A formerly beefy beagle has been crowned top dog after shedding a third of his body weight.
Luigi, whose love of Sunday dinners saw him bulge to almost 5st, shaved eight inches off his waist in six months after being put through a rigorous workout regime by a fitness club for pets.
The five-year-old was awarded his title by animal charity PDSA’s Pet Fit Club after reaching 3st 3lb – the perfect weight for his breed – after his huge appetite saw him balloon to almost 40% over his ideal weight and threatened his health.
Luigi’s diet and exercise challenge included spending more time outside for walks and cutting out his intake of extra food and treats.
His owner Perrie Eedy, 28, said: “His love of roast dinners was entirely my fault, I love them myself. As a treat I would give him a bit of carrot or some beef. I thought I was being kind.
“Since overhauling Luigi’s diet and exercise regime, the change we’ve seen in him has been unbelievable, he’s a different dog now.
“At first the weight came off slowly, but after a couple of months of being strict and really sticking to it, we noticed a big difference in him and his body shape.”
Miss Eedy, from Newport, South Wales, said her dog’s fitness regime also had a positive effect on herself and husband Matt Jordan, 35.
She said: “We spend more time outdoors exploring new places with him now, and it’s helped me with my exercise too as I go out on runs and long bike rides with him.
“He has totally transformed from the dog we used to drag out on walks before, he’s often running well ahead of us now.”
But Luigi’s weight-loss journey was not without hiccups.
Miss Eedy said: “We got married earlier this year and put Luigi in a home boarding kennel for a few nights, but while he was there he managed to break into the locked utility room where the food was kept.
“They found him head-first in a bag of food. We don’t know how much he managed to eat but he didn’t lose any weight that month.
“On another occasion he also managed to steal a birthday cake I’d made and left cooling on the kitchen counter before I decorated it.”
Coming second to Luigi was Missi the Bulldog from Walsall, West Midlands, whose love of ice cream saw her balloon to 6st 13lb before losing 24% of her weight.
Vets at Cardiff PDSA Pet Hospital, who oversaw Luigi’s challenge, called on animal owners concerned about their pet’s weight to work with their vet.
PDSA vet nurse Nina Downing said: “Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. We believe up to 50% of dogs and cats in the UK are overweight or obese, which can lead to serious long-term health problems and a shortened life expectancy.”