Dog visits to the veterinarian increased about 8 percent last year to an average of 2.8 annual visits, while cat visits remained unchanged at an average of 2.1 annually, according to a national survey.
-- Dog visits to the veterinarian increased about 8 percent last year over 2006 to an average of 2.8 annual visits, while cat visits remained unchanged at an average of 2.1 annually, according to a national survey released this week.
The American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) 2009-2010 National Pet Owners Survey is based on data collected in 2008. The dog and cat veterinary visits were compared to data collected in 2006 for the 2007-2008 survey.
Based on the latest consumer responses, the APPA also reported the following:
. Veterinarians consider 13 percent of their dog patients and 21 percent of cat patients to be obese.
. The most common specialty foods given to dogs were for middle-aged and senior dogs, for healthy coats and for weight control. Cat owners more often buy specialty food designed for indoor cats and for hairball management. Weight-control food was given to 4.5 million cats and nearly six million dogs in 2008.
. When asked their priority if facing a choice between a large medical expense for themselves or their pet, 15 percent of dog owners would attend to their dog’s need before their own, as would 13 percent of cat owners.
. Dog and cat owners spend more for food, boarding, routine veterinary visits, surgical veterinary visits and travel expenses than owners of other pet species. Greatest expense for fish owners was for aquariums and ponds, bird owners noted higher costs for cages and routine veterinary care, small-animal and reptile owners spent the most on food and routine veterinary care, while equine owners had higher costs across the board, especially for food, trainers and exercisers and routine veterinary care.
. Bird visits to veterinarians dropped from an average of three annually to two in 2008, compared to 2006.
. Seventeen percent of dog owners have an electronic tracking device implanted in their dog, with the Western states having more of them (29 percent) than any other region.
. Of pet owners surveyed, seven percent said they had made financial provisions for their pet in their wills.