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Evaluation of dietary energy intake and physical activity in dogs undergoing a controlled weight-loss program

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 6 Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
  • | 7 Nestlé Purina Research and Development, 1 Checkerboard Square, St Louis, MO 63102.
  • | 8 Nestlé Purina Research and Development, 1 Checkerboard Square, St Louis, MO 63102.

Abstract

Objective—To quantify physical activity and dietary energy intake in dogs enrolled in a controlled weight-loss program and assess relationships between energy intake and physical activity, sex, age, body weight, and body condition score (BCS).

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—35 client-owned obese dogs (BCS > 7/9).

Procedures—Dogs were fed a therapeutic diet with energy intake restrictions to maintain weight loss of approximately 2%/wk. Collar-mounted pedometers were used to record the number of steps taken daily as a measure of activity. Body weight and BCS were assessed at the beginning of the weight-loss program and every 2 weeks thereafter throughout the study. Relationships between energy intake and sex, age, activity, BCS, and body weight at the end of the study were assessed via multivariable linear regression. Variables were compared among dogs stratified post hoc into inactive and active groups on the basis of mean number of steps taken (< or > 7,250 steps/d, respectively).

Results—Mean ± SD daily energy intake per unit of metabolic body weight (kg0.75) of active dogs was significantly greater than that of inactive dogs (53.6 ± 15.2 kcal/kg0.75 vs 42.2 ± 9.7 kcal/kg0.75, respectively) while maintaining weight-loss goals. In regression analysis, only the number of steps per day was significantly associated with energy intake.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased physical activity was associated with higher energy intake while maintaining weight-loss goals. Each 1,000-step interval was associated with a 1 kcal/kg0.75 increase in energy intake.

Abstract

Objective—To quantify physical activity and dietary energy intake in dogs enrolled in a controlled weight-loss program and assess relationships between energy intake and physical activity, sex, age, body weight, and body condition score (BCS).

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—35 client-owned obese dogs (BCS > 7/9).

Procedures—Dogs were fed a therapeutic diet with energy intake restrictions to maintain weight loss of approximately 2%/wk. Collar-mounted pedometers were used to record the number of steps taken daily as a measure of activity. Body weight and BCS were assessed at the beginning of the weight-loss program and every 2 weeks thereafter throughout the study. Relationships between energy intake and sex, age, activity, BCS, and body weight at the end of the study were assessed via multivariable linear regression. Variables were compared among dogs stratified post hoc into inactive and active groups on the basis of mean number of steps taken (< or > 7,250 steps/d, respectively).

Results—Mean ± SD daily energy intake per unit of metabolic body weight (kg0.75) of active dogs was significantly greater than that of inactive dogs (53.6 ± 15.2 kcal/kg0.75 vs 42.2 ± 9.7 kcal/kg0.75, respectively) while maintaining weight-loss goals. In regression analysis, only the number of steps per day was significantly associated with energy intake.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased physical activity was associated with higher energy intake while maintaining weight-loss goals. Each 1,000-step interval was associated with a 1 kcal/kg0.75 increase in energy intake.

Contributor Notes

Financial and product support by Nestlé Purina Pet Care.

Address correspondence to Dr. Wakshlag (jw37@cornell.edu).