BMC veterinary research

Higher neonatal growth rate and body condition score at 7 months are predictive factors of obesity in adult female Beagle dogs.

PMID 28407742


The risks during early growth on becoming overweight in adulthood are widely studied in humans. However, early-life predictive factors for canine adult overweight and obesity have not yet been studied. To identify factors that may help explain the development of overweight and obesity at adulthood in dogs, a longitudinal study of 2 years was conducted in 24 female Beagle dogs of the same age, sexual status, and raised under identical environmental conditions. By means of a hierarchical classification on principal components with the following quantitative values: fat-free mass (FFM), percentage fat mass and pelvic circumference at 2 years of age, three groups of dogs were established and were nominally named: ideal weight (IW, n = 9), slightly overweight (OW1, n = 6) and overweight (OW2, n = 9). With the aim of identifying predictive factors of development of obesity at adulthood parental characteristics, growth pattern, energy balance and plasma factors were analysed by logistic regression analysis. At 24 months, the group compositions were in line with the body condition scores (BCS 1-9) values of the IW (5 or 6/9), the OW1 (6/9) and the OW2 (7 or 8/9) groups. Logistic regression analysis permitted the identification of neonatal growth rate during the first 2 weeks of life (GR This study expands the understanding of previously reported risk factors for being overweight or obese in dogs, establishing that (i) 15 out of 24 of the studied dogs became overweight and (ii) GR