Arthritis, UTIs among top obesity-related pet insurance claims

Conditions related to obesity accounted for more than 20 percent of Nationwide’s pet insurance claims in the past year

Conditions related to obesity accounted for more than 20 percent of Nationwide’s pet insurance claims in the past year. Photo ©BigStockPhoto.comCompanion animals are, indeed, getting chunkier, and this is affecting overall pet health.

This is according to Nationwide. Data from the insurance group shows obesity-related issues accounted for 20 percent of its pet claims in the past year, totaling more than $90 million in veterinary expenses.

As with people, excessive body fat in pets increases the risk of preventable health issues and may shorten the life expectancy of dogs and cats, the company says.

“Veterinarians have been sounding the alarm about overweight pets for years now,” says Nationwide’s chief veterinary officer, Jules Benson, BVSc, MRCVS. “Part of the problem is 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 veterinary teams have lots of experience assessing pets and helping pet parents with effective weight loss plans.”

Nationwide has sorted through its database of insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat conditions related to or made worse by obesity. The results ranked in order of most claims received are as follows:

For dogs:

  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 (CKD)
  10. Heart failure

For cats:

  1. Bladder/urinary tract disease
  2. Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  3. Diabetes
  4. Liver disease
  5. Asthma
  6. Arthritis
  7. High blood pressure
  8. Soft tissue trauma
  9. Heart failure
  10. Gall bladder disorder
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