|Churchill, one of the dog’s tracked in the online reality series, lost 9 pounds (from beginning weight of 70 pounds) and 6 inches off his waist over 90 days.|
Purina Veterinary Diets of St. Louis, Mo., is launching Project: Pet Slim Down, a weight loss initiative for pets and veterinary practices.
The program combines veterinary staff education, practice tools and nutritional products with emotional inspiration and success stories featured on a made-for-Web reality series, a key component of the program according to Purina.
“Project: Pet Slim Down is designed to help veterinarians and staff motivate clients to be active participants in pet weight loss, with regular weigh-ins, ongoing encouragement and practical advice for diet and exercise,” said Grace Long, DVM, MS, MBA, director of technical veterinary marketing for Nestlé Purina. “It’s all about achieving intangible results, making clients feel supported and improving pet health.”
The Project: Pet Slim Down online reality series (www.projectpetslimdown.com/Home) chronicles the successful weight loss experiences of eight overweight dogs over a 90-day period. Videos document monitored feeding, veterinary weigh-ins and physical activity.
A veterinary health care team – comprised of Meredith Rettinger, DVM, of Laurel Pet Hospital in West Hollywood, Calif.; Stacy Fuchino, VMD, of PV Village Pet Clinic in Redondo Beach, Calif.; and Joanne Bak, DVM, and technician Paloma Fierro of the Aminal Specialty Group in Los Angeles — supervised the pets in the series.
The series is also available on DVD as one of the program’s in-clinic tools. Other in-clinic tools include the Purina Veterinary Diets Feeding Guide and Weight Management Software for determining individualized diet and exercise recommendations; a weight loss protocol; communication tools to prompt client discussions; and an online weight management tutorial with case studies for veterinary technicians.
In turn, clients enrolled in the program are able to track their pets’ weight loss and share with friends, receive e-mails with health tips and weight loss success stories; information guides on weight loss; and coupons and rebates for Purina products.
“Obesity is one of the most prevalent health problems facing pets today, but one of the most treatable and preventable,” Dr. Long said. “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.”