Washington, Oct 5 (IANS): If your dog is overweight, it may die younger, says a new study on the negative effect of obesity on the lifespan of pet dogs.
Researchers, who observed the statistics of a variety of popular breeds of dogs from across the US, found that the overweight dogs in middle-age have a shorter life expectancy than ideal weight dogs, Xinhua reported.
The study also found that overweight dogs suffered a reduction in life expectancy of up to 10 months compared to ideal weight dogs.
"We saw that overweight dogs tend to have a shorter life expectancy. This was particularly pronounced in five breeds -- Labrador, Shih Tzu, American Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever and Beagle," lead scientist Carina Salt, of the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition in Britain.
The research used data on the body condition of male and female neutered dogs aged between 6.5 and 8.5 years from 10 popular breeds.
The findings highlight the importance of maintaining dogs at a healthy body weight throughout life, said the researchers.
"This is the first reported research of its kind looking specifically at a large number of pet dogs. The findings therefore provide important insights into the risks of being overweight for dogs in the general population", Salt said.
"Being overweight in middle age can have long-term consequences and, depending on breed, mean a reduction in life span of between one and ten months."
The findings were presented at a nutritional sciences symposium taking place from Tuesday in Portland city in the US state of Oregon.