BREA, Calif. – According to pet health insurance provider Nationwide, pet obesity rates in the US have been climbing. Nearly 20% of claims in 2017 were for pet obesity-related conditions, supporting a 24% increase in this category over the past eight years. Such conditions include arthritis, urinary tract disease, liver disease, diabetes and others. Overall, obesity-related veterinary expenses topped $69 million. This data comes at a time when pet health, nutrition and functional diets are front and center in the pet food processing industry.

Most common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Arthritis 1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2. Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Liver Disease 3. Diabetes
4. Low Thyroid Hormone 4. Asthma
5. Torn Knee Ligaments 5. Liver Disease
6. Diseased Disc in the Spine 6. Arthritis
7. Diabetes 7. High Blood Pressure
8. Chronic Kidney Disease 8. Heart Failure
9. Heart Failure 9. Gall Bladder Disorder
10. High Blood Pressure 10. Immobility of Spine


Data gathered from 700,000 pets insured by Nationwide detailed the 10 most common health issues related to or exacerbated by excessive weight. The most common disease associated with obesity in dogs is arthritis, for which Nationwide received more than 57,000 claims throughout the US in 2017. In cats, bladder or urinary tract disease caused more than 5,800 insurance claims over the same period. Nationwide commented on the data, saying excessive body fat in pets may shorten life expectancy and increase the risk of health issues.

Keep up with the latest pet food trends on our Trends page.