While a little bit of extra weight may not seem like a big deal, the reality is that pet owners pay a hefty price when their dogs are obese, which will be discussed here.
Canine obesity leads to many health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and many others. According to the pet health insurance company, Petplan USA, a dog with diabetes will cost his or her owner an average of $900 per year. Painful arthritis can be even more expensive, as treatment for this condition can reach $2,000 yearly. Addidtionally, studies have found that obese dogs have a shorter lifespan than their healthy-weight littermates by almost 3 years.
There are two main factors that go into a dog’s obesity: lack of exercise, and too much food. Pet owners struggle to find the proper portion sizes for their pets, and they also tend to project their own feelings about food and emotion onto their dogs, further complicating the issue. While calculating the true cost that pet owners spend feeding their obese dogs is difficult, researchers estimate that food and treat bills could be cut by 10% - 30% if the proper portion sizes were used.
At the end of the day, you cannot put a price tag on happiness. Owning an obese dog comes with an emotional cost, as well. Dogs that are significantly overweight are not able to enjoy many of their favorite activities, such as running and playing. Their health suffers, which leads to lethargy and depression. This emotional cost is high for both the dog and the owner, who must watch the pet suffer. Ultimately, knowing that an animal’s life will be cut short by a preventable diseaseis the highest cost that owners must pay.
Fortunately, obesity is both preventable and curable. If you find that your dog is obese, you can cut your costs significantly by placing your dog on a diet, increasing his or her exercise, and visiting a veterinarian for individualized recommendations.
Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.