

At the time I was getting “shavings” from the butcher, that is made up of bone, fat, grizzle and meat, that is recovered from the cutting machines. This I would mix with good quality dog food pellets - and as can be imagined it was super canine comfort food.

We walk our dog often with friends and their dogs. “Your dog’s fat”, someone said one day. “No, she’s not”, was my first reaction. Strange this human condition. Taking it personally, as though I was the one that was fat!

More critical comments were made about Jessie’s bulk and eventually I had to acknowledge that this was about her health – and it had nothing to do with me. I had noticed Jessie was getting tired sooner and showing more strain on our walks than usual.

One of my walking friends explained how she had put her dog on the Hill’s Slimmer Programme with very positive results. It was time to take action and I made an appointment for Jessie for her weigh in at Vital Vet in George. Here she tipped the scales at 34 kg – which is the weight of about 8 Border Terriers. The kind nurses and ladies prodded her and measured her. They tried to find her ribs, and backbone, and looked unsuccessfully for a waistline.

We left confidently armed with our instructions, measuring cups and Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic food. A month later she was right on target with her estimated weight loss, and again at her 2nd weigh in after two months she breached the 30kg mark and measured 29,5kg. Alas at her third weigh in she was hovering back around the dreaded 30kg. I was wondering what could possibly have gone wrong. We live on a retirement complex where during the day building contractors are active across the road and alongside our property. Guess what I should see one day, but Jessie sitting at the fence taking titbits from the builders!!

Putting a stop to that and all other possible food sources, we continued with the scheduled diet and after the 4th month we had almost reached our target mark. This coincided with the silly December holiday season when visitors tend to be liberal with snippets for dogs, so we were quite pleased with the result.

And then, finally Jessie reached her target weight! There was much rejoicing at Vital Vet and the staff there all came to see Jessie and wish her well. She got a lot of attention – a bit like a rock star for a moment – but that may just be my imagination! Jessie has now been put on a diet to stabilise her weight and we will be going back to see that things are indeed stable.

I’ve certainly learnt a lot on this little weight loss trip. We dog owners have got far more responsibility than we care to acknowledge.

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the staff at Vital Vet in George who are sweet, kind and caring. In particular Hollie, the veterinary nurse was really helpful and encouraging.

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