The Big­gest Health Threat To Your Dog

The most com­mon con­di­tions have one thing in com­mon…

Modern Dog - - CONTENTS -

When pet-in­sur­ance provider Pet­plan took a look at their data, they found their most fre­quently claimed con­di­tions have one thing in com­mon: obe­sity. And it’s a big is­sue. “When you con­sider that over half of the na­tion’s dogs are now over­weight or obese, it lit­er­ally is a grow­ing prob­lem,” says Dr. Ernie Ward, a Pet­plan Ve­teri­nary Ad­vi­sory Board mem­ber and founder of the As­so­ci­a­tion for Pet Obe­sity Pre­ven­tion. The fol­low­ing 7 most com­mon causes of ve­teri­nary claims are all ex­ac­er­bated or caused by obe­sity. And if you needed fur­ther in­cen­tive to keep your dog trim, we’ve in­cluded the av­er­age cost of the vet vis­its the­ses con­di­tions ne­ces­si­tate. We want to help you keep your dog healthy and slim and your wal­let fat!

1. Tummy trou­bles: Let’s face it—pudgy pets eat more than they should. And overeat­ing can eas­ily lead to vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhea, Pet­plan’s most claimed con­di­tions year af­ter year. They see an av­er­age of 900 claims ev­ery month just for tummy trou­bles! The cost for re­lief av­er­ages $850.

2. The Big C: There have been some in­di­ca­tions that cer­tain types of cancer are more com­mon in over­weight or obese pets. The av­er­age vet bill for cancer? $2,033.

3. A gimpy gait: Lame­ness, or gen­eral limp­ing, is of­ten caused by arthritis, and ex­tra pounds mean ex­tra stress on dogs’ joints—and your wal­let. The av­er­age cost to treat lame­ness is $966.

4. Not-so bee’s knees: Dogs who pack on the pudge are also at a greater risk for cra­nial cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment (CCL) in­juries caused by added joint stress and weak mus­cles. CCL in­juries are pricey, cost­ing an av­er­age of $3,480 to re­pair.

5. On the go: Sev­eral things can cause a uri­nary tract in­fec­tion in dogs, but obese an­i­mals may be more at risk be­cause they can’t clean those hard-to-reach places. The av­er­age cost to treat UTIs? $590!

6. Mat­ters of the heart: Obe­sity usu­ally comes with high blood pres­sure, poor or­gan func­tion and low lev­els of ac­tiv­ity, all things that con­trib­ute to car­diac dis­ease and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing av­er­age vet bill of $1,232.

7. Back at­tack: The long and lows—think Dachshunds and Bas­set Hounds—are par­tic­u­larly prone to in­ter­ver­te­bral disc dis­ease. Added weight can in­crease their chances of de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease—and of you be­ing handed a $2,014 vet bill. The good news is, un­like many of these con­di­tions, pet obe­sity is 100% pre­ventable and cur­able. “In ad­di­tion to daily ex­er­cise, swap fatty treats for lower-calo­rie op­tions, or bet­ter yet opt for praise and play­time in­stead of snacks,” says Dr. Ward. “And know your dog’s calo­rie count—ask your vet how many calo­ries your dog needs each day, and stick to that num­ber.” Last but not least, sched­ule daily play­time! A good rule of thumb is 30 min­utes of play will keep the pounds away so get out and get ac­tive with your dog to avoid the ex­tra “fluff!”

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