Overweight dogs may be too much like their owners

Overweight dogs may be too much like their owners

A new study shows dogs that are overweight tend to have overweight owners.
Jan 21, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

How much are pets and their owners alike? In one important area for dogs and their owners—their weight—the answer is too much so. A recent study out of The Netherlands published in Public Health Nutrition reveals that people who have overweight dogs are more likely to be overweight themselves. However, overweight cats don’t necessarily have overweight human companions.

The researchers compared 47 pairs of dogs and their owners with 36 pairs of cats and their owners from three different veterinary clinics in Amsterdam. They used body mass index (BMI) to evaluate the owners’ deviation from an ideal weight and veterinarians’ assessments to establish each pet’s degree of being overweight.

Even though weight is a sensitive topic, discussing the fact that a pet needs to slim down is important for the animal’s health. And the findings of this study show that you just might help get your dog-owning clients get in better shape as well.

To get the discussion going, watch this video of Dr. Ernie Ward explaining how to broach the subject of weight with pet owners.