University of Liverpool researchers have found that obese dogs can experience metabolic syndrome, a condition that describes multiple health issues that occur in the body at the same time. Obese humans suffer from the same syndrome.
The condition occurs when a number of health problems, such as increased blood glucose and increased cholesterol levels, develop together, with the potential to increase the risk of other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In a study of 35 obese dogs, 20% had metabolic syndrome. These dogs had increased blood insulin which suggests that the pancreas is working harder than normal. Blood adiponectin, a protein produced by fat cells that helps control sugars and fats, was also at lower levels than normal.
The metabolic abnormalities improved when the dogs successfully lost weight.
The research team admits that they have to study the impacts in more detail to understand the health implications of metabolic syndrome.
However, why wait for more studies? If your dog is overweight we already know that their quality of life improves with weight loss.