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Obie the obese dog loses 50 lbs through exercise and diet

Obie, pre diet (courtesy: Nora Vanatta/Facebook)

Obie, pre diet (courtesy: Nora Vanatta/Facebook)

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, October 11, 2013, 1:41 PM -

Obie has had quite the year.

The dachshund from Portland, Michigan became an Internet superstar after being taken under the wing of Nora Vanatta, a veterinary technician.

Previously, Obie had been living with an elderly couple that was "loving him with food", causing his weight to balloon to 77 lbs.

"They just couldn't say 'no' to those big brown eyes," Vanetta wrote on Obie's Facebook page

"Through many tears, the owners relinquished him. It is very frustrating and sad but I am thrilled to be able to help him move on with his new life."

Obie's dramatic transformation has been documented on Facebook. To date, he's garnered more than 117,000 followers.

When Obie first arrived at Vanatta's home, his belly scraped against the floor, his little legs jutting out of his body.

Obie is now able to play with other dogs (courtesy: Nora Vanatta/Facebook)

Obie is now able to play with other dogs (courtesy: Nora Vanatta/Facebook)

Vanatta had a custom harness made to prevent chaffing. A strict diet and plenty of exercise followed and in late April, Obie had plastic surgery to remove excess skin.

He's spent a lot of time running off the pounds at the beach, but prior to that, Vanetta got his weight under control with the use of treadmill.

Now -- Obie is 50 lbs lighter and able to play with other dogs.

In August, he even participated in a 5 km walk.

Vanetta and Obie are using their notoriety to draw attention to pet obesity.

According to a recent report by ABC, 52% of dogs and 58% of cats in America are overweight. Poor nutrition and a limited physical activity are the main culprits.


Your pet is an ideal weight if you can feel its ribs, but can't see them. If your furry friend is starting to pack on the pounds, here are a few tips to beat the bulge.

  • First, take your pet to the vet. Sudden weight gain could be the result of an underlying health problem.
  • Stop free-feeding. Studies have shown that free-feeding can promote over-eating.
  • Limit treats
  • Get your pet moving. Hiding (healthy) treats around the house may encourage your pet to get up and move around
  • Last but not least: No cheating! It can be hard to say no to puppy dog eyes, but your furry friend will thank you in the end.

All photos courtesy of Obie Dog Journey Facebook page.

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