Efficiency of motivational tools and social media use in the control of canine obesity
The increasing number of obese dogs in veterinary practice has been a warning to veterinarians about the need to develop new tools to approach the obese patient, aiming to attain satisfactory results in weight loss programs. A total of 18 obese or overweight dogs with no evidence of endocrine disorders were selected for this study. These animals were randomly divided into two groups with 9 animals each. In one of the groups, strategic tools were used by their tutors, aimed at behavioral and environmental modification, and this group was assisted daily through communication using a digital instant messaging app (WhatsApp(R)). In the other group, these tools were not used, and the animals were followed only during the monthly consultation. The analyzed variable was the percentage of weight loss of each animal in one month of the method used. The animals of the daily assisted group had a mean weight loss of 5.17%, while the animals
of the non-assisted group had a mean weight loss of 3.31%. Considering the results, one can state that the animals in the assisted group lost approximately 1.6 times more weight than the unassisted animals, when comparing the mean and the median weight loss percentage in the two groups. Although the results are encouraging, there was no statistical difference with a significance level of 0.05, and this is probably due to the small sample size, consisting of 18 animals.
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