Pet owners urged to tackle the obesity epidemic among Aussie pets

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Claims for obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, glucose intolerance, tracheal collapse and heat intolerance have soared by 100 per cent over the last five years according to PetSure, Australia’s largest pet insurance underwriter. 

With 2020 well underway, PetSure is urging pet owners to tackle the obesity epidemic facing almost half of Australian pets.

PetSure’s claims data, coupled with expert vet insights, suggests that obesity is also a contributing factor to a range of other associated claims conditions, making it the number one health issue for Australian dogs and cats. 

Some of these additional conditions impacted by obesity are osteoarthritis and other joint disorders, Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), cruciate disease, cardiac and respiratory disorders and certain cancers.

“Along with all these related conditions such as diabetes and associated conditions like joint disorders, there is a body of evidence to suggest that fit and lean dogs have a significant increase in their median lifespan and a significant delay in the onset of chronic disease,” senior PetSure veterinarian Dr Oliver Conradi said.

“One of the reasons claims are increasing is the humanisation of pets. This means pet owners are increasingly treating their fur babies like little humans, which reflects the wonderful bond they have, but this treatment can extend to their pet’s diet and the quantity of food they eat. 

“To manage obesity in dogs and cats, owners must avoid giving pets treats, particularly human food such as biscuits, chips or cheese. Even a small amount adds a lot of calories to their pet’s daily intake.”

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