Christmas fare off the menu for canine

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 27/12/2012
tdn dog stand
ANDY JACKSON
Cath Collins with her dog Naki, 8, a Boarder Collie cross Kelpie who has come 3rd place in a National animal Weight loss competition losing 16KG

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There was no gorging or gluttony under the Christmas table for a Taranaki dog who has spent the year slimming down.

Robert Hughes and Cath Collins' dog Naki was put on a vet-recommended diet in November last year and lost 16 kilograms, about 37 per cent of her body weight.

The loss earned her a third placing in a national pet weight-loss competition, and won her a giant bag of diet dog biscuits.

Mr Hughes said 8-year-old Naki's extra bulk was not puppy fat, but a result of overfeeding.

"We were killing her with kindness."

Pre-diet, the dog would get three square meals as well as leftovers, scraps, extras at the family barbecue, and an egg for her coat.

Eventually, she ballooned to a hefty 48kg.

It wasn't until Mr Hughes and Ms Collins took Naki to the New Plymouth Vet Group to be treated for an ear infection that they realised the dog had packed on the pounds.

"The vet said she looked like she was 14, not 7, and didn't know if she would make it another year."

Naki's worried owners took the vet's advice and started her on a diet of specially formulated Hills pet food.

As the fat started to fall off, Naki's energy levels soared.

"Before she struggled to get to the car, and now she runs. Now we take her for five walks a day and we can't keep up," Ms Collins said.

The border-collie kelpie cross, whose full name is Tara Naki, had her first treat in a year this week - a chewy bone.

"She made it last because I think she knew she wasn't going to get another one for a while."

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