Statistics reveal pet obesity on the rise for 8th consecutive year – WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

(WPRI) — One of the nation’s most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, and data shows pet owners should share that goal with their dogs and cats.

Statistics from Nationwide reveal that for the 8th consecutive year, pet obesity is on the rise.

Approximately 20% of Nationwide members’ pet insurance claims from 2017 were for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity, which is equal to more than $69 million in veterinary expenses.  This shows a 24% increase throughout the last eight years.

According to Nationwide’s data, which includes more than 700,000 insured pets, there were a range of conditions related to or made worse by obesity.

Most Common Dog 

Obesity-Related Conditions

Most Common Cat

Obesity-Related Conditions

1. Arthritis

1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease

2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease

2. Chronic Kidney Disease

3. Liver Disease

3. Diabetes

4. Low Thyroid Hormone

4. Asthma

5. Torn Knee Ligaments

5. Liver Disease

6. Diseased Disc in the Spine

6. Arthritis

7. Diabetes

7. High Blood Pressure

8. Chronic Kidney Disease

8. Heart Failure

9. Heart Failure

9. Gall Bladder Disorder

10. High Blood Pressure

10. Immobility of Spine

In 2017, Nationwide reported receiving more than 57,000 pet insurance claims for arthritis in dogs, which carried an average treatment fee of $323 per pet. The insurer also received more than 5,800 claims for cats with bladder or urinary tract disease, with treatment costs averaging $495 per pet.

“The New Year presents a perfect opportunity to create regular exercise routines for our pets and to effectively manage their eating habits to avoid excess weight gain,” Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer for Nationwide Carol McConnell said. “Scheduling a routine wellness exam with a veterinarian is an effective way to get started on monitoring your pet’s weight.”

Nationwide provided several steps owners can take to begin regulating their pet’s weight:

  • Avoid feeding your pet table scraps
  • Keep a consistent diet by monitoring the amount of food you give your pet
  • Regulate the amount of treats you give your pet and choose small treats, even for large dogs
  • Establish a healthy and fun exercise schedule

Anyone with questions on what the best treatment plan is for their pet should consult their veterinarian to help establish an effective weight-loss protocol.

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