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Successful weight loss via dietary energy restriction in obese dogs
Obesity is a raising problem not only in men but also in their pets. Loosing weight just by using special medications interfering with the fat metabolism is very popular in men and has been introduced for dogs as well. Does the `classic` combination consisting of dietary energy restriction and increased activity still work?

Obesity is the most common nutritional disease in dogs. Although weight loss by dietary caloric energy restriction is successful in experimental studies, there is limited information on success of such programs in client-owned dogs who are obese. Further, no information currently exists on the changes in body composition during weight loss in clinical cases.

Nineteen client-owned dogs with naturally occurring obesity were included in this prospective clinical study. Body composition was quantified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry before and after weight loss on an individually tailored program that incorporated a high-protein and moderate-fiber diet.

Results: Mean percentage weight loss was 18% (range, 6–29%), and mean rate of weight loss was 0.85% per week (range, 0.35–1.56%). Mean energy allocation required to achieve weight loss was 60% of maintenance energy requirement at target weight (MERTW) (range, 50–82%).

Significant dietary noncompliance was reported (mean, 1.0% MERTW; range, 0.0–9.5%). The mean composition of tissue lost was 84:15:1 (fat: lean: bone mineral content [BMC]).

Lean tissue loss was positively associated with overall percentage of weight loss (Pearson correlation coefficient [Rp] = 0.591, P = .008), whereas BMC loss was greater in retrievers compared with other breeds (1.9% ± 1.16% versus 0.8% ± 0.44%; P = .008).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: This clinical study demonstrated body composition changes during weight loss in dogs. Conventional programs produced safe weight loss, but marked energy restriction was required and the rate of loss was slower than in experimental studies.



Source: Alexander J. German, Shelley L. Holden, Thomas Bissot, Rachel M. Hackett, Vincent Biourge (2007): Dietary Energy Restriction and Successful Weight Loss in Obese Client-Owned Dogs. In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 21 (6), 1174–1180.



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