Pet Health Crisis In The US


Pet Health Crisis In The US

Pet Health Crisis In The US

Pet Health Crisis In The US

There is a pet health crisis in the US and most people are not even aware of it. The percentage of overweight cats and dogs is increasing the incidence of diabetes is increasing thyroid and kidney diseases is also increasing even flea infestation is increasing.

The point made is that people are not taking their pets to the vets as often as they used to and these diseases are therefore going untreated and causing other problems.

“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 people, from diabetes to arthritis and other problems. Diabetes is up 32% in dogs since 2006, says an annual report from Banfield Pet Hospital.

Arthritis is up 38% in dogs and 67% in cats since 2007. Thyroid and kidney disease are up. Even flea infestation are increasing.

Americans love their pets. We have 69.9 million dogs and 74.1 million cats, and many of us consider them our “fur babies” — 42% of dogs even share a bed with a human family member, according to the American Pet Products Association.

But many owners don’t know their pets are suffering from these serious chronic illnesses. One reason: They’re not going to the vet. Dog vet visits have slipped 21% since 2001 and cat visits have dropped 30%, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Meanwhile, emergency visits have increased, indicating people are waiting until their pets are really sick to do anything about it.

“Our pets don’t look into mirrors or inspect their own bodies,” says Peggy Lykens-Ruh of Yorkville, Ill., who 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,” says Michael Cavanaugh, CEO of the American Animal Hospital Association.

This crisis in pet health has spurred a new $5.5 million public awareness campaign urging annual checkups. The campaign is sponsored by a consortium called Partners for Healthy Pets, made up of the AVMA, the American Animal Hospital Association and more than 90 other veterinary organizations.

Veterinarian Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA, says the 2008 economic downturn contributed to the crisis, but the decline in veterinary visits began years before that.

In the past, he notes, veterinarians sent annual vaccine reminder postcards in the mail. The physical exam was downplayed, often not even mentioned. But now research has shown pet vaccines last for several years, so many pet owners see no need for annual visits.”

Ok, so the incidence of these diseases is increasing and going to the vets can catch them early and to some extent get them treated however no-one is asking the question as to why the incidence of these diseases is increasing and why obesity is increasing. The reason why is simple and we have stated this in many scores of reports on this web site and that is that we are feeding our pets the wrong diet and helping them lead a couch potato lifestyle. So the pat crisis in the US is primarily a result of bad diets and not not going to the vets.



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