Fat Cat

Feel like you’ve put on a few extra pounds during the pandemic? You’re not the only one. In fact, according to a new report from Nationwide insurance, pets have also gained weight this year.

Nationwide found that, over the course of 12 months, claims related to obesity accounted for 20 percent of pet health insurance claims made by its members, totaling more than $90 million in veterinary expenses. This is the ninth consecutive year these types claims have increased.

Just like in humans, excessive body fat in pets increases the risk of preventable health issues and can even shorten their life expectancy. Based on Nationwide’s database of insured pets, the most common disease aggravated by obesity in dogs is arthritis, which was mentioned in more than 85,000 claims. For cats, bladder or urinary tract disease ranked as the most common obesity-related condition, with almost 14,000 claims.

“Veterinarians have been sounding the alarm about overweight pets for years now," said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide's chief veterinary officer. "Part of the problem is that pet parents often don't realize when an animal is overweight, or if they're aware, they struggle with helping their pet lose weight. The silver lining of the prevalence of pet obesity is that your veterinary teams have lots of experience assessing pets and helping pet parents with effective weight loss plans.” 

Here is Nationwide’s complete list of most common obesity-related conditions in dogs and cats.



1. Arthritis

2. Bladder/urinary tract disease

3. Soft tissue trauma

4. Torn ligaments in the knee

5. Liver disease

6. Low thyroid hormone

7. Diseased disc in the spine

8. Diabetes

9. Chronic kidney disease

10. Heart failure



1. Bladder/urinary tract disease

2. Chronic kidney disease

3. Diabetes

4. Liver disease

5. Asthma

6. Arthritis

7. High blood pressure

8. Soft tissue trauma (bruise or contusion)

9. Heart failure

10. Gall bladder disorder