A dog can become overweight for a variety of reasons. It could be that they only have access to poor nutrition, or that they’re given too many treats and “people foods,” or they have an underlying medical condition. Whatever the reason, obesity can be harmful to a dog’s health just like it can a human’s.
In February of 2019, Phil the Retriever weighed just under 150 pounds. Phil’s adoptive mom made it her mission to help her baby lose weight for his health and happiness. The final result is incredible and heartwarming.
A Rescue Dog Begins His Journey To Health
From the moment she brought him home in 2019, Phil’s mom Kelsey noticed that the dog’s weight caused him some problems. Phil had difficulty climbing stairs, and the poor guy even had trouble jumping up on the couch.
According to Kelsey, Phil “could only walk about 10 steps before needing to take a break” when she first got him. The hardwood floors at home also proved to be a challenge.
“Some of the first couple of things I learned about Phil were that he was too overweight to walk up stairs, and that he cannot walk on hardwoods without slipping,” she wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately for him, I live in a second floor condo with 100% wood flooring… our first few days together involved a lot of lifting up and down steps and covering the floor with blankets so he could walk.”
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Getting this 150-pound dog down to a healthy weight would be very hard work, but Kelsey was up to the challenge. She knew that it would not only be good for Phil’s health but the ability to move more freely and comfortably would make him happy.
“He has always been the sweetest boy, but his weight made it hard for him to live a normal dog life,” she wrote on Instagram.
Kelsey started documenting his life and transformation journey on Instagram under the handle @OrangeBoyPhil. To see how he first looked and moved when she adopted him versus where he’s at today is something truly remarkable.
How Phil Went From Double Digits To A Healthy Weight
Shedding those unwanted pounds took time and commitment, but Phil was ready to handle whatever his mom wanted to try. They took tons of long walks together that very slowly became easier for Phil with repetition. He also got low-impact exercise by walking on the underwater treadmill.
Of course, there were some dietary changes as well. Veterinarians were involved in Phil’s weight loss journey from the start, Kelsey noted.
Bombarded with questions about how she and her dog were able to achieve such great success, Kelsey explained:
“Step 1: I booked a veterinary appointment for a full workup on Phil. They wanted to check for any medical reasons that could be causing the weight gain.
Step 2: All of his bloodwork and tests came back normal, so Phil was prescribed a diet kibble for obese dogs. I slowly lessened his amount each week and weighed him every 2 weeks to ensure he was losing at a healthy rate determined by his doctor.
Step 3: I added in daily exercise. Since he was not previously very active, I increased activity slowly so it was not too stressful on his body.”
After about one and a half years of committing to the exercise routines and new diet, Phil looks and feels great. Today, he has lost about half of his former body weight. He now weighs a healthy 75 pounds!
Look at this incredible glow up:
Without all the extra weight, Phil can easily walk for miles and even run. His life is full of new opportunities now.
“We are so thankful for his doctors that helped us throughout this whole process!” Kelsey added.
Featured Image: Instagram