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Carrying extra pounds isn't just bad for humans: New research indicates dogs' lives may be significantly shorter if they're overweight.
The study, which evaluated data from more than 50,000 dogs across 12 of the most popular breeds, found that the life span of overweight dogs was up to 2.5 years shorter than that of normal-weight canines.
People - Risk - Mortality - Obesity - Respects
"We know that in people, there's a higher risk of mortality if they have obesity, so in many respects this is not surprising," said study author Dr. Alexander German. He's a professor of small animal medicine at University of Liverpool in England.
"A two-and-a-half year shortening of the life span may not seem a huge amount, but when we convert to human terms, we're probably looking at between 10 and 15 years of shortened life span, which is considerable," German added.
Half - Households - Dog - Quarter - Households
Nearly half of American households include a dog, along with more than a quarter of British households, according to study documents. An estimated 1 in 3 dogs and cats in the United States is overweight.
Prior research indicates that overweight or obese dogs face higher risks of chronic diseases such as orthopedic problems, diabetes and certain types of cancer. As in people, obesity has been established as a contributor to these conditions, as well as to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Colleagues - Data - Years - Dogs - Care
German and his colleagues combed through data collected over 20 years on 50,787 middle-aged, neutered pet dogs who'd received care at a network of about 900 veterinary hospitals across North America.
The breeds included dachshunds, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, American cocker spaniels, beagles, boxers, Chihuahuas, pit bull terriers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus and Yorkshire terriers. For each breed, researchers compared the life spans of those reported by the owners to be overweight or normal-weight.
Breeds - Risk - Death - Dogs
Among all breeds, the risk of earlier death was higher among overweight dogs. The...
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