Costs of Having a Fat Dog

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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.
Costs of Having a Fat Dog

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

Disorder/Disease Average Cost
Heart disease $1,912
Hypertension $1,700
Osteoarthritis $1,656
Cancer $2,447
Diabetes $1,108
Pancreatitis $1,422
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.


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  1. we had to buy diuretics and treatments to support the heart for some years, that was hard candy :o( I’m still disappointed that the first vet we had prescribed more and more meds instead to suggest a diet or an exercising program. our current vet was honest, he said no more meds before this dog lost some lbs, then we will see what we will need.
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog MISCHIEF MOANDAYMy Profile

  2. oh yes the treatments of the diseases is very costly and can have detrimental side effects to the dog.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Fish Oil Does The Body And Mind Good~OmegeaseMy Profile

  3. Keeping our pets healthy definitely has all the benefits in the world!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…10 Signs Your Dog May Be SickMy Profile

  4. More reasons to work for the ideal weight of our best friends. Thanks for the information. ☺
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…We Found the Beef #Evanger’sMy Profile

  5. Save your pet, save some money, go on vacation instead!

  6. No reason to over feed! Save the money for a gym membership or dog sports!
    Emma recently posted…Wild Pursuit Satisfies Primal Cravings #NaturalBalanceMy Profile

  7. So many good things from keeping healthy and in shape!! You can buys lots more toys 🙂
    Julie recently posted…Why!!My Profile

  8. That is a different approach to keeping a dog healthy but quite logical and effective. Thanks for the research
    jan recently posted…This blog will be animal-Halloween-costume free…My Profile

  9. Makes perfect sense to me! I applaud all vets that are honest enough with their clients to let them know when their pet is overweight. Being fat is not cute and definitely not healthy.
    Blueberry’s human recently posted…Tuesday TrickMy Profile

  10. If the financial reason isn’t one to resonate with/motivate people, than I don’t know what is!!
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Spoiling Your Dogs With 100% Dehydrated, Organic, Homemade Sweet Potato TreatsMy Profile

  11. Nice one. Think it will wake people up?
    Jana Rade recently posted…Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Wound Home Care, Veterinary Mistakes, and more …My Profile

  12. Maybe this will help people get over the guilty feedings! But they flash those eyes when we’re eating and we just have to give them something! Gah! If I had dollar for every time I heard that I would be rich!
    Jen recently posted…Can You Tell What Is Wrong With These Pictures?My Profile

  13. Ah, yes! There’s more than one way to slim a dog, let the owners know how much it’s costing them. Great strategy, Slimdoggy!
    Elaine recently posted…How Our Tone of Voice Affects DogsMy Profile

  14. We have spent less on treating our labrador’s arthritis after we got her weight back under control. She’s on a specialty dog food now, which costs the same as what we spent when she was being over-fed. But we are still saving money since she doesn’t need injections as often.

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