Exercise frequency and duration in the study dogs 

Exercise frequency and duration in the study dogs 

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Canine obesity is now the number one health concern in dogs worldwide. Regular physical activity can improve health, and owners are advised to exercise their dogs on a regular basis. However, limited information exists about associations between overweight status of dogs and walking activity. An online survey was conducted between June and August i...

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... exercise frequency and duration are shown in Table 1. With simple logistic regression analysis, dogs that were reported to be overweight exercised less frequently (P < 0·0001) and for a shorter time (P < 0·0001) than those not reported to be overweight. ...

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... If dogs that pull are walked less, or not at all, they could be more prone to resultant weight gain. Overweight and obese dogs exercise less 46 and live shorter, 47 poorer quality lives, 48 with increased risk of comorbid pathologies. 49 Multiple studies detect a relationship between reduced walking and weight gain in dogs, 10,46,[50][51][52][53] although conflicting methodologies, age, neutering, diet, owner behaviour, breed and genetics confound the results. ...
... Overweight and obese dogs exercise less 46 and live shorter, 47 poorer quality lives, 48 with increased risk of comorbid pathologies. 49 Multiple studies detect a relationship between reduced walking and weight gain in dogs, 10,46,[50][51][52][53] although conflicting methodologies, age, neutering, diet, owner behaviour, breed and genetics confound the results. In one large UK study (n = 11,154), a relationship between overweight, exercise and undesirable behaviours was identified. ...
... In one large UK study (n = 11,154), a relationship between overweight, exercise and undesirable behaviours was identified. 54 Overweight dogs were walked less 46 and more likely to flee, be fearful, aggressive, or pull on lead. 54 However, the direction of the relationship remains unclear; undesirable behaviours such as lead pulling may prevent owners from walking their dogs, resulting in weight gain, or weight gain may prevent owners walking their dogs, resulting in undesirable behaviours. ...
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Veterinary professionals (VPs) are often the first source of advice for clients struggling with their dog’s behaviour, and pulling on the lead is a common-place undesirable behaviour VPs will encounter regularly in practice. Excluding bites, being pulled over while walking on a lead is the leading cause of non-fatal dog-related injuries in the UK. This narrative review investigates lead pulling as a welfare concern in pet dogs, highlighting aspects of the literature of particular interest to VPs. Lead pulling could negatively affect walk quality, frequency and duration,causing weight gain, while decreased environmental enrichment could trigger other undesirable behaviours. Aversive equipment to prevent lead pulling can cause pain, distress and injury, but even equipment considered humane can have welfare consequences. Punitive training methods could cause dogs stress, fear and anxiety and trigger aggressive behaviour. While these lead pulling outcomes are welfare concerns in themselves, they could also weaken dog–owner attachment, a risk factor in pet dog relinquishment.Given lead pulling could affect the welfare of patients in a VPs care, clinical implications and opportunities for client education are outlined. Educating clients on humane prevention and modification of lead pulling could make walks easier, safer and more enjoyable, with positive outcomes for clients,canine welfare and the practice.
... From puppy to end of life, maintaining an appropriate or low body fat composition may be the single most important factor in overall health and mobility. Appropriate levels of body fat are highly correlated with health and longevity in dogs [16][17][18] ; this is one area in which the human-animal bond is often perceived to be at odds with the overall health of the dog. Many owners equate providing food, including highcalorie treats, with love for their pet. ...
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This article highlights the recommendations and considerations for maintaining a healthy canine lifestyle. A key component of a healthy lifestyle is the enhancement and optimization of mobility. Mobility is essential in maintaining a high quality of life and involves the interplay of a dog's structure, posture, body condition score, physical exercise, and a healthy human-animal bond throughout a dog's lifetime.
... Dogs that partake in regular daily exercise have been reported to have a reduced risk of becoming obese (Courcier et al., 2010;German et al., 2017). Obesity has been reported as one of the main welfare concerns for dogs in Great Britain (Buckland et al., 2014) as approximately 50% of dogs have been estimated to be either overweight or obese (Courcier et al., 2010). ...
