Walter's weight loss journey: Meet the lab with a lot to lose
NOTRE-DAME, N.B. -- It's going to be ruff, but Walter the friendly lab has to drop at least 50 lbs. to get his health on track.
Weighing in at a whopping 147 lbs., a recently rescued dog in New Brunswick is nearly three times the size he should be.
Now, Walter the lab is on his new diet and starting his weight loss journey.
"When I first saw Walter I was a little shocked, seeing an overweight dog is something that we see a lot but to that extent was a little wild," says trainer April Saulnier.
The eight-year old lab mix was surrendered to Saulnier and the Fulfilling Hearts Rescue after his elderly owner became sick and couldn’t care for him.
“Walter was not an abused dog, he is very well-loved, but sometimes we can over love dogs and I think that's what happened in this case - he was loved a little bit too much," says Saulnier.
A little too much love in the form of treats. Adult male labs should weigh between 60 to 80 lbs when full grown but Walter is pulling in at 147.7 lbs.
"So he's a very large boy," says Saulnier.
Veterinarian Dr. Carolyn Train works at the clinic where Walter first stepped on the scale. She says it's quite common for pets to be overweight.
“A lot of people will equate food with love, so if I don’t give my dog a Cheezie I don’t want him to think I don’t love him as much as I did before we started this diet," says Train.
Saulnier says the plump pup has a long road ahead.
"I would like to take a good 50 lbs. off, which is a lot. If I can get more I'd be happy. So we’re just going to go and see how things are going, what he looks like as he loses weight, and see if we can get him to a healthy lifestyle," she says.
Saulnier and the team at Fulfilling Hearts hope the public will contribute to Walter's success and donate to help cover the cost of his care.
“The vet food unfortunately is a little bit pricey, but we feel that we’ll get him where he needs to be faster," says Saulnier.
To get to his goal weight, Walter will take it slow.
“We will start with exercise. Hopefully, when he drops a little weight I’ll be able to bring him swimming which is a little bit lower impact than running and walking him all the time," says Saulnier.
But for now, Walter is on his way to a fitter future full of lots of love but a few less treats.
If you'd like to help with the cost of Walter's food you can donate directly to the vet clinic or to Fulfilling Hearts Rescue.