Obesity in both humans and pets is now a pandemic. But are these two connected? A group of physicians and veterinarians from Spain studied whether obesity in humans increases the chances of obesity in dogs. And they’ve found some interesting results.

Their study on 200 dogs and their owners shows that if the dog owner is overweight or obese, their dog is more than three times more likely to be overweight or obese too. And there are various reasons for this.

For example, active dog owners who consume healthier food and exercise more want the same for their dogs. So they’ll buy food with the same healthy ingredients they use and won’t overfeed their dogs. They’ll also take them for a walk more often.

Inactivity is one of the main reasons why the dogs of overweight owners might gain extra weight. But, the study suggests that even if the owners try to keep pets more active, they still end up overweight. How does this happen?

Although pet owners don’t eat the same food as their dogs, they are inadvertently passing their eating habits to their animal companions. What’s even worse is that the pet owners are not able to recognize if their dog is overweight or not — 86% of the owners with obese dogs thought their dogs were perfectly healthy

If you’re also not sure if your dog is overweight, consult your vet, and to keep your dog healthy, here are a few tips:

  • Take your dog to their vet regularly. The vet can easily recognize the first signs of obesity and can help you prevent it.
  • Educate yourself on the food your dog should eat and the ingredients that are good for them. 
  • If you don’t want to make a mistake and overfeed your dog, you should know that not all dogs should eat the same amount. Depending on their age, activity levels, and size, they could eat from ½ cup to 9 cups a day.
  • Take them for a walk at least once a day to keep them healthy and strengthen your bond.
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