Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pet Health Report Reveals Dramatic Increase in Chronic Diseases

Image via New York Daily News
Via PR Newswire - Banfield Pet Hospital, the world's leading veterinary practice, has released its State of Pet Health 2012 Report, revealing that certain chronic diseases in dogs and cats have risen drastically since 2007.

The 2012 report shows that in the past five years, chronic diseases have continued to increase, some at an alarming rate. Overweight and obesity increased 37 percent in dogs and 90 percent in cats, whereas arthritis increased 38 percent in dogs and 67 percent in cats.

While the rise in chronic diseases is alarming, equally concerning are pet owner perceptions surrounding the overall health of pets. Although the 2012 report shows an increase in chronic diseases, only 36 percent of dog owners and 28 percent of cat owners said they would take their pet to see a veterinarian to manage an existing disease or condition.

"At Banfield, we strongly believe in regular preventive care and early disease diagnosis. The key to successful early disease diagnosis involves a partnership between pet owners and their veterinarian to identify changes in a pet's overall health and behavior," said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital.

While pets in the United States may be living with several chronic diseases, overweight and obesity are primary concerns due to their association with other chronic conditions - many of which can impact the overall quality of a pet's life. According to the report, nearly half of arthritic dogs (40 percent) and more than 1 in 3 arthritic cats (37 percent) are also overweight; almost half of diabetic dogs (42 percent) and diabetic cats (40 percent) are overweight; 40 percent of dogs with high blood pressure and 60 percent of dogs with hypothyroidism are also overweight.

According to the 2012 report, overweight and obesity affect 1 in 5 dogs and cats. The rise in pet overweight and obesity mimics the increase in humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overweight and obesity in humans is also on the rise. The CDC reports that overweight/obesity in humans has increased to 1 in 3 (35.7 percent) of U.S. adults.

To view and download the full State of Pet Health 2012 Report, visit


  1. That is a very alarming report Vicki. I would want to know why there is such an increase. Is it because of the water, fcod, lack of humans getting vet care - just what is causing this?

  2. Well, I couldn't say any of this surprises me. It would be interesting to take a look at the causes. How much the type of food, as well as the amount, is to blame, for example? Now that would be something interesting.

  3. Mario & Jana - the report doesn't discuss reasons for the increase, but I do think the owner perceptions are telling: 76% of dog owners & 69% of cat owners believe their pet is just the right weight!

  4. Regular consultations can really ease the burden of solving pet’s diseases, just as Dr. Klausner said. Chronic diseases such as obesity are among the most commonly ignored diseases, and without proper consultation, may lead to fatal results to pets.

  5. They say that prevention is better than the cure.
    We should all confirm what would be the situation of our pets.