Study: U.S. Pet Obesity Rates Continue to Rise

Diana Faria
by Diana Faria
Americans aren’t the only ones getting super-sized. For the past five years, obesity-related health problems have been the number one pet insurance claim for pet parents.

While you may be tired of the sudden stampede of people who have invaded your local gym this January, you have to give them credit: at least they’re trying to better themselves by having a more active lifestyle. Unfortunately for our furry children, such a new year’s resolution does not exist for them – that is, unless, you make it happen.

Nationwide, one of the largest pet insurance providers in the U.S., have pulled some disturbing numbers. Its 2014 findings reveal that pet (both cat and dog) obesity has been on the rise for five years. Based on its database of more than 550,000 insured pets, Nationwide found that last year alone, pet owners filed more than $54 million worth of pet insurance claims for problems related to excess of weight – that’s a 10 percent jump in the past two years!

Related: Indoor Dog Fitness Ideas To Keep Your Dog Moving This Winter

Like humans, an excess of body fat can lead to a myriad of health problems. The top five obesity-related health problems for dogs was arthritis, bladder/urinary tract infections, lower thyroid hormone production, liver disease and torn knee ligaments. For cats, the top health problems related to weight was bladder/urinary tract disease, chronic kidney failure, diabetes, liver disease and asthma.

Remember that keeping your pets happy and healthy not only does wonders for their health, but also for your wallet! Not having to go to the veterinarian other than for check-ups keeps money in your pocket (especially if you don’t have insurance).

Related: How To Tell If Your Dog Is Overweight

To keep your pet’s weight under control, remember to take your dog out on regular walks or plan for plenty of indoor playtime with your cat to eat up excess calories. If you find yourself forgetting to walk your dog on a regular basis, investing in an exercise tracker is a great way to remind you of your pooch’s fitness goals. Always keep your dog on a consistent diet (not too much food), limit the amount of treats given, and try not to feed Fido any scraps from the table.

Diana Faria
Diana Faria

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