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Regular exercise for dogs has health and welfare benefits. This study sought to address a gap in existing research regarding what constitutes ‘common’ age-specific walking practices (a common form of exercise adopted by dog owners) by owners of young dogs, and how these practices change as the dogs reach adulthood. Dog owners living in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland participating in a longitudinal study reported the frequency and duration of their average weekday and weekend walks when their dogs were aged 16 weeks (n=2225), 9 months (n=1200) and 15 months (n=808). Owners also reported the amount of time their dogs spent on lead during these walks. For the statistical analysis, a subpopulation of dogs with data regarding walking practices at all three timepoints were used (n=609). At all three timepoints dogs were most commonly walked twice a day. Commonly, 16-week-old puppies were walked for a total of 30-minutes on weekdays and weekend days, whereas dogs aged 9 and 15 months were walked for 1 hour on weekdays and 2 hours on weekend days. Commonly, 16-week-old puppies spent ≥75% of total walk time on lead, whereas the older dogs mostly spent <25% of total walk time on lead on weekdays and weekend days. Most owners reported using a short rather than a long lead (for example, a flexi-lead, training line, long line). For the subpopulation of dogs for which data were available at all three timepoints, the total duration of walks on both an average weekday and weekend day increased significantly as the dogs aged. The proportion of total walk time spent on lead on both an average weekday and weekend day significantly decreased as the dogs aged. This study can provide veterinarians and dog behaviourists with an insight into the common walking practices of owners with puppies and young dogs, which potentially could help them advise their clients on appropriate practices for the health and wellbeing of their dogs. Additionally, this study can potentially be used as a baseline for comparison for other populations of dogs at these age points, as the practices described by owners within this large sample offer an indication of the walking practices by owners of young dogs. Future research within this longitudinal study will explore how walk frequency and duration are associated with dog behaviour, welfare indicators and health outcomes, and what factors are associated with walk frequency and duration.
... Profile qualitative variables on the dynamics of weight loss programs in dogs with a high metabolic rate that, when associated with the low deposition of adipose tissue, prevents premature aging, locomotor diseases, and delayed decline in the metabolic activity [38]. This suggests that muscle mass helps to maintain an increased energy expenditure and therefore may help to prevent obesity. ...
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Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in dogs and it is associated with many comorbidities. Some obesity risk factors have already been established, however, the evaluation of the effect of different individual variables on weight loss induced by calorie restriction, although very important, is still poorly explored. The weight loss protocol can be updated and improved by more precise and adjusted equations throughout the weight loss program in the clinical routine practice. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze weight loss program dynamics in groups according to reproductive status, age, body size, and breed, as well as to define more accurately the amount of calories per target metabolic weight throughout the program. Data of 1,053 cases, presented between 2012 and 2019 at the Veterinary Hospital of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University of São Paulo (FMVZ-USP) were retrospectively analyzed. A total of 77 obese dogs (body condition scores 8/9 or 9/9) of different ages, breeds, sizes, and reproductive status were selected. These dogs did not have any concomitant illnesses and successfully completed the weight loss program. Statistical analysis was performed and values of p≤0.05 were considered significant. The proposed weight loss program was based on an energy restriction protocol where daily energy intake (in kcal) was estimated as 70 kcal × target weight 0.75 . The target weight (TW) was defined as 80% of the animal’s current weight. The average calorie intake for weight loss (calories x target weight 0.75 ) was lower for spayed females (62.36), differing from intact males (66.14) and neutered males (65.41), while intact females (63.66) showed intermediate values without differing between groups (p = 0.015). There were no differences between weight loss calories according to age (p = 0.473) or body size (p = 0.084), allowing the use of the same mathematical equation for intact and neutered dogs; for dogs older than 1 year and of different body sizes. Regarding the breed, the average calorie intake was lower (p = 0.002) in mixed breed dogs (61.54xTW 0.75 ) when compared to obesity-prone purebred dogs (64.17xTW 0.75 ) and other purebreds (65.27xTW 0.75 ). It was concluded that spayed females and mixed breed dogs have greater difficulty in losing weight, that is, they need fewer calories per metabolic body weight for the weight loss program to succeed. A more accurate equation for energy requirement for weight loss can improve chances of success, therefore improving compliance and helping clinical management of obesity in dogs.
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... In addition to motivating owner exercise, dog walking has mental health benefits [4], particularly the longer 'recreational walks' undertaken after work and on weekends [5]. Exercise levels are also an important predictor of canine obesity [6], and amounts given vary widely within and between dog breeds [7]. A UK study estimated that on average, dogs are exercised 7 times per week, for a total of 220 min per week (approximately 30 min per walk) [3]. ...
