Over the past 10 years, the number of obese dogs has doubled from 10% to 20% of the US dog population1. Experts are divided on exactly what is causing this health crisis, but some of the more common explanations are:
- Lack of exercise
- Carbohydrate-heavy dog food
- Pet parents don’t know how to identify if their pet has a weight problem
- Vets are hesitant to tell pet parents their dog has a weight problem
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
According to the Association to Prevent Pet Obesity, obese pets are risk for a variety of health problems including:
- A reduced lifespan and reduced quality of life
- Chronic inflammation
- Skin disorders
- Hip dysplasia
- Kidney problems
- Respiratory disorders
In addition, obesity-related illnesses cost US pet parents over $250 million in 2017:
- According to a study released in January 2018, Nationwide Insurance indicated that they paid $62 million in obesity-related insurance payments in 20172.
- According to the US pet insurance trade association, NAPHIA, Nationwide has a roughly 40% share of the US pet insurance market so pet obesity cost all US insurers about $150 million.
- If you include ALL pets (not just the ones with insurance) and the total cost is staggering, in excess of $250 million a year.
- Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 2016 and 2007 reports
- Nationwide Insurance, January 2018