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J Small Anim Pract. 2013 Nov;54(11):570-4. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12142. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Associations between obesity and physical activity in dogs: a preliminary investigation.

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  • 1School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G61 1QH.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess whether obesity has any association with objectively measured physical activity levels in dogs.

METHODS:

Thirty-nine dogs wore Actigraph GT3X accelerometers (Actigraph) for 7 consecutive days. Each dog was classified as ideal weight, overweight or obese using the 5-point body condition scoring system. Total volume of physical activity and time spent in sedentary behaviour, light-moderate intensity physical activity and vigorous intensity physical activity were compared between body condition categories.

RESULTS:

Valid accelerometry data were returned for 35 of 39 dogs recruited. Eighteen dogs were classed as ideal weight, 9 as overweight and the remaining 8 as obese. All dogs spent a significant proportion of the day sedentary and obese dogs spent significantly less time in vigorous intensity physical activity than ideal weight dogs (7 ±3 minute/day versus 21 ±15 minute/day, P=0·01).

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE:

Obesity is associated with lower vigorous intensity physical activity in dogs, as is also thought to occur in humans. These preliminary findings will help inform a future, larger study and may also improve our understanding of the associations between obesity and physical activity in dogs.

PMID:
24117778
DOI:
10.1111/jsap.12142
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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