Quality of Life and Owner Attitude on Dog Overweight and Obesity in Thailand
The general concept of Quality of Life (QoL) takes into account the needs of an individual in all aspects; i.e., physical, mental and social needs. The successful satisfaction of all needs is thought to reflect a positive status. Therefore, QoL assessment can be used to assess improvements of conditions that are assumed to represent a low QoL, such as prolonged discomfort and diseases.
Overweight and obesity are a growing problem in distinct companion dog populations, that can induce such discomfort and diseases. Since, therefore, overweight and obesity may reduce the QoL in dogs, the goal of this research was to get an indication by using a written owner questionnaire of the QoL of ideal weight, overweight and obese dogs, respectively. The Thai data collection took place at Kasetsart University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. All dogs (n = 200) were, apart from overweight or obesity, healthy. The questionnaire contained two sections: one QoL assessment regarding the dog, and a part about owner attitude.
The results show that the ideal weight dogs did have significant more exercise (walking, running and playing). Obese dogs have more often impaired physiological mobility. Owners indicated that obese dogs showed less anxiety when they leave the house.
Owners of ideal weight dogs indicated significantly more often that they were able to control the feeding of the dog and had a better knowledge of how much exercise a dog needs.
QoL in overweight and obese dogs, in all psychological, social and especially physical dimensions, was significantly lower than in ideal weight dogs.