Ever heard the saying that owners look like their dogs? Well, apparently it’s not just your face that people are referring to, but your body too. Because according to a researcher, if your dog is fat, chances are so are you.
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That’s a pretty offensive assumption to make, but according to Dr. Peter Sande from the University of Copenhagen, this is often the case, as those with unhealthy eating habits are more likely to give their pooches unhealthy treats.
In addition to the extra food, Dr. Sande also claims that those with a weight problem themselves are less likely to notice the extra weight on their pets (and do something about it).
“Overfeeding in companion animals is related to a form of attachment where the animal is seen as an equal and deserves all the treats and indulgences an owner gives themselves,” Dr. Sande said during a recent lecture in Melbourne, Sky News Australia reports.
When you indulge in a cake, you need to hit the gym to burn those extra calories, right? But Dr. Sande says overweight people are less likely to take their dogs for walks or to exercise them, resulting in their packing on the pounds.
Regardless of the potential correlation between animals and their owner’s weight, pet obesity is clearly a problem. According to Best Health, Dr. Jim Berry, president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, estimates that 60 per cent of Canadian pets are obese or overweight.
Having an overweight pup can put it at risk for a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart and respiratory problems, digestion issues and various forms of cancer. Dr. Leonie Richards from the University of Melbourne shared her thoughts on this and offered some guidelines to owners.
“A dog shouldn’t look like a coffee table,” Dr. Richards said, adding, “You should be able to see a waistline, see the ribs and feel the backbone, and that applies to all breeds.”