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Do I reduce my dog's life expectancy if I leave them overweight for long?

Asked a year ago

My beagle has been gaining weight inexplicably, and he's becoming obese for his breed. I'm concerned about his health because he hasn't changed his appetite or eaten larger portions. I'm worried that the stress of carrying all that extra weight will cause him to die prematurely. 

Earl Sweeney

Sunday, March 05, 2023

You are right to be concerned. Research shows being overweight can shorten a dog’s lifespan by up to two and a half years. Dogs that weigh just 10% above their ideal weight are at a higher risk for many health issues. This includes everything from osteoarthritis and respiratory problems to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

If your dog is eating the same amount as always but suddenly gaining weight, this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. Make an appointment to see your vet for tests and a complete checkup.

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