Quality of Life of Obese Dogs Improves –

Quality of Life of Obese Dogs Improves When They Lose Weight –

This is recent research conducted in the UK, where they estimate 1/3 of the dog population is obese. Study conducted by Waltham/Royal Canin.

Feb. 21, 2012 –

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that obese dogs that lose weight have an improved quality of life compared to those that don’t.

A study of 50 overweight dogs, comprising a mix of breeds and genders was undertaken by scientists at the University in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, Royal Canin and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition.

How?

Owners completed a questionnaire to decide the health-related quality of life of their dog prior to weight loss. A follow-up questionnaire was completed by the owners of 30 dogs that successfully completed the weight loss programme, enabling changes in quality of life to be assessed.

A range of life quality factors were scored, including vitality, emotional disturbance, and pain. Quality of life of dogs which succeeded with their weight loss programme was also compared with those dogs that failed to lose weight successfully.

Results –

The results showed that quality of life improved in the dogs that had successfully lost weight. In particular, their vitality scores increased and the score for emotional disturbance and pain decreased. Moreover, the more body fat that the dog lost, the greater the improvement in vitality.

The research also found that dogs that failed to complete their weight loss programme had worse quality of life at the outset than those successfully losing weight, most notably worse vitality and greater emotional disturbance.

Dr Alex German, Director of the Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic at the University, said: “Obesity is a risk for many dogs, affecting not only their health but also their quality of life. This research indicates that weight loss can play an important role in keeping your dog both healthy and happy.”

Strategies for Combating Obesity –

Dr Penelope Morris, from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, added: “Strategies for combating obesity and keeping dogs fit and healthy include portion control, increased exercise, and diets specifically formulated for overweight pets.”

Established in 2004, the Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic at the University’s Small Animal Hospital, UK is the world’s first animal weight management referral clinic. It was set up to help tackle and prevent weight problems in animals such as dogs and cats.

Veterinary surgeons from any general practice in the UK can refer overweight animals to the clinic. The patients receive a thorough medical examination. Then they receive a specific dietary plan and exercise regimen to follow over several weeks.

Taken from ScienceDaily.com

Thoughts to Ponder –

The results showed that quality of life improved in the dogs that had successfully lost weight. In particular vitality scores increased and the score for emotional disturbance and pain decreased. Moreover, the more body fat that the dog lost, the greater the improvement in vitality.

And, interestingly, the study notes this: “The research also found that dogs that failed to complete their weight loss programme had worse quality of life at the outset than those successfully losing weight, most notably worse vitality and greater emotional disturbance.” …sort of as if the dogs failed the program and not that the owners were partners in this endeavor.

The dogs didn’t fail to complete the program, in reality. The study finding here denotes the close connection and potential issues within the human/animal psychology bond.

Pet Moods –

Lizzie the Golden is a lean and fit elderly dog in this photo. Calvin is working on becoming a dirigible, and he would eat until he passed out if someone let him!

If the lower-vitality dogs came into the study with possible lower quality of life, then I recommend evaluation of the home life of the human, too. Our pets reflect our moods. You may also look for mood changes in a pet to alert you to possible mood changes in their people!

The failed dogs notably had “worse quality of life at the outset” than the ones who ended up succeeding. Most compromised were their vitality and emotional status. We definitely pass our moods, demeanor, and worry onto our animals. Breathe peacefully with your pets 🙂

Contact me if you need a progressive and defined program to follow in order to lose fat and build supportive muscle. Or if you think you are dragging your pet into a dark mood abyss due to lifestyle changes and difficulties.

 

(Published February, 2012. Updated April 19, 2018)