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Background: This study investigated the impacts of the first COVID-19 UK lockdown on dog walking and ownership. Methods: An online survey was circulated via social media (May-June 2020). Completed responses (n = 584) were analysed using within- and between-group comparisons, and multivariable linear and logistic regression models were created. Open-ended data were coded into key themes. Results: During lockdown, dogs were walked less frequently, yet for a similar duration per week and closer to home. Dogs whose owners lived alone, or whose owners or household members had heightened vulnerability to COVID-19 were walked less than before, as were high-energy dogs. A minority of owners continued dog walking despite exhibiting symptoms or needing to self-isolate, justifying lack of help, dog behavioural problems, living in less populated areas, and the importance of outdoor exercise for their mental health. Dog ownership had multiple benefits (companionship, purpose and motivation; break from bad; positive to focus on) as well as challenges (changes in dog behaviour, balancing dog needs with public health guidance, accessing pet food/supplies and services, and sharing crowded outdoor spaces with others). Most did not have an emergency care plan for their pet before the pandemic and only a handful developed one. Conclusions: Findings can be used to inform public health and dog welfare strategies for future lockdown situations or other disasters and emergencies likely to impact on daily routines.
... Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that rapid weight gain during the first year of life is detrimental to skeletal development [25][26][27][28]. In a similar vein to cats, neutering also increases the risk of obesity in dogs in addition to sex, breed and owner characteristics/behaviours [2][3][4][29][30][31][32][33][34][35]. As such, healthy growth is essential during this critical timeframe and needs to be closely regulated. ...
... This could be explained through the difference in male and female sex hormones [60], which could result in differing food intake effects between sex post-neutering. Notwithstanding this, the incidence of obesity in adult dogs that are neutered is much higher than that of entire dogs [3,[29][30][31][32][33]61]. However, many other factors are also related to canine obesity, such as age [2,31,33,61], breed [3,32], activity level [31,33,62] and owner characteristics and behaviour [62][63][64]. ...
... Notwithstanding this, the incidence of obesity in adult dogs that are neutered is much higher than that of entire dogs [3,[29][30][31][32][33]61]. However, many other factors are also related to canine obesity, such as age [2,31,33,61], breed [3,32], activity level [31,33,62] and owner characteristics and behaviour [62][63][64]. It is difficult to isolate or quantify the significance of each individual risk to obesity. ...
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An appropriate energy intake for healthy growth can reduce the risk of obesity and co-morbidities, such as orthopaedic diseases. The 2006 National Research Council (NRC) universal equation calculates the energy requirement of growing dogs based on predicted adult body weight, but evidence suggests a revision may be required. This study investigates the energy requirements of seventeen Norfolk terrier puppies over their first year (10 to 52 weeks). Puppies were individually fed complete and balanced diets in amounts to maintain an optimal body condition score (BCS), recording intake daily and body weight and BCS weekly. To monitor health a veterinary examination, haematology and plasma biochemistry and serum measures of bone turnover were undertaken every 12 weeks. Skeletal development was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (26 and 52 weeks). Puppies were clinically healthy with normal skeletal development and healthy growth throughout. The energy intake to achieve this was significantly lower than that predicted by the NRC (2006) equation at all time points, with largest mean difference of 285 kJ/kg0·75 per day at 10 weeks. If fed according to the NRC 2006 equation, dogs would have been in positive energy balance, possibly leading to obesity. These data support a revision to the NRC (2006) equation.
... It is difficult to determine whether descriptions in the breed standards are associated with higher prevalence of overweight in retrievers and French bulldogs. Canine obesity has been demonstrated to be a multi-factor problem [42], involving dog-related factors such as breed genetics and dog owner-related factors such as feeding and exercise routines [2,38,43,44]. Overall, however, the Labrador retriever, Golden retriever and pug breeds have been shown to display a higher prevalence of overweight than other breeds in studies from different continents [5,38,43,44]. In addition, the Labrador retriever, traditionally described as greedy, has a mutation of the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene present in approximately 22-45% of the breed population [45]. ...
... Canine obesity has been demonstrated to be a multi-factor problem [42], involving dog-related factors such as breed genetics and dog owner-related factors such as feeding and exercise routines [2,38,43,44]. Overall, however, the Labrador retriever, Golden retriever and pug breeds have been shown to display a higher prevalence of overweight than other breeds in studies from different continents [5,38,43,44]. In addition, the Labrador retriever, traditionally described as greedy, has a mutation of the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene present in approximately 22-45% of the breed population [45]. ...
