Americans Spending Less Time On Preventive Care For Their Pets
In the past six years, the number of U.S. pets that have become obese has increased 37 percent for dogs and 90 percent for cats, according to an annual report from Banfield Pet Hospital. Diabetes and Arthritis in dogs has increased by 32 percent and 38 percent respectively.
Arthritis in cats, since 2007 is also up by 67 percent.
According to a report from American Pet Products association in U.S. there are 69.9 million dogs and 74.1 million cats. 42 percent of dogs also share a bed with one of the family member. Given the closeness of pets with their owners majority of them are unaware of the pets’ ill conditions.
In past 10 years, dog vet visits have slipped by 21 percent and cat visits by 30 percent. However the emergency visits have increased that indicates pet owners only rush to hospitals when they have no choice.
“Our pets don’t look into mirrors or inspect their own bodies,” said Peggy Lykens-Ruh of Yorkville, Ill. to USA Today. Peggy has five dogs and produces pet rescue events around the Chicago area. “I believe checkups are important at least once a year — more often for older pets because they age so much faster than we do.”
“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,” said Michael Cavanaugh, CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association to USA Today.
Another important issue might be the cost. Over half of the clients said the price of a visit to vet is higher than expected. Some veterinarians even push unnecessary vaccines or procedures, pet owners said.
“After all, the government doesn’t offer a financial safety net to pet owners. But pet insurance can be a lifesaving (investment), preventing economic euthanasia,” said veterinarian Karen Felsted of Felsted Veterinary Consulting in Dallas to USA Today.
Experts concluded that preventive care can still make a difference.