Obesity in the United States has expanded from people to cats and dogs, with rates soaring in recent years. Just a few extra pounds on animals can severely harm their health, giving them back and respiratory problems.
The story of severely overweight golden retriever mix, Strudel, caught the attention of the owners of dog training business Zoom Room Virginia Beach, Kirsty and John Cotthaus, and they knew they had to take action.
The adorable Strudel had recently come into the care of dog rescue group Hearts for Hounds after her elderly owner had passed away. At this point, seven-year-old Strudel weighed an enormous 81 pounds and was suffering from inflamed joints from the extra chub.
Upon hearing how much the cute pooch was in need, Kirsty and John offered their animal fitness services for free, working together with a veterinarian to develop a diet and fitness plan, designing an agility course that would fit the needs and ability of Strudel.
Kirsty added, “We motivate dogs with treats, toys, and praise but Strudel was actually easy, it’s almost like she knew what she had to do, we didn’t have to use any treats at all because she was motivated to do the agility [course] with just lots of praise.”
Strudel is currently up for adoption, and until she finds a new home, volunteer Kirsten Horton is fostering her.
Horton said of her temporary house guest, “Strudel is the sweetest animal we have ever met, she is calm, friendly, loves to play, snuggle, and walk, and is well-trained … Think gentle giant (though not so giant anymore!!)”
Through the diet and training regimen, Strudel has dropped 25 pounds so far and her activity level has dramatically increased.
Whoever chooses to adopt Strudel must continue her healthy lifestyle and training to ensure that her medical issues decrease.