Heavier Dogs Have Shorter Life Spans

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-10_366b10eb2e.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (LONDON) -- Dogs that are overweight have a shorter life expectancy than a pooch that eats sensibly and gets exercise, the U.K.’s WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition says. The study named the Labrador, Shih Tzu, American Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever and Beagle as the five breeds that are susceptible to putting on too much weight.

Lead scientist Carina Salt maintains that the long-term consequences of dog obesity can chop between one and 10 months off their life spans, which may not seem a lot to humans but given a dog often doesn’t survive much past 10 years, the difference is significant.

In the U.S., the Banfield Pet Hospital of Winter Garden, Fla., conducted a study of 800 animal hospitals spread over 43 states and learned that about one in four dogs and cats is overweight or obese.

During the past five years alone, the number of overweight dogs in the U.S. has jumped 37 percent.

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