A dog can become overweight for many reasons. It could be that they just have access to poor nutrition, are given too much junk food and “people food,” or have an underlying medical condition. Regardless of the reason, obesity can be just as harmful to a dog’s health as it is to humans.
In February 2019, Phil the Retriever weighed just under 150 pounds. Phil’s adoptive mother made it her mission to help her child lose weight for health and happiness. The end result is amazing and heartwarming.
A rescue dog begins its journey to health
Since the time she brought him home in 2019, Phil’s mother Kelsey has noticed that the dog’s weight causes him some problems. Phil had trouble climbing the stairs, and the poor guy even had trouble jumping onto the couch.
According to Kelsey, Phil “can only take about ten steps before needing a break” when she first had him. Hardwood floors at home also prove to be a challenge.
“Some of the first things I learned about Phil was that he was too fat to walk up stairs and that he couldn’t walk on hardwood without slipping,” she wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately for him, I live in a second floor apartment with 100% wooden floors… the first few days we did a lot of lifting up and down and covering the floor with blankets so he could walk around. .”
Getting this 150-pound dog to a healthy weight is going to be a very tough job, but Kelsey has upended the challenge. She knew that not only was it good for Phil’s health, but that greater freedom and freedom of movement would make him happy.
“He’s always been the sweetest boy, but his weight makes it hard for him to live a normal life as a dog,” she wrote on Instagram.
Kelsey begins documenting her life and transformation on Instagram under the handle @OrangeBoyPhil. To see how he looked and moved for the first time when she adopted him compared to where he is today is something truly remarkable.
How Phil went from double digits to a healthy weight
Getting rid of that unwanted weight takes time and commitment, but Phil is willing to handle whatever his mother wants to try. Together they did a lot of long walks that slowly became easier for Phil with repetition. He also does low-impact exercise by walking on an underwater treadmill.
Of course, there are also some dietary changes. Kelsey noted that veterinarians were involved in weight loss journey from start.
Tormented by questions about how she and her dog were able to achieve such great success, Kelsey explain:
“Step 1: I booked a vet appointment for a full checkup on Phil. They wanted to check if there was a medical reason for the weight gain.
Step 2: All his tests and blood came back normal, so Phil was prescribed a diet for obese dogs. I slowly reduced his amount each week and weighed him every 2 weeks to make sure he was losing at a healthy rate determined by his doctor.
Step 3: I have added in daily exercise. Since he wasn’t active before, I gradually increased his exercise so I didn’t put too much stress on his body.”
After about a year and a half of working on a new diet and exercise routine, Phil looks great. Today, he has lost about half of his previous body weight. Now he weighs a healthy 75 pounds!
Look at this amazing glow:
Without adding all the weight, Phil can easily walk for miles and even run. His life is filled with new opportunities.
“We are so grateful to his doctors for helping us through this process!” Kelsey added.
Featured pictures: Instagram