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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.

Credit: CBS3

“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.