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Being overweight shortens a dog’s life expectancy according to new research by the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition. Data on a range of popular dog breeds from across the USA showed that dogs that are overweight in middle age have a shorter life expectancy than ideal weight dogs. Specifically, overweight dogs were found to suffer a reduction in life expectancy of up to 10 months compared to ideal weight dogs. The research shows the far-reaching consequences for dogs of being overweight and highlights the importance of owners keeping their dogs at a healthy weight.”We examined a broad range of popular breeds of all shapes and sizes and found that overweight dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy. This was particularly pronounced in five breeds – Labrador, Shih Tzu, American Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever and Beagle”, commented lead scientist Carina Salt, WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition.
“In order to ensure the findings were representative of dogs in the family home, we used data from a large number of pet dogs collected during visits to their veterinarian. The research highlights the very real consequences of being overweight for dogs in the family home. Key tips for combatting excess weight and keeping your dog fit and healthy include carefully controlling food portions in line with the pack feeding guidelines, regular exercise appropriate for your dog’s needs and regular weighing sessions. Owners concerned about their dog’s weight should speak to a veterinarian”, advised Carina Salt.
The research used data on normal and overweight dogs aged between 6.5 and 8.5 years from 10 popular breeds. The data were collected by veterinarians during consultations across the network of more than 830
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