Have you noticed your pooch looking a little... plump recently?! Well, it wouldn't be surprising if your dog has put on a few lockdown pounds.
In fact, a new survey by Guide Dogs has revealed the average dog has put on half a stone since the pandemic began, with humans giving their fur babies more treats and less exercise over the past year.
And it seems dog dads have the heaviest pets, with the average male owner revealing their pet has put on nine pounds in a year, in comparison to six pounds in pups owned by women.
Nearly a quarter of people in the survey put the extra pounds down to snacking, with one in five explaining they just couldn't resist their dog's puppy eyes while begging for a treat.
Meanwhile, some owners have been feeding their pooches extra treats to keep them quiet while they're working form home, taking important work calls or when post and deliveries arrive at the front door.
However, a quarter put the weight gain down to taking their dog on fewer walks due to longer working hours. Meanwhile, 25 per cent said a fear of rising dog theft meant they were taking their pet out less during the pandemic.
The study also revealed regional differences in puppy weight gain, with dogs living in London having the largest increase of half a stone. Meanwhile, pooches in Yorkshire and East Anglia saw the lowest increase of five pounds.
Dr Helen Whiteside, Head of Research at Guide Dogs, said: "Our research has shown that lockdown has had a significant impact on many dogs' health and wellbeing.
"And while a little weight gain is not the end of the world, it is important that owners address it as soon as possible, to prevent medical issues like heart disease, diabetes and joint problems later down the line.
"A healthier dog is a happier dog, so owners should prioritise daily walks, consider healthy treat swaps and check their weight on a regular basis."
In May, Guide Dogs is launching The Walk Your Socks Off challenge. You can visit the website here to register.
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