Why your dog’s weight matters – our first research paper is live!

Our vision at tails.com has always been to improve the lives of dogs and their owners. Tailor-made nutrition is part of that mission, but our experience in feeding over 250,000 dogs also allows us to study canine wellbeing in a unique way.

So how do we do that? Well, behind the scenes, our team of experts have been hard at work on a very exciting project…

Our first research paper is live!

Lead Data Scientist Lorna, Head Vet Sean & Vet Team Intern Marie have been working together on our very first research paper analysing data from over 200,000 dogs. A detailed investigation into the relationship between body weight, condition and longevity, including 20 of the most popular dog breeds owned by tails.com customers. 

The results are in

In almost all of the breeds studied, life expectancy was lower with an overweight body condition compared to an ideal condition. Confirming that a healthy weight really does promote a longer life. 

“Our study clearly shows a correlation between increasing body weight and condition score, and declining longevity. In effect, it suggests that maintaining pet dogs at an ideal body condition and weight will help them to live longer.”

 – Dr Sean McCormack Head Vet, tails.com

Whilst these results might not come as a surprise, this study does provide an important reminder of just how important it is to watch our dog’s waistline.

In fact, in some breeds, an ideal body condition was found to increase lifespan by 9 – 10 months. That’s almost a full year!

Sean and the team also found that some breeds are more at risk than others, with Miniature Dachshunds twice as likely to experience a shortened lifespan if overweight. 

Why Miniature Dachshunds? Well, the Dachshund has been bred to achieve that signature appearance –  a long back and short legs. This makes them more prone to spinal issues, like intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), especially when they are overweight. 

Want to see the full research paper? Read it here

The takeaway

It’s clear that controlling our dog’s food intake and ensuring they get appropriate exercise is a vital part of their care. To maximise their quality of life, and the precious years we get to share with them.

So how can we be sure they’re at a healthy weight?

Keeping your dog in tip-top shape

  • Check-in – assessing your dog’s weight objectively can be tough. So make sure to discuss their body condition regularly with your vet, to make sure they are on the right track. 
  • Portion control – at tails.com, our handy personalised scoops make portioning easy. Just keep your dog’s weight updated on your dashboard and we’ll make sure they get exactly the right amount of food every month.
  • Treats count – those tasty morsels can really add up…so if you like to enrich your dog’s day with treat training then be sure to let us know. We’ll factor that into their feeding plan so they can stay healthy and happy – just update your dashboard. 

Keep your eyes peeled for future data labs updates, where we’ll share the science of dog health, wellness, longevity and more!

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