Pet Obesity Continues to Climb
More than 50% of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, and rates are on the rise. Moreover, a large majority of pet owners don’t realize that their obese pets are in fact overweight. According to Nationwide (formerly Veterinary Pet Insurance), the largest provider of pet health insurance in the nation, the number of obese pets in the United States is increasing for the sixth year in a row.
Data from the insurer reveal a 23% increase in total obesity-related claims over the past 3 years. This includes 1.3 million pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases that were directly related to obesity in 2015 – totaling over $60 million in veterinary expenses for the year.
Arthritis, the most common disease of overweight dogs, was the cause of more than 49,000 pet insurance claims to Nationwide in 2015. The most common obesity-related ailment in cats, bladder or urinary tract disease, added more than 5000 claims.
Nationwide advises the country’s pet owners that it is important for them to regulate their pet’s weight. What’s more, there are easy ways to do it. Suggestions include not feeding leftover food from the dinner table, keeping the pet’s diet consistent, lowering the number of treats pets receive, and making sure pets get out for regular exercise.