If you want your dog to live as long as possible – and who doesn’t – stop feeding them table scraps and watch their weight!

Research from the University of Liverpool looked at the life spans of 50-thousand dogs in the US over a 10-year span. The dogs were from the top 12 most popular breeds, including Labs, Golden retrievers, dachshunds and German Shepherds. And every single dog that was overweight, regardless of breed, had a reduced lifespan. From between 5 months shorter for German Shepherds – to two-and-a-half years earlier for pugs and Yorkshire terriers. That’s because overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from disease – just like humans. They have an increased risk for everything from joint diseases to breathing problems to cancer.

The study also found that only one in five dog owners gives their dog a measured portion at meals. So if you want your dog to be around as long as possible, talk to your vet about your dog’s weight and the appropriate amount to feed them.

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