Role of diet in preventing regain of weight in dogs

Regain after weight loss is widely reported in humans, but there is little information on this phenomenon in dogs. The study aimed to determine long-term success of a weight loss regime and factors linked with regain. Thirty-three obese dogs that had successfully lost weight were enrolled. After weight loss, dogs had been switched to a maintenance regime, and follow-up weight checks were performed periodically. After a review of cases that had completed their weight program, a follow-up check was conducted, where dogs were reweighed and information collected on current feeding practices.

Median duration of follow-up was 640 days (119–1,828 days). Fourteen dogs (42%) maintained weight, three (9%) lost more than 5% additional weight and 16 (48%) gained more than 5% weight. Dogs fed a purpose-formulated weight loss diet regained less weight than those switched to a standard maintenance diet. Energy intake at the time of follow-up was significantly higher in dogs fed a standard maintenance diet, compared with those that had remained on a weight loss diet.

These results suggest weight regain occurs in about half of dogs after successful weight loss. Long-term use of a purpose-formulated weight management diet can significantly limit regain in the follow-up period, likely by limiting food intake.

Source : A.J. German et al., 2012. Long-term follow-up after weight management in obese dogs: the role of diet in preventing regain. Vet J 192: 65–70. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.04.001

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