A recent study by the Rural Development Administration found that pet foods containing sprouted barley are beneficial for weight control in dogs. Obese dogs that were fed a diet containing 2.75 percent sprouted barley for four months lost an average of 6.45 percent of their body weight. The barley also reduced the level of blood leptin, an indicator of obesity, and the density of fat-related microbes in the dogs’ livers. The Rural Development Administration has applied for a patent for the barley sprout feed and plans to provide technology transfers for local pet food makers who want to use the technology. According to Hwang Seong-su, head of the animal welfare team at the National Institute of Animal Science under the Rural Development Administration, dog obesity can be controlled through regular diet and exercise, but it can be challenging to maintain in the long term. The agency’s research offers new hope for pet owners struggling with overweight pets.

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