House Calls

SPR 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Page 17 of 54

Tipping the Scales The obesity epidemic has reached our four-legged family members H ow often do you toss your pup a scrap from the table or give your favorite feline a tasty treat? If you're like most American pet owners, your answer may be "very." According to Nationwide—the largest pet insurance provider in the country—rates of obesity among cats and dogs have risen each year for the last eight years. And in a February 2019 article in The New York Times, veterinarians said that roughly half the dogs and cats they treat are overweight or obese, with only 17 percent of those owners acknowledging that their furry friends are indeed overweight. If you think an extra roll on Fido or a chubby belly on Furry are no big deal, think again. Obesity-related ailments range from arthritis and high blood pressure to diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease. (One study of Labrador retrievers showed that being overweight could reduce a pup's lifetime by close to two years.) The weight is taking a toll on our wallets, as well: Nationwide data shows that, in 2017, obesity-related claims for pets totaled more than $69 million (a 24 percent increase from 2009). Study authors urge pet owners to refrain from overfeeding their animals and to walk dogs often—a routine that is good for Fido's health as well as his human's. h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2019 } 13

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