Pet food service tails.com has said it aims to use its “unique” data and insights to improve the lives of dogs and their owners with the launch of Data Labs.
The group has gathered information on the health, wellbeing and life expectancy of hundreds of thousands of dogs since 2014.
Data Labs is designed to put this insight to use and work with vets and industry professionals to enhance the research on dog health and nutrition.
The first “major milestone” of Data Labs will be the publication of Tails.com’s first peer-reviewed scientific paper.
The paper will detail the effects of body weight, body condition, gender and neutering on the longevity and health of dogs, with further scientific papers planned for publication in the coming months and years.
The database has already provided insights that include:
- In certain breeds, a significant proportion of owners are unaware that their dog is overweight.
- Being overweight or obese can take months, or in some cases, years off the lives of dogs.
- Evidence to suggest that there are improvements in life expectancy when overweight dogs return to an ideal body weight.
- Neutering our dogs is associated with a longer life expectancy across 15 of the studied dog breeds.
Sean McCormack, head Vet at Tails.com, said: “As a Vet in practice, you gain an understanding of general animal issues and trends. But what this data can do is look over hundreds of thousands of dogs, unpick all of the nutritional, breed and age-related data we’ve collected over time, and then provide an insight-rich window into the best possible way to care for our dogs.
“We’re really just scratching the surface in terms of what we have at our disposal. There’s real potential for Data Labs to fundamentally change the way that we view dog nutrition and dog health going forwards.”
Lorna Brightmore, lead data scientist at Tails.com, added: “We are renowned for being a nation of dog lovers and the data we have has huge potential to unlock insights which have a direct impact on the wellbeing of our pets.
“Even at this early stage, we are finding strong associations between a number of health factors and longevity and our conclusions will only become stronger over time.”