The Cost of Having an Overweigh Dog

We are along ways away from, National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, which lands in October, however pet obesity is a serious problem we face as pet parents. It is such a problem that Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) created a day to help raise awareness of both the seriousness of and pervasiveness of pet obesity. Now it may seem strange poOverweight Rottisting this in February, but it is to help bring awareness if your dog is overweight that you can help bring him to a healthy weight before October! Not many people realize the financial strain it can cost owners with overweight pets also, but obese dogs are much more susceptible to chronic health issues versus a healthy weight dog.

The Financial Costs of Having an Overweight Pet
In 2009, researchers at the Michigan State veterinary hospital conducted a study to determine the annual treatment costs associated with common canine diseases and disorders.

If a much shorter and lower quality life for your dog is not reason enough to change the way you feed and exercise your pet, perhaps the realization of how costly it can be to have an overweight dog will be the impetus to change your behavior.

Annual Veterinary Treatment Costs, Canine Diseases
Disorder/Disease Average Cost
Heart disease $1,912
Hypertension $1,700
Osteoarthritis $1,656
Cancer $2,447
Diabetes $1,108
Pancreatitis $1,422
Obesity + ruptured ACL $2,367
Chronic kidney disease $1,823

According to APOP, the primary risks of overweight pets include:

  • Heart and Respiratory Disease
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Many Forms of Cancer
  • Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury (ACL)
  • Kidney Disease
  • Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)

Treating anyone of these disorders can be significantly costly, but because these are just an estimated average costs a dog’s total treatment over a lifetime could easily exceed $10,000 depending on the disease and age at diagnosis. Even worse yet, an overweight dog could develop multiple diseases due to their weight problem. In fact, virtually all of the conditions listed above are more likely to occur in overweight dogs than in properly weighing dogs.

Rebecca Bone-icon

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