Study: Top 10 Most Common Dog and Cat Illnesses

Would it shock you to learn that pet parents spend more than $15 billion a year on vet care? But most of these dollars are spent treating the not-so-serious illnesses.

When you first brought your pet home you probably spent a solid week doting on them, determined to be the best pet parent ever. We all care for our pets and consider them part of the family, so why don’t we take the same precautions with them that we do for ourselves?

If you have ever thought about investing in pet insurance but are still on the fence, perhaps the fact that pet owners spend more than $15 billion dollars a year on veterinary expenses. As shocking as that number is, it is even more shocking that most of that money isn’t spent on costly treatments for cancer and other serious diseases – most of that money is put toward minor ailments.

Related: Pets’ Bad Eating Habits Cost $4.2 Million at the Vet in 2015

Is Your Pet Covered In the Event of an Illness?

Just like you, your pet requires regular medical attention to stay in good health. Taking your pet to the vet for routine checkups is the best way to catch potential problems before they have a chance to get worse. Even something as simple as an ear infection or a skin allergy can arise suddenly and cost you a lot of money to fix – especially if your pet isn’t covered by a pet insurance policy. To give you a better idea what you might be missing, consider the top 10 ailments known to affect dogs and cats according to Nationwide pet insurance.

Top 10 Ailments for Dogs

  • Skin Allergies
  • Ear Infections
  • Non-Cancerous Skin Masses
  • Skin Infections
  • Arthritis
  • Periodontitis/Dental Disease
  • Upset Stomach/Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal Upset/Diarrhea
  • Bladder or Urinary Tract Infections
  • Soft Tissue Trauma (Bruises or Contusions)

These ailments are considered minor in most cases, and some are entirely preventable. Taking a look at this list, you may realize your dog has been affected by one of these issues or that he is currently suffering from one. This alone should make you reconsider your skepticism about pet insurance.

Related: Real Quotes From 7 Trustworthy Pet Insurance Companies

Top 10 Ailments for Cats

  • Bladder or Urinary Tract Infections
  • Periodontitis/Dental Disease
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Upset Stomach/Vomiting
  • Excessive Thyroid Hormone (Hyperthyroidism)
  • Gastrointestinal Upset/Diarrhea
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
  • Skin Allergies
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Does your cat suffer from any of the conditions on this list? One of the most challenging things about keeping a cat healthy is the fact that they tend to hide their pain – you may not realize that there is a problem until it has already become severe. By that time, treatment becomes necessary and it can be expensive as well.

Early detection is key – the sooner you spot a problem and get it treated by a vet, the less you’ll have to spend down the line. If you can’t prevent, getting the issue treated is your next logical step.

Though routine veterinary care can help to limit unexpected veterinary expenses, there is still a benefit to having pet insurance. According to this Nationwide study, members spent over $77 million dollars to treat the top 10 medical issues listed above with an average cost per claim totaling around $210 for dogs and over $440 for cats. Fortunately for Nationwide members, the majority of those costs will be reimbursed by the plan.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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