Pet Obesity Continues Climbing

January 11, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

For the sixth year in a row, Nationwide reports that pet obesity is once again on the rise.

While weight loss is a primary goal for many people at the beginning of a new year, it seems that dogs and cats just aren’t with the program.

According to Nationwide (formerly Veterinary Pet Insurance), the largest provider of pet health insurance in the nation, the number of obese pets in the United States is increasing for the sixth year in a row.

Data from the insurer reveal a 23% increase in total obesity-related claims over the past 3 years. This includes 1.3 million pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases that were directly related to obesity in 2015—totaling over $60 million in veterinary expenses for the year.

Nationwide compiled a list of the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions:

Arthritis, the most common disease of overweight dogs, was the cause of more than 49,000 pet insurance claims to Nationwide in 2015. The most common obesity-related ailment in cats, bladder or urinary tract disease, added more than 5,000 insurance claims.

Nationwide advises that it’s important for pet owners to regulate their pet’s weight, and there are easy ways to do it. Suggestions include avoiding feeding leftover food from the dinner table, keeping the pet’s diet consistent, lowering the number of treats pets receive, and making sure they get out for regular exercise.