Home > Health Care - Dogs, Pet News > Do you know the state of your pet’s health? Banfield does.

Do you know the state of your pet’s health? Banfield does.


I look forward to reading the reports that Banfield Pet Hospital’s puts out. I always learn something from them, and they often contain data that you can’t find anywhere else.

This most recent report (State of Pet Health 2012 Report) includes medical data that they captured and analyzed from more “than 2 million dogs and nearly 430,000 cats” that passed through their doors.

Much of the data included in this report were eye openers for me. What about you?

  • Chronic disease among pets are increasing
  • The number of overweight pets has increased in the past five years – 37% in dogs and 90% in cats (I was shocked by the cat statistic!) and yet, 76% of dog owners and 69% of cat owners believe their pet is just the right weight.
  • Among the common dog diagnoses made in 2011, dental tartar, obesity and ear infections were the most frequent across Young Adult, Mature Adult and Geriatric dogs.
  • Among the most common diagnoses in cats it was dental tartar and obesity across these same categories.
  • In Minnesota, dog and cat obesity ranked High in a ranking that ranged from Low to High.
  • Human food seems to represent the largest percentage of a dog and cat’s daily caloric requirement
  • The prevalence of arthritis has increased 38 percent in dogs and 67 percent in cats over the past five years.
  • 2 in 3 dog owners and 2 in 3 cat owners not aware that weight gain or obesity are associated with arthritis
  • Kidney disease is almost seven times more common  in cats than it is in dogs
  • In dogs, the most common thyroid disease is hypothyroidism while in cats it is hyperthyroidism
  • Almost one-third of dogs (28 percent) and nearly one-quarter of cats (25 percent) with cardiomyopathy (a type of heart disease) also have periodontal disease

Clearly, we humans aren’t the only ones with a weight problem in this country (and I am speaking for myself here as well), but our pets are suffering from this ailment as well. Obesity leads to all sorts of medical issues that affects both us AND our pets. Based on some of the stats in this report, we are in denial about how fat our pets really are and we need to get educated. Page 17 has a great Body Condition Score chart that is worth reviewing.

Think your pet is obese after reviewing the chart? I recommend reading Peggy Frezon’s book, Dieting With My Dog as a starting point.

If you are interested in reading the full report, you can download it here.

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  1. May 6, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Have met or know plenty of people in denial about their pets’ obesity; I suppose it’s no different than how we tend to be about our own health. Still…it’s pretty sad.

    • Mel
      May 7, 2012 at 6:26 AM

      Thanks KIm. I think we are in denial about a lot of things in our lives. Hopefully this information will make people stop and think about their pet’s own health. An increase of cat obesity levels by 90% was absolutely shocking to me.

  2. Julie deRosier-Paul
    May 7, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Interesting Mel! Like humans, taking care of our teeth is so critical. I know a lot of people don’t get their animals teeth cleaned. I know it’s expensive, but this is another reminder of how critical it is. We have NOT been good about brushing Mason’s teeth in between cleanings. We need to start doing that.

    We started taking him to a doggy daycare near our office and he’s lost a few pounds and he LOVES it (much to my surprise). Great blog!

    • Mel
      May 7, 2012 at 6:24 AM

      Julie – I am terrible with the teeth thing too. I so admire people who brush their dog’s teeth every day. I will be taking Daisy in for a teeth cleaning soon.
      Congrats on Mason’s weight loss! That’s awesome! I’m glad he likes doggie daycare. :)

  3. May 7, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Very interesting.

    Jen, over at Elka’s Almanac, just wrote about someone who thought her doberman was a greyhound mix because she was so thin. I think our eyes have adjusted to extra weight on dogs and don’t recognize what a healthy dog looks like anymore.

    The cat obesity figure was absolutely shocking.

  4. Mel
    May 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Thanks for the heads up Pamela. I’ll have to go read Jen’s post.
    My friend Kelley had the same thug happen to her too. Her Irish Setter is a perfect weight but someone told her she was too thin. I think our eyes need adjusting! :)

  5. May 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    The main question on my mind is to what degree is what we feed our dogs is involved with both the increase in chronic diseases as well as obesity (which often go hand in hand). And I don’t mean just the amount of food, but also the type of food. I feel it is time somebody took a hard look at this. I personally do believe that the highly processed, high in carbohydrates, high in grains food we feed plays an important role in this situation. Truly, the duration of feeding trials is way to short to give a true picture of how well this kind of food works for our dogs. My feeling is that the connection here is likely very tight.

  6. May 8, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I bought a doggie toothbrush and liver-flavoured toothpaste and Our Best Friend still doesn’t let me near his teeth. I’m very worried about them. On the plus side, though, I think I got the five extra pounds off him. I’m going to try to keep weight off both of us with more exercise over the summer.

    • Mel
      May 8, 2012 at 10:13 PM

      My dog’s teeth are fairly good. Daisy needs a teeth cleaning, but it’s not urgent (thankfully), but the whole weight thing is a work in progress for us. I used to walk my dogs for an hour and a half at a minimum when I was a dog walker and pet sitter. Now they are lucky to get an hour a day. :(

  1. August 22, 2012 at 10:39 PM
  2. August 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

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