Impact of canine overweight and obesity on health-related quality of life

Fatter dogs have poorer quality of life

Source: P.S. Yam, C.F. Butowski, J.L. Chitty, G. Naughton, M.L. Wiseman-Orr, T. Parkin, J. Reid
Preventive Veterinary Medicine vol 127, May 2016 pp 64-69

Canine obesity affects between a quarter and a half of UK pet dogs. It is linked to several diseases, such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, poor lung function, and problems relating to the urinary and reproductive tracts.

This study investigates the effect of obesity on canine quality of life, using owner assessments. There were 271 owners asked to take part in the study, and 174 of them agreed to answer an online questionnaire. The study took place in 2013 and 2014, and 37% of dogs were classed as overweight or obese. The owners did not see these dogs as energetic, enthusiastic, active or comfortable as owners of dogs of normal weight. The dogs may have been less mobile because they were bigger, or because of pain arising from osteoarthritis.

Obesity or just being overweight can affect the health-related quality of life of pet dogs, so it is important for owners to ensure that their dogs do not get too fat.