Project: Pet Slim Down™ from Purina Veterinary Diets emphasizes veterinary involvement, owner education and peer support as keys to weight loss success
ST. LOUIS (October 1, 2010) — Project: Pet Slim Down™, a nationwide initiative from Purina Veterinary Diets, unites pet owners and veterinarians in helping overweight pets lose weight and achieve better overall health. Through Project: Pet Slim Down™, pet owners partner with their veterinary teams to achieve sensible, lasting pet weight loss, while receiving online support. Owners also can join others dedicated to helping pets reach healthy body conditions, receiving encouragement from, and sharing experiences with, other pet owners and advocates.
Project: Pet Slim Down™ reflects the ongoing efforts of Purina Veterinary Diets to reduce pet obesity through improved nutrition, pet owner education and veterinary intervention. “Obesity is one of the most prevalent health problems facing pets today, but one of the most treatable — and preventable,” said Grace Long, DVM, MS, MBA, director, technical veterinary marketing, Nestlé Purina. “Project: Pet Slim Down™ takes a common sense approach to pet weight loss with tools for pet owners and veterinary professionals that help make success achievable.”
Obesity: Preventable Problem
The number of overweight dogs and cats in America continues to rise. According to a recent survey among veterinarians conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 45 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats in their care are overweight or obese (at least 20 percent above ideal weight).
“Many owners don’t realize that excess weight puts their pets at greater risk for developing serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis,” said Long. “While those health conditions can be managed, obesity can be reversed. With the help of a supportive owner and veterinary team, a diet formulated for weight loss, and regular exercise, pets can achieve healthy, gradual weight loss and ultimately enjoy a more ideal weight and body condition.”
Eight Pets, 90 Days, One Goal
A key component in Project: Pet Slim Down™ is the Realty Series DVD that chronicles the weight loss journeys of eight pets on the program. One was Courtney, a 7-year-old Shih Tzu. At the initial weigh-in, Courtney was 19 pounds. Courtney had always been plump and, after giving birth to six puppies, didn't lose her "baby weight."
Enrolling in Project: Pet Slim Down™ gave Courtney a new lease on life. After 90 days on the program, she was 4 pounds lighter. After losing weight, she is able to manage stairs with no problem and jump on the couch unaided.
The videos document 12 weeks of monitored feeding, veterinary weigh-ins and physical activity. Pets were supervised by a...