Pet Fit Club: The Biggest Loser For Pets [SLIDESHOW]
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Did you know that over half of adult dogs and cats in the United States are overweight? It turns out people aren't the only ones who sometimes need a little push to get healthy.
But one British charity is tackling the problem of pet obesity head on, with a "Biggest Loser"-style competition to help extremely overweight animals shed pounds.
18 contestants - including 11 dogs, five cats and two rabbits - will take part in "The Pet Fit Club," organized by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
All together, the animals are carrying a combined excess weight of more than 335 pounds - which is the equivalent of same weight as 35 cats, 50 Yorkshire Terriers or 380 tins of dog food.
"Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy," said Sean Wensley, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, in a statement. "The good news is that it's never too late to make positive changes to a pet's diet and lifestyle."
During the six-month competition, the pets will be assisted by specialist vets who will provide them with balanced diet and exercise plans. The slimmest one at the finish line will receive year's supply of diet pet food and a two-night stay for the winning and two people at a Four Seasons Hotel.
Check out the contestants and their stories:
Are you concerned about your pet's weight? The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has resources for owners, including a pet weight translator and tips for healthy weight loss.