A podgy pug who weighs the same as a toddler is going on a diet.
Sugar may be sweet but her huge size is having a big impact on her life.
The 12-year-old dog was rescued eight months ago by her current owner Steve Jones when she was already massively overweight.
She has managed to shed some pounds but still tips the scales at a whopping 1st 12lb (11.9kg) – around double the size she should be.
Mr Jones, 62, from Caerphilly, south Wales, said Sugar had piled on weight because her previous owner did not exercise her.
“Sugar’s owner was partially sighted and her limited vision meant she couldn’t cope with her. She never used to go out for walks at all,” he said.
“She has poor vision herself and is also deaf, which presents quite a few challenges. In the last couple of weeks she’s also had to have all her teeth taken out so she’s not enjoyed the best of health.”
Sugar suffers from a host of health problems, many of which are related to her age, breed or lack of exercise, and could have been made worse by her weight.
For example, giving her an anaesthetic for recent dental work was a much higher risk because of her size.
Mr Jones said that since adopting Sugar he has helped her lose around a kilogram and has sought help from vet staff at Cardiff PDSA Pet Hospital in battling the bulge.
He said his other dog Winston, a Bichon Frise, is a healthy weight and has up to four walks a day.
“I take Sugar out as well but we have to go at her pace and it takes a lot longer so she is walked once a day at the moment,” said Mr Jones.
“Since she’s had her bad teeth removed she seems healthier and happier, so we’re going to try and increase her exercise.”
Sugar has enrolled in the annual PDSA Pet Fit Club competition.
PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said: “Obesity has been a huge problem among UK pets for a number of years and sadly there is no sign of improvement.
“It is one of the biggest long-term health concerns for our pet population, because it is so commonly seen by vets and nurses.
“Animals who are overweight have a much greater risk of developing health problems such as arthritis and diabetes – which can have drastic consequences.
“Excess weight can also seriously aggravate other medical problems, for example making it even more difficult for flat-faced breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs to breathe.
“Research has also shown that carrying too much weight can even reduce a dog’s life expectancy by up to two years and six months.”
Owners can enter their pets in Pet Fit Club at pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub.