Posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Study Shows Rise in Pet Obesity

The annual Banfield® Pet Hospital State of Health Report is one of the most important assessments of American pet wellness. Each year, the nationwide chain of veterinary hospitals reviews many of the most common pet ailments reported within the past year and showcases many of the trends in the industry. Once again, obesity and many of the ailments that result from it were at the top of the list.

Of the two million dogs and 430,000 cats that made up the bulk of the report’s data, the authors found that chronic diseases seemed to rise at an alarming rate. Overweight and obesity rates have increased 37 percent in dogs, and a staggering 90 percent in cats. This also led to increased incidences of arthritis, heart disease and kidney disease, many of which can be traced back directly to an animal’s overall weight level.

“As outlined in this year’s report, chronic diseases are on the rise, and as a profession, we need to continually focus on regular preventative care and early disease detection,” said Ron DeHaven, chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

While the pet obesity problem doesn’t seem to be getting better any time fast, one of the other stark issues in the report was the vast number of dogs that outnumber cats in terms of overall vet visits. Banfield treated 1.5 million more dogs than felines over the past year, which could highlight a disconnect between cat owners and the optimal level of care that is required to keep them healthy. Cats are just as susceptible as dogs to chronic ailments, diseases and other maladies, so it’s vital that pet parents pay particular attention to their feline’s needs and address them as soon as possible.

The Banfield® Pet Hospital State of Health Report illustrates many of the prevailing trends in the pet industry, but it seems that obesity still tops the list of problems giving dogs and cats the most trouble. In light of these new findings, you should do everything you can to bring your companion into the vet’s office for a checkup. You may just be able to spot the beginning of a serious illness or disorder, and then be well-equipped to deal with the problem to get your furry friend back into tip-top shape.