Healthcare if essential for humans, yet many humans forget preventive care for pets is just as important for our four legged furry friends. Our pets are getting sicker and many pet owners are oblivious to this.
In the past six or seven years, the percentage of U.S. pets that are obese or overweight has increased 37% for dogs and a whopping 90% for cats — leading to increases in other serious conditions, as with many people, from diabetes to arthritis and other problems per USA Today. Diabetes has increased up to 32% in dogs since 2006, says an annual report from Banfield Pet Hospital. Arthritis has increased up to 38% in dogs and 67% in cats since 2007. Thyroid and kidney disease is also up. Even flea infestation is increasing.
Americans are a pet friendly nation, which is why it is so important to practice preventative care for pets. We have 69.9 million dogs and 74.1 million cats, with many consider our pets our babies. 42% of dogs even share a bed with their owner, according to the American Pet Products Association.
Many pet owners are unaware that their pets are suffering from these serious chronic illnesses. One reason why – they are not visiting the vet. Dog vet visits declined 21% since 2001 and cat visits have slipped 30%, according to American Veterinary Medical Association. On the other hand, emergency visits have increased, indicating owners are waiting until the most dire of instances to provide preventive care for pets.
“It’s really very simple — if we can get people to see veterinarians once or twice a year, pets would be healthier, and living longer, and overall pet owners could actually save money,” says Michael Cavanaugh, CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association.
It is essential to remember to provide preventive care for pets to avoid serious complications from happening before it is too late.