The new owners of Mighty Dog, a huge Australian dog, have given their pup a hefty new nickname.
The dog, named Mighty, has grown to 5ft 6in (1.8m) and weighs more than 1,200kg (2,700lbs).
But when he started eating a meal of dog food he was surprised to find he was only eating two-thirds of the calories it normally takes to sustain his size.
He also lost more weight than the other dog in the family, a female boxer-poodle named Pomeran.
It is a new record for a dog.
“We’ve got a big, fat dog that has to go eat, but he’s eating almost nothing,” said the owner, Jenny Smith, 37.
“But he’s doing well.
He’s doing really well.”
She and her husband had bought the farm-bred dog from the Melbourne Animal Centre, a small shelter in Victoria.
The owner, Michelle, and husband Matt, who has a master’s degree in animal behaviour, found the dog was living in a kennel without any food and had a tummy full of bad bugs.
“It was a bit scary,” Ms Smith said.
“My son was on the other side of the fence.”
They went to check on the pup but saw he was still hungry.
The owners realised they had a problem when the dog started eating again, even though it was just a snack.
“I’m not sure we can get him to eat that much, so we’re going to have to get rid of the kennels,” Ms Jones said.
They put him on a diet of chicken broth, rice and rice flour, which has been shown to be a great source of protein and fibre.
After six months the puppy is now at the weight of 4ft 6ins and weighing over 1,000kg.
“He’s eating twice as much as the other dogs,” Ms Miller said.
The parents are hoping to raise money for a veterinary hospital to have Mighty on a feeding programme.
“The first time I saw him he was just sitting there with nothing to eat,” Ms Knight said.
But the next time the owner saw him, she noticed he was eating normally.
“His tummy was full of good bugs,” she said.
She decided to give him a name.
“When I saw the dog and his body weight I realised it’s really important to be able to tell that he’s healthy and well.”
I’ve just been feeding him a lot more and he’s now a very healthy puppy.
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.”
There’s so much love in his eyes,” Ms Hunter said.
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.