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Overweight canines 'die sooner'

Monday October 7th 2013

Owners with overweight dogs run the risk of losing their pets before they should, new research shows.

Researchers at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition studied information on normal and overweight dogs between the ages of six-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half across 10 popular breeds in the US.

They discovered overweight, middle-aged dogs have a shorter life expectancy of up to 10 months compared with those of a normal weight.

Study leader Carina Salt said Labradors, Shih Tzus, American Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Beagles were particularly at risk.

"The research highlights the very real consequences of being overweight for dogs in the family home," she added.

"Key tips for combating excess weight and keeping your dog fit and healthy include carefully controlling food portions in line with the pack feeding guidelines, regular exercise appropriate for your dog's needs and regular weighing sessions. Owners concerned about their dog's weight should speak to a veterinarian."

Copyright Press Association 2013

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