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Background: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in companion dogs, but little is known of these conditions in show dogs. This study assessed body condition score (BCS) of show dogs of six selected popular breeds at a major Swedish dog show event and examined the association between BCS and performance in competition. Results: At one of Sweden's largest dog shows, BCS of 120 dogs of six different breeds was assessed by trained animal healthcare personnel, using a 9-point BCS scale with conditional cut-off for overweight set to BCS ≥ 6. Prevalence of overweight in the cohort was 32% but all overweight dogs except one displayed only slight overweight (BCS 6) and no dog was assessed as obese (BCS 8-9). Prevalence of overweight differed significantly between breeds (P < 0.0001) with Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers and French bulldogs showing the highest mean BCS (5.6-5.7) and highest prevalence of overweight (50-67%). Lean and overweight dogs received awards and higher show awards (certificates) to the same extent, and no significant association between slight overweight and performance in competition was found. Conclusions: Prevalence of overweight in Swedish show dogs was relatively high and in the same range as in the Swedish dog population as a whole. Dog owners, breeders and judges should be made aware of canine obesity problems and trained in BCS assessment, to better prevent canine overweight and associated health risks. This is particularly important for retriever and brachycephalic breeds, which showed high prevalence of slight overweight and have breed-specific health problems exacerbated by overweight. Owners and breeders of traditionally sturdy dog breeds should be informed that overweight dogs do not outperform lean dogs in competition.
... Numerous studies reveal that dog ownership is often associated with increased walking time and leisure-time physical activity overall among adults [10][11][12] as well as a heightened sense of community [13]. Although evidence on the effects of dog walking on dog health is relatively scarce, obesity is now the top most health concern in dogs globally [14]. Studies reported that the risk of being overweight among dogs declined gradually for each one hour of exercise undertaken [15]. ...
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Dog-walkers are more likely to achieve moderate-intensity physical activity. Linking the use of activity trackers with dog-walking may be beneficial both in terms of improving the targeted behavior and increasing the likelihood of sustained use. This manuscript aims to describe the protocol of a pilot study which intends to examine the effects of simultaneous use of activity trackers by humans and their dogs on the physical activity level of humans and dogs. This study uses nonprobability sampling of dog owners of age 25–65 (N = 80) and involves four parallel groups in an observational randomized controlled trial with a 2 × 2 factorial design, based on use of dog or human activity trackers for eight weeks. Each group consists of dog-human duos, in which both, either or none are wearing an activity tracker for eight weeks. At baseline and end, all human subjects wear ActiGraph accelerometers that quantify physical activity for one week. Commercial activity trackers are used for tracking human and dog activity remotely. Additional measures for humans are body composition and self-reported physical activity. Dog owners also report dog’s weight and physical activity using a questionnaire. A factorial analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) is used to compare physical activity across the four groups from baseline to week-10.
... The potential for a decrease in physical activity (PA) amongst people during the COVID-19 pandemic has been recognised [30] and advice published regarding how best to achieve recommended levels of PA during these unprecedented times [31][32][33]. Similarly, for dogs, the physical health benefits of walking are well recognised, for example to reduce the risk of obesity [34,35]. ...
Article
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Initial COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the United Kingdom (23rd March–12th May 2020) prompted lifestyle changes for many people. We explored the impact of this lockdown phase on pet dogs using an online survey completed by 6004 dog owners, who provided information including dog management data for the 7 days prior to survey completion (4th–12th May 2020), and for February 2020 (pre-lockdown). We explored associations between potential predictors and four outcomes relating to changes pre-/during lockdown (reduction in number and duration of walks; increased frequency of play/training, and provision of toys). Most owners (79.5%) reported their dog’s routine had changed compared to pre-lockdown. There was a four-fold increase in the proportion not left alone for >5 min on any day during a weekly period (14.6% pre-lockdown, 58.0% during lockdown), with the proportion being left for ≥3 h at a time decreasing from 48.5% to 5.4%. Dogs were walked less often and for less time daily during lockdown, with factors related to the dog, owner, household, and home location associated with changes to walking practices. Many dogs had more play/training sessions and were given toys more frequently during lockdown. Decreased walk duration was associated with increased odds of play/training opportunities and toy provision. These changes to dog management have the potential for immediate and longer-term welfare problems.