Evaluation of owner education as a component of obesity treatment programs for dogs

Jill E. Yaissle Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Cheryl Holloway Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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C. A. Tony Buffington Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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 DVM, PhD, DACVN

Abstract

Objective—To compare results of a conventional obesity treatment program with those of an obesity treatment program that included education of owners of obese dogs.

Design—Nonblinded prospective clinical trial.

Animals—60 obese dogs with a body condition score (BCS) of 8/9 or 9/9.

Procedure—Dogs were randomly assigned to control or owner education (EDU) treatment groups. A 6- month weight loss period was followed by an 18- month weight maintenance period. Daily caloric intake to induce loss of 1% of body weight/wk was calculated for each dog after assessment of prior diet history. The daily caloric intake for weight maintenance was estimated to be 20% greater than that calculated for weight loss with adjustments of ± 5% as required. Weight and BCS were recorded monthly for each dog. Owners of dogs in the EDU group were required to attend monthly classes that addressed nutrition-related topics during the 6-month weight loss period.

Results—Dogs in both treatment groups had significantly lower weight at the end of the weight loss period, compared with initial weight. Mean weight loss at 6 months was 14.7% in the control group and 15% in the EDU group; this difference was not significant. During the weight maintenance period, percentage weight loss was maintained in both treatment groups. Mean changes in BCS at 6 months (relative to time 0) were –1.5 in the control group and –1.7 in the EDU group. At 24 months, mean changes in BCS (relative to time 0) were –2.1 in the control group and –2.2 in the EDU group. No significant differences in BCS were identified between treatment groups at either 6 or 24 months.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mean decrease in BCS of 2 and mean weight loss of 15% were achieved and maintained in all dogs. An obesity treatment program that included dietary changes and monthly weight checks during the weight loss and weight maintenance periods was sufficient to achieve these results. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1932–1935)

Abstract

Objective—To compare results of a conventional obesity treatment program with those of an obesity treatment program that included education of owners of obese dogs.

Design—Nonblinded prospective clinical trial.

Animals—60 obese dogs with a body condition score (BCS) of 8/9 or 9/9.

Procedure—Dogs were randomly assigned to control or owner education (EDU) treatment groups. A 6- month weight loss period was followed by an 18- month weight maintenance period. Daily caloric intake to induce loss of 1% of body weight/wk was calculated for each dog after assessment of prior diet history. The daily caloric intake for weight maintenance was estimated to be 20% greater than that calculated for weight loss with adjustments of ± 5% as required. Weight and BCS were recorded monthly for each dog. Owners of dogs in the EDU group were required to attend monthly classes that addressed nutrition-related topics during the 6-month weight loss period.

Results—Dogs in both treatment groups had significantly lower weight at the end of the weight loss period, compared with initial weight. Mean weight loss at 6 months was 14.7% in the control group and 15% in the EDU group; this difference was not significant. During the weight maintenance period, percentage weight loss was maintained in both treatment groups. Mean changes in BCS at 6 months (relative to time 0) were –1.5 in the control group and –1.7 in the EDU group. At 24 months, mean changes in BCS (relative to time 0) were –2.1 in the control group and –2.2 in the EDU group. No significant differences in BCS were identified between treatment groups at either 6 or 24 months.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mean decrease in BCS of 2 and mean weight loss of 15% were achieved and maintained in all dogs. An obesity treatment program that included dietary changes and monthly weight checks during the weight loss and weight maintenance periods was sufficient to achieve these results. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1932–1935)

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