Some overweight dogs’ lives could be cut short by up to a year, according to tails.com research.
It revealed owners “admit” that their dogs may be wise to their weaknesses around treats and human snacks, with 46% of owners admitting to giving in to their dog simply for ‘looking cute’, while a further 24% offered up a treat if they thought it would keep their dog quiet or occupied.
The research observed over 42% of the dogs joining their service are overweight or obese, with the top three overweight breeds being Beagles, Border Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers.
Some 29% of dog owners confess that their dog is given the dinner dishes to lick on a daily basis, while over a third of owners (39%) let them eat ingredients when preparing their own meals.
However, the data revealed the “right portions” and exercise could help them live on average six to nine months longer than their overweight counterparts.
Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, said: “We may all be dealing with the ‘battle of the bulge’ following the festive season, and our dogs are no exception. All of those extra little treats and indulgences add up.
“Encouragingly, our data also shows that it’s never too late to make a positive change: when an overweight dog gets back to an ideal body condition through healthy nutrition and exercise they can gain months of their life back.”
Carolyn Menteith, behaviourist at tails.com, added: “Dogs are incredibly intelligent and highly social creatures, which makes them wonderful companions and great fun to train but that means they are also smart enough to be able to train us into giving them what they want too.”