Cat and dog obesity rate rises for seventh consecutive year
As pets become increasingly overweight, insurance claims connected to excess weight keep climbing.
Among humans, one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is weight loss, but the new cat and dog obesity rates should likely have pet owners doing the same for their furry family members.
For the seventh straight year, the obesity rates among our most beloved pets are on the rise.
Cat and dog obesity isn’t just a matter of the way they look. As is the case with people, obesity places them at risk of a spectrum of additional health conditions. As the number of cases of this weight related condition climb, the number of pet insurance claims related to weight problems are also starting to rise.
Nationwide, the largest pet health insurance provider in the United States, released data relating to dog and cat obesity and the impact it is having on the claims it received.
At Nationwide, 20 percent of pet insurance claims were related to cat and dog obesity health problems.
According to Nationwide, they received over 1.4 million pet insurance claims in 2016 and about 20 percent of those were related to conditions linked to pet obesity. This meant that obese pets cost the company about $62 million in veterinary fees. That total represents a growth rate of 24 percent over the last four years alone.
When taking into account the fact that the majority of pets are not insured in the United States, it helps to show how many people are being required to pay for treatments out of pocket when they allow their pets to become obese without correcting the problem.
A huge number of conditions in dogs and cats are preventable simply by helping a pet to overcome its obesity. Nationwide recently examined its own index of insured cats and dogs to determine the leading conditions related to obesity that are causing insurance claims.
The top ten conditions linked with dog obesity were: arthritis, bladder and urinary tract disease, liver disease, low thyroid hormone, torn knee ligaments, diabetes, diseased spinal disc, chronic kidney disease, heart failure and high blood pressure.
On the other hand, the leading health problems related to cat obesity were: bladder and urinary tract disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, liver disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart failure, gall bladder disease and spinal immobility.