Picture of an obese dog being measured

Improving recognition, management and prevention of obesity in dogs and cats

Obesity and excess weight affects approximately half of adult dogs and cats worldwide, causing negative effects on health and welfare. The University of Liverpool has developed novel therapeutic weight loss diets accompanied by evidence-based, veterinarian-led weight management protocols. These interventions together result in sustained weight loss, improved mobility and improved quality of life, with thousands of animals already having benefitted.

The challenge

Obesity is a common problem in dogs and cats, associated with a shortened lifespan and poorer quality of life. It is not only an important welfare issue but a financial burden too. Obese pets require more frequent and more expensive veterinary treatments. 

Working in partnership

Professor Alex German of the University of Liverpool’s School of Veterinary Science, in collaboration with French pet food producer Royal Canin, developed a novel, patented therapeutic weight loss diet. Royal Canin’s Satiety Diet, available exclusively from veterinarians, combines high protein and fibre (with 0.5% w/w psyllium), and is the market leading therapeutic weight loss diet in most global markets. 

Satiety Diet is used alongside evidence-based weight management protocols designed at the University of Liverpool’s Weight Management Clinic, to tailor the plan to the individual dog or cat. People from across the world have been trained by University of Liverpool staff face-to-face, with thousands more undertaking online training using packages such as Royal Canin UK’s Weight Management Online. Software developed from research on dietary energy requirements and weight monitoring recommendations is used by thousands of veterinary practices worldwide each year to assist with running successful, tailored weight management programmes. 

Improved pet health

This research resulted in improved health and wellbeing of dogs and cats with obesity. Animals have improved mobility, respiratory function, renal function and insulin sensitivity, all of which lead to better quality of life. Evidence shows an average weight loss of 9.4% for dogs and cats using Satiety Diet and veterinary weight management. 

Advice from the University of Liverpool’s Weight Management Clinic has featured heavily in global media, including five television documentaries. This has raised the important issue of pet obesity within pet-owning public, which is critical to ensure uptake of interventions. 

Satiety Diet is now used across the globe, giving veterinarians and pet owners worldwide the tools to enable successful weight loss in animals and greatly improve the welfare of pet dogs and cats with obesity. 

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