Danish study reveals the link between overweight dogs and their owners

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  • A study by the University of Copenhagen on 268 dogs revealed the relation between obese pet dogs and their obese owners
  • Giving too much treats is the culprit in increasing a dog’s risk for being overweight
  • Castration can also affect a dog’s appetite and motivation to exercise

Danish researchers divulged  that overweight people are more likely to have overweight dogs; partly because they are more likely to feed them treats.

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The study involved 268 dogs and 20 percent were found overweight.

Danish researchers found out that the prevalence of heavy or obese dogs is more than twice as large among overweight or obese owners (35 percent) than among owners who are slim or of a normal weight (14 percent).  Undoubtedly, it affirms the famous quote, “like owner, like dog,”

Overweight owners give treats to their pooches while average weighted owners only provide them for training purposes.  The study’s main author, Charlotte Bjornvad, revealed, “For example, when a person is relaxing on the couch and shares the last bites of a sandwich or a cookie with their dog.”

Another team of researchers discovered in 2016 that in developed countries, 34 to 59 percent of dogs are overweight or obese which can greatly affect their life expectancy by almost two years, decrease mobility or cause diabetes and cardiac disease; same as that of humans.

The Copenhagen study also showed that 29% of castrated male dogs have increased risk on being heavy by three times.  Sterilization in female dogs, however, does not affect their weight.

“When males are castrated, they face just as high of a risk of becoming overweight as females. Castration seems to decrease the ability to regulate the appetite in male dogs and at the same time, it might also decrease the incentive to exercise which results in an increased risk of becoming overweight. Therefore, an owner should be careful about how they feed their dog after it has been castrated,” said Bjørnvad.

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With this new awareness, maybe it’s time we check on our pet’s feeding habits as well as our own!

Sources:  Daily Sabah   France 24   Futurity