Labrador retrievers packed on the most pounds of any dog breed since the beginning of England's first coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, a new study shows.
Dog Friendly Retreats, a popular dog-friendly holiday platform that launched in 2018, surveyed more than 1,700 dog owners in the U.K. and found that the average dog has gained 2.7 lbs. during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its resulting quarantine.
Of the specific dog breeds, Labradors gained the most weight since the onset of the pandemic, with an average of 4.1 lbs.
Following Labradors on the average weight gain list are French bulldogs (3.8 lbs.), Dachshunds (3 lbs.), Beagles (2.1 lbs.), and finally German shepherds (2 lbs.).
In the survey, the dog owners were asked why they believed their dogs had gained weight. Over half of respondents (52%) said that spending more time with their pet led to overfeeding them, while 32% said that the number of walks they had taken their dog on had reduced.
Meanwhile, 74% of dog owners admitted to not prioritizing their dog's health during the coronavirus lockdown.
The research also showed that 59% of dogs that didn’t gain weight during the pandemic come from a family home with children.
"Dogs are still undeniably man's best friend but sometimes we can treat our friends just a little bit too well," said Josh Williams of Dog Friendly Retreats. "I’m not surprised that being home with our dogs more often is affecting their weight, after all, it’s been affecting the waistlines of us humans too!"
"Helping our dogs get back in their prime is as simple as a few lifestyle tweaks and I’m sure the whole family will feel happier and healthier for it, including our furry friends!" Williams added.
According to a 2019 report from the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), 31% of dog owners did not know their animal's weight or body condition last year, while 15% of dog owners believed that giving their pet scraps or leftovers was an appropriate daily meal.
In addition, the report found that 1.3 million U.K dogs (13% of dogs in the world) are not walked every day, which are all contributing factors to obesity.
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