A new study backed by Purina has shown that weight loss in obese dogs is associated with significant improvements of health measures like metabolic status, cardiovascular parameters, life quality and immune-regulation.

The study1 investigated the effects of a weight loss programme on biochemical and immunological profile, blood leptin level, and cardiovascular parameters in a cohort of dogs with naturally occurring obesity, in order to address the effects due to the imbalance of these aspects on the clinical presentation and management of canine obesity.

For the study, eleven obese but otherwise healthy dogs were included in a six-month weight loss programme, together with a control group of eleven healthy dogs at ideal body condition.

After the six-month weight loss programme, the obese dogs showed clinical improvements on a number of key indicators related to immune function, such as reduced tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6, known to impair insulin action in metabolic tissues but also favour cancer development in humans. Ten out of eleven showing a reduced BCS and no longer classified as obese.

Ten out of eleven dog owners also reported that their dogs were more active and that their quality of life had notably improved.

Hugues du Plessis, Pet Obesity Prevention Manager, at Purina said: “Preventing pet obesity is a major focus 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. This is why we are working with partner organisations to understand how behavioural science can be used to support owners, from the recognition of an issue, to the changes that will make a difference".


  1. Piantedosi D, Palatucci AT, Giovazzino A, et al. Effect of a Weight Loss Program on Biochemical and Immunological Profile, Serum Leptin Levels, and Cardiovascular Parameters in Obese Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2020;7:398. Published 2020 Aug 6. doi:10.3389/fvets.2020.00398

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