The average Dachshund has a maximum weight of 32 pounds; five-year-old Obie (who used to be called AJ; we assume the “Obie” nickname is short for “obese” – aw, poor guy) weighs more than twice that, topping out at 77 pounds when new owner Nora Vanatta met him last month. And he is going on a major diet to try to slim down.
His previous owners, an older couple, had to give Obie up because of their own declining health, but thanks to what must have been expert begging by the dog, they’d managed to feed him almost to death in the meantime.
Vanatta already owns a couple of dogs (a Labrador and another Dachshund), so she’s experienced with canine care in general, and Obie’s breed in particular. And she has a degree in animal science, and worked for eight years as a veterinary technician, so she’s more qualified than most to supervise a wiener weight-loss regime.
Vanatta is trying to keep Obie’s diet mission fun and optimistic; she’s started a “Biggest Loser Doxie [Dachshund] Edition” on Facebook, so that fans can track Obie’s progress. The goal is for Obie to drop 40 pounds. It’s tough sledding to start out with, however. For now, she’s got him on a special diet and hydrotherapy to start melting the pounds away. Vanatta might incorporate a treadmill later on, once there’s less stress on Obie’s joints and bones.
While Vanatta doesn’t judge his previous owners for overfeeding the plump pup, she’s hoping that her other dogs will lead Obie by example, and that Obie in turn “can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.”
What’s the fattest dog that you have seen so far? Do you also have the tendency to overfeed your pets?