Life Plan™ Makes It Easier to Feed Properly
LOUIS, Mo. (May 6, 2002)
dog owner wouldn’t want more healthy years with his pet? A new study from
Nestlé Purina PetCare shows pet owners may have the power of longevity
in their own hands.
the first-ever lifelong canine diet restriction study, Purina researchers
have proven that a dog’s median life span can be extended by 15 percent
– nearly two years for the Labrador Retrievers in this study – by feeding
to ideal body condition through diet restriction, according to findings
published in the current edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary
14-year Purina “Life Span” study found that dogs that consumed 25 percent
fewer calories than their littermates during their lifetimes maintained
a lean or ideal body condition*, resulting in a longer life. According
to experts, the study provides the most significant data to date on the
effects of diet restriction as the ...
First diet restriction study completed for the entire life span of a larger
First completed study to document that diet restriction increases survival
time in mammals larger than rodents;
First study to achieve these health benefits for dogs with moderate reduction
of food intake (25 percent versus the 30 percent to 50 percent typically
used in rodent studies)
all know that obesity, whether in humans or canines, is generally bad for
health,” says Dennis Lawler, DVM, Purina scientist and a lead study investigator.
“What’s exciting about this study is that, for the first time in a larger
mammal, we have shown scientifically that by simply feeding to maintain
ideal body condition throughout a dog’s life, we can increase length of
life while delaying the visible signs of aging. That’s powerful stuff.”
Design – A Lifetime of Information
the study began, 48 eight-week-old Labrador Retriever dogs from seven litters
were paired within their litters according to gender and body weight and
randomly assigned to either a control or restricted-fed group. The control
group was allowed to eat an unlimited, or free choice, amount of food during
15-minute daily feedings. Dogs in the restricted, or “lean-fed,” group
were fed 75 percent of the amount eaten by their paired littermates.
dogs were fed the same 100 percent nutritionally complete and balanced
diets (puppy, then adult) for the entire period of the study, from eight
weeks of age until death – only the quantity was different.
were weighed weekly as puppies, periodically as adolescents and then weekly
as adults. Beginning at six years of age, they were evaluated annually
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, including body fat
mass, lean body mass, bone mass and glucose, glucose and insulin use, and
cholesterol and triglyceride levels were measured annually to assess condition
Results … Living Longer
findings revealed that the median life span of the lean-fed dogs was extended
by 15 percent or nearly two years. Median life span (the age at which 50
percent of dogs in the group died) was 11.2 years for the control group
versus 13 years for the lean-fed dogs.
age 10, only three lean-fed dogs had died, compared to seven control group
dogs. At the end of the twelfth year, 11 lean-fed dogs were alive with
only one control dog surviving. Twenty-five percent of the lean-fed group
survived to 13.5 years, while none of the control group dogs lived to 13.5
study showed that the lean-fed dogs maintained a significantly leaner body
condition from 6 to 12 years of age than the control group dogs, with mean
body condition scores between 4 – 5 (ideal) and 6 - 7 (overfed), respectively.
On average, the lean-fed group weighed less, had lower body fat, and after
a certain age, experienced a two-year delay in the loss of lean body mass
as they aged, compared to the control group dogs.
addition, according to observations of the researchers, the control dogs
exhibited more visible signs of aging, such as graying muzzles, impaired
gaits and reduced activity, at an earlier age than the lean-fed dogs.
study provides some insight to human health as well.
study is significant for human as well as canine health because it’s the
first study completed in a larger mammal that proves the significant power
that diet restriction wields in extending life and delaying the markers
of aging,” says Dr. Richard Weindruch, University of Wisconsin professor
of medicine and expert in the diet restriction field. “From this study,
we can extrapolate that large mammals, including humans, can potentially
live healthier and longer through diet restriction.”
Purina “Life Plan” study reveals the crucial role ideal body condition
plays in health and longevity. However, obesity remains the number one
nutritional problem among dogs. Studies have documented that at least 25
percent of dogs in the U.S. may be overweight.
maximize their dogs’ health, dog owners should learn how to recognize the
signs of obesity and feed to ideal body condition. To help pet owners do
this, Purina developed the Purina® Life Plan™, a comprehensive approach
applying specific breed size and lifestage guidelines, the Purina Body
Condition System and feeding instructions to its packaging. The Purina
Life Plan enables pet owners to feed to their individual pet’s ideal body
condition from puppyhood through the senior years.
are many factors that go into determining ideal body condition, from the
size of your pet to his age to his breed, and it can be difficult for pet
owners to do it on their own,” says McCarthy.
or ideal body condition refers to the evaluation of body physique in pets
as an indicator of their overall health and well-being, generally falling
into three categories: underfed, ideal and overfed.
Ribs are highly visible.
Body Condition: Can feel and see outline of ribs. Dog has a waist when
viewed from above. Belly is tucked up when viewed from the side.
Dog has no waist when viewed from above. Belly is rounded when viewed from
body condition: physical assessment of health defined as when you can feel
and see the outline of a dog’s ribs, there is a waist when viewed from
above and the abdomen is tucked up when viewed from the side.
dogs are usually conditioned and worked for the ADBA conformation ring,
just like greyhounds are conditioned and worked for the races and are obviously
very lean and muscular. Many UKC folks show their dogs *fat* in UKC and
work the *same* dogs for the ADBA show ring to take them in at peak condition.
A *fit and lean* worked dog is not thin or underweight. Some people may
confuse a worked APBT as being skinny and that is not the case. There is
a big difference. A thin, underweight, emaciated dog does not have the
muscles and tone a worked *Lean and fit* dog has. Below is a dog in excellent
ADBA Condition. Click the link below the picture to see him in UKC show
shape and ADBA show shape. This dog is an ADBA Conformation Grand Champion
I , an ADBA Weight pull ACE of ACE, a UKC Conformation Champion & UWP
United Weight Puller which is an ACE title for UKC....
Photo from Rainy City Kennel
Here to see more of:
Rebel's Red Ace