How slimming down gave these 3 dogs and 1 cat- a new leash on life.
Cody the Shiba Inu
Was 104 lbs. & Now 36 lbs.
When this dog from Charlton, Massachusetts, was adopted from a shelter in 2014, he weighed an unhealthy 104 lbs.
“He couldn’t even make it up three stairs,” says owner Kim Linde, 33. “He wheezed with every breath. The doctor that saw him when he was surrendered didn’t want him to be around other animals in case the excitement caused a heart attack.”
Once Cody was placed on regular thyroid medication, Kim and her husband Sean, who own a pressure washing company, also put the dog on a raw-meat diet and started exercising him daily, first with swimming lessons to help ease the pain in his joints and then with regular walks. Kim says he responded “perfectly” to the new regimen and didn’t push back.
Now, Cody, 9, weighs 36 lbs, and despite his bowed front legs (a result of his previous excess weight), is running 5Ks with his owner and inspiring others with his “Get Fit with Cody” Facebook group.
Obie the Dachshund
Was 77 lbs. & Now 23 lbs.
After Nora Vanatta rescued Obie in 2012, she created a Facebook page called Obie Dog Journey. More than 420,000 people have followed along as the now 9-year-old pup lost 54 lbs. through exercise and the Purina OM (overweight management) Diet. (He also had skin-removal surgery in 2013).
“When I first got him, he weighed as much as my Labrador,” says the Portland, Oregon, veterinary technician, 38. “Sometimes his only exercise was going from one end of the house to the other.”
Now the Internet star loves going on walks and meeting his fans — he even has his own calendar out.
“Even when he couldn’t walk, his tail was always wagging. He’s just a really happy dog.”
Kale Chips the Beagle
Was 85 lbs. & Now 41 lbs.
When the overweight beagle Kale arrived at the Chicago-based dog rescue One Tail at a Time nearly a year ago, “he was super depressed and basically immobile,” says executive director Heather Owen.
Fortunately, he had no other health concerns and with exercise, reduced-calorie meals and healthy treats like liver-infused carrots and, yes, kale chips, the pounds started to drop off.
One of his new pastimes?
Running up and down the aisles of a local bookstore.
“Now he’s very sassy. It’s like he couldn’t get his personality out when he was overweight,” says Owen of 8-year-old Kale. “It’s really cool to see him finally be himself.”
Skinny the Orange Tabby
Was 41 lbs. & Now 19 lbs.
“Before Skinny’s weight loss, his whole body hurt,” his current owner, Dr. Brittney Barton, 40, says of the stray cat who was found abandoned in Richardson, Texas, in 2012. “His legs would just quake when he would try to get up. And his body was sore so he didn’t like to be petted.”
With a prescription weight-loss plan and exercise using treadmills both on land and in water, Barton, who is a veterinarian at HEAL Veterinary Hospital, helped the now-8-year-old orange tabby lose 22 lbs.
“Because Skinny is so food-motivated, we used treats to help him accept the treadmill,” says Barton.
Now, “he jumps up in your lap and purrs. You can tell he just feels better.”
-Article is brought to you by People Magazine, January 2016 issue.