Associations between obesity and physical activity in dogs: a preliminary investigation

R Morrison, V Penpraze, A Beber, J J Reilly, P S Yam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess whether obesity has any association with objectively measured physical activity levels in dogs.
Methods: Thirty-nine dogs wore Actigraph GT3X accelerometers (Actigraph) for 7 consecutive days. Each dog was classified as ideal weight, overweight or obese using the 5-point body condition scoring system. Total volume of physical activity and time spent in sedentary behaviour, light-moderate intensity physical activity and vigorous intensity physical activity were compared between body condition categories.
Results: Valid accelerometry data were returned for 35 of 39 dogs recruited. Eighteen dogs were classed as ideal weight, 9 as overweight and the remaining 8 as obese. All dogs spent a significant proportion of the day sedentary and obese dogs spent significantly less time in vigorous intensity physical activity than ideal weight dogs (7 ±3 minute/day versus 21 ±15 minute/day, P=0·01).
Clinical Significance: Obesity is associated with lower vigorous intensity physical activity in dogs, as is also thought to occur in humans. These preliminary findings will help inform a future, larger study and may also improve our understanding of the associations between obesity and physical activity in dogs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-574
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number11
Early online date9 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • obesity
  • canines
  • physical activity
  • dogs


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between obesity and physical activity in dogs: a preliminary investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this