PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Extra pounds may mean fewer years for your pooch. Researchers from the University of Liverpool examined more than 50,000 dogs across 12 different breeds to determine the link between a dog’s weight and its lifespan.
Nearly half of the households in the United States own a dog while about 26 percent of households in the United Kingdom have dogs. Researchers found that about a third of dogs are overweight.
“For many owners, giving food, particularly tasty table scraps and tidbits, is the way we show affection for our pets” says Alex German, one of the co-authors of the study. “Being careful about what you feed your dog could go a long way to keeping them in good shape and enabling them to be around for many years to come.”
They found the lifespans of overweight dogs were up to two-and-a-half years shorter compared to dogs who did not have a weight issue.