Overweight Dogs Die Younger

New research highlights the negative effect of being overweight on the lifespan of pet dogs

PORTLAND, Ore.--()--Being overweight shortens a dog’s life expectancy according to new research by the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition. Data on a range of popular dog breeds from across the USA showed that dogs that are overweight in middle age have a shorter life expectancy than ideal weight dogs. Specifically, overweight dogs were found to suffer a reduction in life expectancy of up to 10 months compared to ideal weight dogs. The research shows the far-reaching consequences for dogs of being overweight and highlights the importance of owners keeping their dogs at a healthy weight.

"We examined a broad range of popular breeds of all shapes and sizes and found 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", commented lead scientist Carina Salt, WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition.

"In order to ensure the findings were representative of dogs in the family home, we used data from a large number of pet dogs collected during visits to their veterinarian. The research highlights the very real consequences of being overweight for dogs in the family home. Key tips for combatting 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", advised Carina Salt.

The research used data on normal and overweight dogs aged between 6.5 and 8.5 years from 10 popular breeds. The data were collected by veterinarians during consultations across the network of more than 830 Banfield Pet Hospital® locations in the USA.

This study was conducted by scientists from the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition — the state-of-the-art science institute for Mars Petcare — in collaboration with Banfield Pet Hospital®. It forms part of a wider body of ongoing collaborative research aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of pet obesity. The findings were presented at the WALTHAM® International Nutritional Sciences Symposium (WINSS), taking place from 1–4 October in Portland, Oregon, USA. WINSS brings together leading experts in the fields of nutritional and veterinary science to address critical issues relating to pet health and nutrition.

About the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition

Celebrating 50 years of innovative science, the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition serves as a leading scientific authority in advancing the frontiers of research into the nutrition and health of companion animals. Located in Leicestershire, England, the renowned state-of-the-art science institute for Mars Petcare generates knowledge that enables the development of innovative products that meet pets’ needs in a practical way. Since the publication of its first original research in 1963, WALTHAM® has pioneered many important breakthroughs in the field of pet nutrition and human-animal interaction, resulting in more than 1,700 publications, including over 600 peer-review scientific papers. Today, WALTHAM® continues to collaborate with the world’s foremost scientific institutes, driving Mars Petcare’s Vision to make A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS® and providing the science and expertise that underpins leading Mars Petcare brands such as WHISKAS®, PEDIGREE®, NUTRO®, TRILL®, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES®, AQUARIAN®, WINERGY®, BANFIELD Pet Hospital® and the ROYAL CANIN® brand.

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” — this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 72,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD Pet Hospital®, NUTRO®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and CESAR®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA ® Coffee Roasterscoffee, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.® tea, DOVE®/GALAXY® Hot Chocolate, and FLAVIA® brewer; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA®, WISDOM PANEL® and SERAMIS®.

For more information, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars.

Contacts

Mars Petcare
Jeanette Fielding
Global Director of Communications
T: +32 491961941
E: Jeanette.fielding@effem.com

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Release Summary

Being overweight shortens a dog’s life expectancy according to new research by the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition.

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Contacts

Mars Petcare
Jeanette Fielding
Global Director of Communications
T: +32 491961941
E: Jeanette.fielding@effem.com