Fat dogs are cool—at least temperature-wise. That’s what research by a University of South Carolina Salkehatchie professor suggests. Dr. Roberto Refinetti, a professor of psychology and associate dean, studied the relationship between body temperature and body weight in lean and obese dogs. His findings showed that obese dogs have lower body temperature than lean dogs, and the difference in temperature is enough to account for weight gain.
The findings were published in the Aug. 10 issue of the International Journal of Obesity. The study compared the rectal temperatures of 287 lean and obese dogs over several years. The professor found larger dogs have lower temperatures than smaller dogs and obese dogs have lower temperatures than lean dogs. Refinetti’s study explored the theory that obesity may result from a less obvious reduction in energy expenditure: a reduction in body temperature. The idea is that warm-blooded animals spend much of their energy generating heat to keep the body warm. However, some animals have body temperatures that are naturally lower and therefore do not need to use as much energy to stay warm. The reduced body temperature would be sufficient to account for body weight gain over several months.
No matter the cause, it’s up to you to help your clients keep their pets’ weight under control. Check the related links below for more on how to do this.