The Surprising Impact The Pandemic Has Had On Dogs

If your pooch is packing on pounds during the pandemic, they're not alone. More people staying at home with their pets also means that more people are slipping their pups extra treats, leading to 36% of dogs gaining weight during the pandemic.

That percentage comes from smart dog tech company Fi and pet insurance company Pumpkin, who teamed up on a study about how are furry friends are faring during the pandemic. "We have definitely noticed a trend of weight gain during the pandemic," veterinarian Ashleigh Bruno told the Pumpkin blog. "Food is love for a lot of pet owners. ... It's easy to give a piece of table scraps or an extra treat throughout the day — especially when people have been working from home with their pets by their side."

The study of almost 1,000 people with dogs found that, surprisingly, of the dogs who had gained weight, 25% of them had been getting more exercise than usual during the pandemic.

Humans are gaining weight during the pandemic, too

It's not just dogs who are gaining weight during the pandemic. Per a study from the American Psychological Association, 61% of humans in the U.S. say their weight has changed during the pandemic, with 42% reporting "they gained more weight than they intended." The two might be connected, according to the Pumpkin blog. The study found that 56% of dog parents noticed their pup's weight gain coincided with their own.

While giving your pup extra treats or leftovers might not seem like a big deal, overfeeding your pooch is a mistake that many dog owners make and one that could lead to long-term health problems. "Being just 10% overweight decreases a dog's lifespan by one-third and predisposes him to heart, kidney and liver disease as well as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer," veterinarian Carol Osborne told dog food company The Farmer's Dog in an article for the American Kennel Club.

Instead of showing your pup you love them with extra treats, try a game of catch or going for a walk for some quality bonding time.