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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Overweight dogs live shorter lives, a new study finds. The research, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, studied 50,000 dogs and 12 different breeds over more than 20 years.

Carol Erickson, an animal advocate for the PSPCA joins Eyewitness News to talk about pets being overweight.

About half of Americans who have pets give them some kind of treat whenever they are begging. This can be really detriment to the pet’s health.

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For example, if you have an overweight male German shepherd it can lead to five months less of life for that dog. For a Yorkie, their life can be shortened by two-and-a-half years.

So the magnitude is different, but the effect is the same.

While it is tempting to feed them table scraps and extra treats to keep them happy, you shouldn’t do it because seriously health complications can rise in overweight pets.