Influence of feeding a fish oil‐containing diet to mature, overweight dogs: Effects on lipid metabolites, postprandial glycaemia and body weight

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Currently, there are more than 77.5 million pet dogs in the United States and nearly 62% of the households have at least one pet (APPA, 2011). In 1995, the prevalence of obesity in US dogs was around 34% (Lund, Armstrong, Kirk, & Klausner, 2006). A more recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that approximately 55% of dogs were overweight or obese (Calabash, 2011), which demonstrates that the population of obese and overweight dogs continues to increase. Obesity has become the most prevalent nutrition‐induced disorder encountered in small animal medicine (Jeusette, Lhoest, Istasse, & Diez, 2005).
Similar to humans, obese dogs are more prone to be affected by weight‐related diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, arthritis and lower urinary tract disease (Lund et al., 2006). To aid in the control of obesity, common management strategies have been adopted: energy restriction, increased exercise activity or a combination of the two. Because of the lack of success of these management strategies, more attention has been given to the nutrient composition of diets. Omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) found mainly in fatty fish oil (FO) have been shown to be effective on weight loss in obese women and rats (Kunesová et al., 2006; Sato et al., 2007). Most of the research conducted in this area has been performed using rodents as the experimental model, and these findings may not always reflect canine metabolism. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of feeding a FO‐containing diet on lipid and protein metabolism, postprandial glycaemia and body weight (BW) in mature, overweight dogs.

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