Perfect Portions: How to Manage Your Dog’s Weight
A dog paw A dog paw A dog paw A dog paw
20% off your first 2 boxes

Perfect Portions: How to Manage Your Dog’s Weight

Read time: 6 mins

11 Jan 2023

Are you a pet parent concerned about your dog's weight? With obesity becoming the most prevalent nutritional disorder amongst dogs and studies suggesting that up to half of the dogs in the UK are overweight, you're not alone in your worries.


Being a healthy weight isn't about looking good at the dog park - it's vital to their overall health and longevity. Research from across the globe agrees that managing a healthy weight can significantly ward off diseases and extend dogs’ lifespans.


At Butternut Box, we're committed to helping dogs lead fulfilling, joyful, and healthy lives. It's our mission to provide perfectly portioned meals to help with weight management, making sure your dog receives the necessary nutrition without the extra calories.

The Butternut Box Journey to Health and Happiness: A Tailored Approach to Dog’s Weight Loss

We've been thrilled to hear numerous stories and Trustpilot reviews celebrating successful weight loss in our canine customers. To look into this further, we started a 16-week project involving 12 dogs, each with a body condition score of 7/9 or above.


Following a thorough health consultation with our in-house vet, Dr. Ciara Clarke, each dog's daily caloric needs were calculated using our feeding algorithm. Pet parents then received a tailored guide outlining their dog's current weight, the target weight, and a carefully chosen selection of naturally low-fat meals to feed, along with higher fat options to avoid. Within their meal plan, we had considered specific dietary needs, such as protein intolerances, which restricted some dogs from our full range of low-fat options.


We provided continuous support and did weigh-ins every four weeks to track their progress. Our focus was solely on the impact of changing their diet, and pet parents were asked to maintain their usual treat giving habits and exercise routines.

Resounding Success: Weight Loss Study Outcomes

  • A staggering 11 out of the 12 participating dogs successfully lost weight.
  • Among these, 9 dogs experienced a decrease of at least 2 Body Condition Score (BCS) sizes.
  • 9 dogs achieved their healthy target weight by the end of the study.
  • All participating pet parents found the study easy to follow and would recommend it to other pet owners whose dogs need weight management support.
  • The low-fat meals received an average rating of 4.95 out of 5 for taste and enjoyment.
  • Perhaps most notably, all dogs showed improved energy levels throughout the study.


These results illustrate the significant impact a pre-portioned, nutritionally balanced diet can have on managing your dog's weight and enhancing their overall wellbeing.

Pet Parent Insights from Our Weight Management Study

Carly with Kaiden the Chesapeake Retriever


BCS 9/9 to 7/9 with a 5.3kg weight loss. I was hopeful although slightly dubious as he hadn't been losing on raw. Would never feed weight loss kibble so very happy with Butternut Box low fat meals. Nothing was difficult, obviously not giving in to puppy dog eyes asking for more but that would have been the same with any weight loss diet. Everything, prepared meals ready portioned out made it very easy. I have already recommended the diet to clients with overweight dogs.

Sophia with Bailey Boo the French Bulldog


BCS 8/9 to 6/9 with a 2.3kg weight loss. After one month the difference in her is huge. She is much more active and generally seems more comfortable - she walks with more enthusiasm and has even done some zoomies! At the end of the trial Bailey lost enough weight to have her TECA surgery which she has been waiting for for such a long time. Bailey is clearly much more comfortable and no longer grumbles when she is getting on and off the furniture etc.

Sam with Orla the Labradoodle


BCS 8/9 to 6/9 with a 2.6kg weight loss. We started this program in blazing heat and Orla wasn't coping well with her weight with such high temperatures, so she had zero exercise for at least 2 weeks and very little exercise when it was slightly cooler and we still lost a chunk of weight! She is more responsive with cues, more playful yet settles nicely. There is also less huffing with slight exercise.

Sarah with Pip the Belgian Malinois Shepherd


BCS 9/9 to 7/9 with a 3.0kg weight loss. Pip has more energy, wants to play, is happier in herself. Her breath doesn't smell and her coat isn't greasy and it’s soft.

Sally with Frankie the Staffordshire Bull Terrier


BCS 6/9 to 4/9 with a 1.8kg weight loss. Didn't require cutting down on treats used for enrichment/training, and didn't require additional exercise. The diet plan was really easy to follow, didn't require massive amounts of efforts from us, and the weight has come off at a sustainable rate. Really pleased.

Alex with Miya the Bulgarian street dog and Albert the Springer Spaniel


BCS 6/9 to 4/9, BCS 7/9 to 5/9, with 2.3kg and 2.1kg weight loss respectively. Really saw an improvement in weight. Both more playful. Miya is happy to go out for a walk again. We even say we preferred Albert when he was fat!

Weight Management Simplified: The Butternut Box Approach

We combine cutting-edge scientific research, expertise from our nutrition team, and insightful data learning to create a proprietary algorithm. These algorithms take into account your dog's age, weight, body condition score, treat behaviours, and activity level to calculate daily feeding requirements down to the nearest 50 calories.


Alongside this, we understand that successful weight management goes beyond calorie calculations. It requires pet parents' commitment, and we're here to make the journey easier and more enjoyable.

Psychology

Pet parents using Butternut Box for weight management report feeling less guilty and more confident about their dog's diet.

Variety and choice

We offer a selection of different low-fat meals, so there's always a tasty option your dog will love.

Taste

With Butternut Box, pet parents feel they're providing a delicious meal, which encourages them to stick to the diet plan.

Convenience

Our easy-to-use pouches simplify mealtimes - one pouch equates to one day's feeding, eliminating the need for scoops or scales.

Visual satisfaction

Our fresh meals look more substantial in the bowl compared to calorie-dense kibble, making mealtime more satisfying for both you and your dog.


We're dedicated to supporting you and your dog in achieving a healthier lifestyle with ease and enjoyment. If you're facing challenges in managing your dog's weight, don't hesitate to reach out to our Customer Love or vet nurses who will be happy to support you with helpful tips and strategies.


References


  1. Alexander J. German, The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats,

    The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 136, Issue 7, 1 July 2006, Pages 1940S–1946S, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/136.7.1940S

  2. Courcier EA, Thomson RM, Mellor DJ, Yam PS. An epidemiological study of environmental factors associated with canine obesity. J Small Anim Pract. 2010 Jul;51(7):362-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2010.00933.x. Epub 2010 Apr 6. PMID: 20402841.

  3. O'Neill DG, Church DB, McGreevy PD, Thomson PC, Brodbelt DC. Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. Vet J. 2013 Dec;198(3):638-43. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.09.020. Epub 2013 Sep 25. PMID: 24206631.

  4. Lawler DF, Larson BT, Ballam JM, Smith GK, Biery DN, Evans RH, Greeley EH, Segre M, Stowe HD, Kealy RD. Diet restriction and ageing in the dog: major observations over two decades. Br J Nutr. 2008 Apr;99(4):793-805. doi: 10.1017/S0007114507871686. Epub 2007 Dec 6. Erratum in: Br J Nutr. 2009 Apr;101(7):1112. PMID: 18062831.

  5. Salt C, Morris PJ, Wilson D, Lund EM, German AJ. Association between life span and body condition in neutered client-owned dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Jan;33(1):89-99. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15367. Epub 2018 Dec 11. PMID: 30548336; PMCID: PMC6335446.