The Most Common Obesity-Related Conditions in Pets


The dawn of a new year always inspires plenty of resolutions to be healthier, and hopefully this year that will extend to our pets. For the eighth consecutive year, obesity among dogs and cats is on the rise according to a new report from Nationwide.


This is a dangerous trend, to say the least. Just like in humans, too much body fat can reduce pets’ quality of life and even lead to an early death. In fact, Nationwide reports that almost 20 percent of its members’ pet insurance claims in 2017 were for health issues related to pet obesity. The claims totaled more than $69 million in veterinary bills.


According to a review of Nationwide’s database of over 700,000 insured pets, these are the most common obesity-related conditions for cats and dogs:


Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions 

  1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 
  2. Chronic Kidney Disease 
  3. Diabetes 
  4. Asthma 
  5. Liver Disease 
  6. Arthritis 
  7. High Blood Pressure 
  8. Heart Failure 


Most Common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions 

  1. Arthritis 
  2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 
  3. Liver Disease 
  4. Low Thyroid Hormone 
  5. Torn Knee Ligaments 
  6. Diseased Disc in the Spine 
  7. Diabetes 
  8. Chronic Kidney Disease 


Luckily, there are a few simple, proactive steps owners can take to ensure their pets have a healthier and happier 2019, including:


• Maintain a consistent diet by monitoring when and how much pets are fed.

• Don’t feed pets table scraps and avoid overindulging in treats.

• Keep pets active with regular times for play and exercise.   


“Obesity can be detrimental to the livelihood of our pets,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide. “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. Scheduling a routine wellness exam with a veterinarian is an effective way to get started on monitoring your pet’s weight.”


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