Costs of Having a Fat Dog
I recently discussed some of the common health risks that dogs face from being overweight. The list of diseases and ailments that are associated with a dog being overweight is both long and serious, and will likely contribute to a lower quality of life for the pet and a shorter pet life span. If these medical conditions are not enough to make a pet parent pay closer attention to their dog’s weight, than perhaps the financial costs of having a fat dog will do so.
Pet parents who have overweight dogs will almost certainly spend a lot more money on their pet, both in terms of food (obviously) and medical treatments, than they otherwise would if their dog was at more ideal weight. Just how much money depends on many factors, but overfeeding a dog a little each day week could easily cost a person $50-$100 a year in extra food costs.
The medical costs of treating a dog having a disease related to their weight is even more damaging to a budget. In 2009, a study at the Michigan State veterinary hospital and funded by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, was conducted to determine the annual treatment costs associated with common canine and feline diseases and disorders. The results are shown in the Tables below.
Annual Costs of Common Canine Diseases
|Obesity + ruptured ACL||$2,367|
|Chronic kidney disease||$1,823|
The cost to treat a dog with any one of these disorders is obviously significant. Further, many of these are estimated annual costs, which means that a pet’s total treatment costs over a lifetime could easily exceed $10,000 depending on the disease and age at diagnosis. Even worse, an overweight dog might develop multiple diseases due to their weight problem raising the treatment costs even higher.
No matter how you look at it, either from the impact on a dog’s quality of life and lifespan, or by the financial cost of having an overweight pet, the bottom line is that pet obesity is a serious problem with serious consequences. Don’t be one of the 95% that is in denial of their dog’s condition. Rather, focus on learning to feed your pet the correct amount of the right types of food so that they can achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Your pet, and your wallet, will thank you for it.