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

May 6, 2012 11 comments

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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Elderly, Single and Lonely: Seeking Furry Companion

June 15, 2009 1 comment

DSC00451Once in a while, we all have the chance meeting with a stranger that touches you in some way, or even changes your life.

Today, I met one of the sweetest ladies I have ever had the lucky chance to meet.

I was volunteering at the shelter (MVHS) and had just returned a dog to it’s kennel, when I noticed this classy, fit, kind-looking older woman checking out one of our bigger dogs. I surmised she was probably in her late-sixties or early-seventies and was concerned that perhaps she was looking at a dog that would be way too much for her. It turns out she was just looking – not to adopt – but more as a way to deal with her anticipation of finding a new “small” dog that could fill the hole in her life. As we started to talk, her story started to unfold in way I had not expected.
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