Help Extend Your Dog’s Healthy Years

Help Extend Your Dog’s Healthy Years

Help Extend Your Dog’s Healthy Years

Purina conducted the first-ever canine lifetime diet restriction study on 48 Labrador Retrievers. The 14-year study found that feeding dogs so that they have the proper proportion of fat to muscle (ideal body condition) throughout their lives can significantly extend a dog’s healthy years – by an average of 1.8 years for the dogs in the study1.

Key Findings

  • Dog fed to maintain an ideal body condition throughout their lives experienced extended healthy years – by an average of 1.8 years.
  • Although dogs in the study generally developed the same chronic conditions as they aged, the need for treatment for these conditions was delayed in lean-fed dogs
  • Lean-fed dogs had healthier blood sugar levels, blood pressures and heart rates than control dogs
  • Researchers observed that lean-fed dogs showed fewer visible signs normally associated with aging, such as graying muzzles, impaired gaits and reduced activity at a later age than control dogs 

48, 8-week-old Labrador Retriever dogs from seven li­tters took part in the study. The dogs were paired within their li­tter according to gender and body weight and randomly assigned to either a control or lean-fed group.

Dogs in the control group were allowed to eat an unlimited amount of food as puppies and a constant amount of food provided based upon ideal body weight beginning at age 3.25 years. Dogs in the lean-fed group received 25% less than the amount eaten by their paired littermates. All dogs ate the same 100% nutritionally complete and balanced diets (first puppy diets, then adult formulations) throughout the study. Only the amount provided was different.

Dogs were weighed periodically throughout their lives. Beginning at 6 years of age, they were evaluated annually for body condition using the Purina Body Condition System™, a scientifically validated standard used by veterinarians to evaluate body physique in pets to assess weight and health. Other health indicators were also measured annually to assess condition and health. Some of these indicators included: glucose use, cholesterol and triglyceride levels beginning at age 4; body fat mass, lean body mass and bone mass beginning at age 6; and insulin use beginning at age 9.

If your dog is overweight, it’s time to implement a safe, effective weight loss program with Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management® Canine Formula. The specialized formula contains a high level of protein to help your adult dog lose fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.

1 J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 220:1315-1320.