A FORMER podgy pooch whose love of sausages led to him being diagnosed with diabetes has lost nearly a stone after going on a strict diet.

Benny the six-year-old Jack Russell cross, piled on the pounds due to his love of human treats and tipped the scales at a whopping 18kg – almost three stone.

His worried owners, retired carers Carole, 65, and Ken Ellis, 77, from Southend, had tried everything to curb their hungry hound’s insatiable appetite.

Carole, said: “Benny means the world to us and rules the roost at home.

“He has a big appetite and it was impossible to say no to him when he used to come looking for food with those puppy dog eyes.

“Benny has always been an active dog who gets lots of exercise, but the problem has been his treats and his love of a sausage or two.

“After he was diagnosed with diabetes, we felt dreadful. We knew it was our fault and we needed to change for his sake.”

To make matters worse, they could no longer afford the costly private vet bills after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 2019.

The couple need more than £2,000 to cover Benny’s treatment which they couldn’t afford, but luckily PDSA pet hospital, in Basildon, stepped in to help.

The PDSA vets warned that Benny’s health was at serious risk from his excess inches and his concerned owners upped his exercise and cut out the treats.

He’s now shed 5kg making him a trimmer and healthier dog at 13.3kg, which is two stone, and PDSA is hoping other pets will follow suit as it launches its annual pet slimming competition – Pet Fit Club.

Benny’s weight-loss has been supervised by Kerry Griffith, vet nurse at the charity Pet Hospital.

Carole, added: “The difference in Benny is remarkable. He’s still the happy dog we know and love, but he’s so much healthier and fitter after losing the weight.

“We’ve stuck to the diet and we have completely cut out the treats.

“We’re very careful not to overfeed him and he has bundles more energy. People comment on how good he looks these days.”

“We cannot thank Kerry and PDSA enough for all that they’ve done for Benny.

“They have been with us since day one and we couldn’t have done it without their support.

“We were worried about losing Benny but now we can look forward to him being part of the family for many years to come.”