(STUDY FINDS) -- LIVERPOOL, England — Does your beloved pet pooch seem a little pudgy lately? It may be time to cut back on the treats. While it’s no secret that carrying extra weight can impact a human’s longterm health, a recent study reveals that overweight dogs tend to live shorter lives, too.
Researchers from the University of Liverpool and Mars Petcare’s WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition warn that overweight dogs have lifespans about two-and-a-half years shorter than dogs that maintain an ideal weight. That could spell trouble for the 48% of American households and 26% that own at least one dog, considering one in three dogs in the country is overweight, experts say. To make matters worse, many owners don’t know that their pet exceeds the recommended weight for its respective breed.
“Owners are often unaware that their dog is overweight, and many may not realize the impact that it can have on health. What they may not know is that, if their beloved pet is too heavy, they are more likely to suffer from other problems such as joint disease, breathing issues, and certain types of cancer, as well as having a poorer quality of life,” says study co-author Alex German, a professor of small animal medicine at the University of Liverpool, in a statement. “These health and wellbeing issues can significantly impact how long they live.”
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