Findings provide further evidence of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.
Canine weight loss is associated with significant improvements in health markers such as life quality, metabolic status and immune-regulation, according to new research.
In the Purina-backed study, 11 obese dogs participated in a six-month weight loss programme. When compared to a control group of dogs of a healthy weight, the obese dogs improved on several key indicators related to immune function, including reduced tumour necrosis factor and interleukin.
Researchers say their findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, provide further evidence of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight in pets.
“Preventing pet obesity is a major focus at Purina,” explained Hugues du Plessis, pet obesity prevention manager at Purina. We not only want to be providing pet owners with information on the benefits of a healthy pet lifestyle, but we also want to help them achieve it."
The importance of educating pet owners has been highlighted in another purina-backed study which found that one-third of dog owners do not recognise when their pet is overweight. The study of 3,339 dog owners across five countries revealed that owners with healthy weight dogs were more likely to have support from friends for exercising and to understand the costs of owning a dog.
Researchers say the findings of this study add to the knowledge of the root causes of pet obesity and reinforce the need to keep exploring solutions focused on prevention and treatment.