I’ll be the first to admit that my dog is a tad overweight thanks to one too many table scraps. But she’s nothing compared to Shiloh the chocolate Lab.
This adorable 8-year-old pup weighed a staggering 146 pounds when he was adopted by Heidi Fiore and her family. Heidi’s family had lost their precious Lab and wanted to adopt another one once the time was right.
“We lost Jasper about three months before we got Shiloh,” Heidi said. “I was not looking for another dog so soon after losing Jasper but I felt a connection to this Lab on Facebook.” They went to see Shiloh the very next day and it was love at first sight for both dog and humans, who took the hefty boy home.
The family wants to make sure the chocolate Lab lives a long and healthy life so they’ve set out on a weight-loss journey.
“Initially, the intent wasn’t to adopt him to lose weight because we didn’t know how heavy he was until we met him. His personality won us over immediately, and I had a strong feeling that we could help him,” Heidi said. “We understood that he may have major health issues because of his weight but after very little discussion we decided he was right for our family.”
In just 10 months, Shiloh shed 60 pounds and is looking better than ever — he even has a pep in his step!
Heidi Fiore wanted her family to adopt a dog after losing a pet. When she saw a Facebook post for an overweight chocolate Lab named Shiloh, she knew he was the dog for them.
“We were in shock when we saw him, he looked like a bear, but he was so happy and sweet with love in his eyes,” Heidi said. “We had never seen a dog so overweight.”
But Shiloh wasn’t only a few pounds overweight — he weighed twice as much as he should have. At 146 pounds, he was obese and needed help — and Heidi was more than happy to assist!
As you can see, Shiloh is much, much larger than the family’s other Lab, JR, who recently passed away.
“We didn’t tell any of our three kids, Corey, Callia, and Freddy, until after we brought him home,” Heidi said. “We surprised the two youngest when they came home from school. Our daughter asked ‘What is that?’ when she walked in!”
The entire family got involved with Shiloh’s weight loss and their love helped transform him. “The kids accepted him right away, and they have helped throughout his weight loss,” Heidi said. “They understand not to give him table scraps, we go on many hikes and walks on the beach or around town.”
The entire family started taking him on multiple walks every day to help him lose weight. But it wasn’t always easy for Shiloh.
“When we first got him he couldn’t even make it down the street without multiple breaks,” Heidi said. “He would plop down on the ground and not budge for anywhere from five to 30 minutes.”
Thankfully, Shiloh didn’t have any medical problems because of his weight. Heidi said:
“He has never shown any distress from sore joints; in fact he does not seem to have any health problems (yet) from his obesity.
He had a sore on his neck where his collar went around his neck folds/fat rolls, which has since healed — so we do not put a collar on him, we just use a slip lead for walks. His lower eyelids drooped way down from the weight, but they seem to be normal now.”
While Shiloh was severely overweight when the family got him, Heidi said that she in no way blames his previous owner. “They did the best they could but could no longer care for him when her husband became sick,” she said.
Along with walks, the family put Shiloh on a strict diet. One thing’s for sure, any weight-loss journey requires a diet. Shiloh has been barred from extra food that can keep the weight on, like treats or scraps — which is a hard diet to follow!
“It was hard because he was restricted but our aging (skinny) Lab got all of the leftovers,” Heidi said. “Shiloh tries his best to get food from the trash, the counter, or the kids.”
About his new diet, Heidi explained: “We met with our vet and decided to start him on Purina One Healthy Weight Formula. That worked very well for him so we stuck with that until he reached his goal weight.
We supplemented his food with Fruitables Pumpkin Weight loss formula and frozen green beans (heated up). As well as ZM-Ultra soft chews for joint support. We completely banned “people” food and treats.”
After just two months with his new family, the chocolate Lab had already lost 20 pounds. And he only got healthier and healthier from there!
Heidi snapped these side-by-side photos to show just how heavy Shiloh used to be. After six months, he made such progress and as a result even looked happier!
Now that he’s lost weight, Shiloh can run around longer and have more fun with his human family!
“With Shiloh, it was as simple as carefully limiting his food intake and regular exercise, which isn’t as easy as it sounds with a hungry Lab,” Heidi explained. “We just started the next phase, maintenance, so we will see how that goes!”
Along with exercise and his new diet, Shiloh had weigh-ins at his veterinarian clinic. In six months, he’d lost 4o pounds and was getting closer and closer to a normal, healthy weight.
“We set a goal weight of 85 pounds with his vet, which is at the high end of the average weight for an English Lab,” Heidi explained. “He reached that goal exactly 10 months after we adopted him — we are happy with that weight for now!”
While Heidi said people still call him a big dog; he looks completely different than when they first adopted him.
This photo shows the drastic difference in Shiloh’s weight after a long 10-month journey.
The caption reads:
Quite a difference in 10 months!
I snapped this pic of Shiloh this morning & then remembered the picture of him I took in October where he literally looked like a pig. Looking good buddy!!
Looking good indeed, Shiloh!
“The huge difference is obviously in his energy level,” Heidi said about Shiloh’s personality. “It really started to become noticeable after he lost the first 20 pounds.”
Even when he was bigger, Shiloh thought he was a lap dog. Now that he weighs a lot less; and he can easily fit on his family’s laps without crushing them.
“He loves people so much, we always stop to talk and everyone who meets him loves him,” Heidi said. “He immediately made lots of friends around town and had many supporters throughout his journey.”