Special diets for managing overweight dogs | Vets & Clinics

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Special diets for managing overweight dogs

Problems such as overweight and obesity may be common in some dogs, especially if they have an associated risk factor. To address excess weight, Advance has developed Advance Weight Balance , diet for weight control and maintenance in dogs. The diet focuses on the gut microbiota (bacterial population inhabiting the dog’s intestine) which is believed to play a key role in obesity, as normal weight and overweight dogs have different biota.

Nutrition and illnesses

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There are several risk factors associated with overweight or obesity in dogs such as sex (excess weight is more frequent in females), age, breed and sterilisation. Problems can start to develop in puppyhood, mainly due to overfeeding. Other precipitating factors of overeating may include idleness, boredom or nervousness.1

Recent research has shown that the microbiota also plays an important role in overweight and obesity in dogs. The microbial ecosystem can affect both the absorption and metabolism of nutrients, trophic organisation and host protection functions. Disruptions to the gut microbiota can lead to a multitude of diseases and disorders, including diarrhoea, allergies, obesity and signs of stress.2

Overweight and obesity in dogs affect well-being and can increase the risk by a factor of four for certain diseases such as diabetes, joint disorders or respiratory problems. So identifying excess weight and helping the dog achieve its ideal weight through a specific diet and healthy daily routine are crucial.

Affinity has developed a special dry food diet designed to help dogs with weight control. Advance Weight Balance increases microbiota variety, while its vegetable fibre content has satiating and prebiotic properties. It has a high protein content for healthier weight loss, while maintaining optimal muscle mass, and also includes L-carnitine to help burn more fat.

It has been formulated by veterinary experts with over 25 years’ experience and its effectiveness has been confirmed in clinical studies.

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One such study was conducted by Salas et al. who examined how effective a weight-loss programme with Advance Weight Balance was in improving the body composition and microbiota in six adult, obese Beagles. The diet’s application produced a reduction in weight and body fat after 12 and 17 weeks while preserving muscle and bone mass. In addition, the species richness of the gut microbiota was significantly greater at the end of the 17‑week study period.3

A second study conducted by Salas et al. looked at 56 overweight or obese adult dogs and “in-home” pet parents to assess weight loss attained through a programme using Advance Weight Balance. This study found that 97% of dogs adhered to the weight-loss programme for 8 weeks, and 94% followed the programme up to week 12. Owners perceived an increase in physical activity, pelvic circumference decreased by 4 cm at week 12 and dogs demanded less food than before the start of the study.4

Finally, a third study conducted by Salas et al. assessed the efficacy of the Advance Weight Balance Mini diet in 12 overweight or obese toy breed adult dogs in terms of weight loss and body composition after a 3-month diet plan. The dogs’ body weight decreased by 12% after 2 months and 18% in 3 months.5

Body condition score - dogs

1. González Domínguez M. S. and Bernal L. (2011). Diagnóstico y manejo de la obesidad en perros: una revisión. [Diagnosis and management of obesity in dogs: a review] Revista CES Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia 6 (2), 91-102.
2. Grześkowiak Ł., Endo A., Beasley S. and Salminen S. (2015). Microbiota and probiotics in canine and feline welfare. Anaerobe, 34, 14–23.
3. Salas A., et al. Cambios en la microbiota después de un programa de pérdida de peso en perros Beagles. [Changes in Beagle gut microbiota after a weight-loss programme.]
4. Salas A., et al. Estudio clínico multicéntrico en perros con sobrepeso y obesidad: eficacia de pérdida de peso in-home y mantenimiento. [Multicentre clinical study in overweight and obese dogs: effectiveness of in-home weight loss and maintenance.]
5. Salas A., et al. Estudio en perros minis de eficacia de pérdida de peso. [Effectiveness of a weight-loss diet in toy dogs.]
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