The largest international weight loss study to date

pet obesity

This article is sponsored content brought to you by Royal Canin.

Obesity is a global threat with pet obesity rates currently as high as 56% dogs and 60% cats in the USA and 33% dogs and 26% cats in Australia.1 

Obesity is now classified as a disease in itself 2 and is also associated with increased risk for other conditions including arthritis and diabetes mellitus. To address the obesity epidemic, Royal Canin have conducted the largest weight loss study to date.3 

Pets participating in the study were overweight with a Body Condition Score of 7-9 on a scale of 1-9 (with BCS 4-5 being normal). 926 pet dogs and 413 pet cats participated in the trial. There were a wide variety of breeds, including mixed breeds. Both genders were well represented, and included neutered and entire animals. Aside from obesity, animals were in good health and from a wide age range; dogs were 1 to 16 years and cats were 1 to 15 years. The starting weight range for dogs was 2 to 80kg and for cats 2.8 to 15kg. 

Pets in the trial were fed on Royal Canin Satiety diet. Satiety diet is a low calorie, high fibre, high protein diet. The fibre blend is specially formulated to help control begging. Food seeking behaviour in pets is a key factor in owner compliance failure and therefore begging control during weight loss is vital to success. 

The trial ran for 3 months and pets visited their veterinarians 5 times. Food ration size and weight loss progress were calculated and monitored using the Royal Canin Vet Services online platform 4 

Results: 97% of pets lost weight

The average total weight loss over the 3 month period was approximately 11% in dogs and 10% in cats. Week by week, pets lost approximately 1% of their initial body weight—a safe rate of weight loss.  

The trial showed a very high rate of success with 97% of pets losing weight and begging controlled in 82%, despite pets receiving a calorie restricted diet. Importantly, owners reported increased quality of life and activity in their pets. These benefits lie at the heart of the rationale for weight management. 

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1. McGreevy et al Veterinary Record 156, 695-702 McGreevy et al.  Aust. Veterinary Practitioner 38 93):98-107.

2. Kyle et al. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am 2016;45:511–520.

3. Flanagan et al. PLoS One. (2017) 12(9): e018419   Flanagan et al. PLoS One. (2018) 13(7): e0200414. 

4. Please contact your Royal Canin representative for access to the Vet Services weight management platform

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