A morbidly obese pooch whose love of deli meat saw her balloon to three times the size of a normal beagle has shed almost 25 pounds in four months.
8-year-old Snuffy used to be so fat, she could hardly walk because she spent her days gobbling down massive meals and snacking on sliced ham and turkey.
“When I first got her she used to snore like a grown man and she wasn’t even able to scratch her ears because she couldn’t reach,” said Snuffy’s owner Caroline Webster, a 26-year-old veterinary assistant from Herndon, Virginia.
“Now she can lift her head and roll into her back without losing her breath.”
The podgy pup used to live with an elderly couple who meant no harm, but couldn’t resist giving her treats. On top of that, they struggled to give her enough exercise.
Her weight eventually crept up to a staggering 65 pounds, when a healthy beagle is supposed to weigh between 22 to 24 pounds.
But in November 2017, Webster adopted Snuffy after her original owners moved away.
“I’ve known Snuffy for years. She belonged to [an older couple from the clinic],” says Webster. “They were really sweet but the vet was always saying that Snuffy needed to cut back.
“Then they called me one day and told me that they were moving. They said that Snuffy and I got along so well, they’d love if I could adopt her.
“I always loved Snuffy so I was thrilled, but when I got her, she was huge,” added Webster. “My apartment is on the third floor of our building and at the beginning, I really thought she was going to have a heart attack going up the stairs, she was panting so hard.”
Webster knew she would have to teach an old dog some new tricks in order to save Snuffy’s life and whip the poor pup into shape – so she started by cutting out the deli meat and putting Snuffy on a diet of two small meals a day.
Webster also implemented a strict exercise regime of three one-mile walks per day, which included climbing the stairs to her third-floor apartment.
Amazingly, Snuffy lost an incredible 24.5 pounds in just four months and she is now on track to hit her weight goal just in time for the summer.
Webster said Snuffy is a different dog compared to the one she adopted. The pooch’s health has vastly improved and her loud, disruptive snoring has disappeared. Additionally, Snuffy can now scratch her ears, climb the stairs, and run effortlessly.
“For the first few months I cut out treats completely, but because she’s done so well I give her about five every week now,” says Webster.
Webster believes that Snuffy’s weight loss has her feeling like a puppy again and she loves being active for the first time in years.
“She runs after birds and squirrels now and howls like a real beagle. She gets the dog ‘zoomies’ which is like a burst of energy when they run around the room back and forth,” says Webster.
“I’ve loved having her around and I want her to be here for so many more years. That’s why I’ve tried so hard to get her weight under control.
“The vet is thrilled with her progress, and hopefully, she will hit her goal weight of 30 pounds by the summer,” she added.
Webster has started tracking Snuffy’s weight-loss on Instagram, where she has amassed hundreds of followers.
“She’s been getting a lot of support from her followers on Instagram which has been so funny,” says Webster. “They say things like, ‘I’m amazed by this before pic’ and ‘Great job Snuffy’.”
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