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Top Five Health Concerns for Pets
March 23rd, 2012
Pet owners need to ensure their pets are healthy and remain that way.  To that end, here are the top five issues concerning pet health right now...

1) Pets are becoming medically underserved - Data shows the pet population in the U.S. is climbing, but visits to veterinarians are declining. On an annual basis in 2007, dogs saw a veterinarian 2.6 times per year and cats only 1.7 times, indicating cats are affected more than dogs. This number has continued to decline in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008.  Taking your pet to the vet is more important than ever.  Do it regularly!

2) Obesity in pets is skyrocketing - If you love your pet and want it to live a long, healthy life, keep its weight down. Obese pets have a shorter lifespan and increased risk of cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, bladder disease, and, like humans, diabetes.  The fatter the owner, the fatter the pet, in most cases...

3) Diabetes is increasing in both cats and dogs - Banfield State of Pet Health reports a 32% increase in diabetes in dogs and 16% increase in cats, comparing 2006 to 2010. This is likely tied to the obesity epidemic in pets.  Our former pet cat, Romeo, developed diabetes late in life, but two shots of insulin daily from us and he lived another 18 months!

4) Cancer: a major illness in both cats and dogs - According to the Morris Animal Foundation, 1 in 4 dogs dies from cancer and cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over 2 years of age.

5) Dental disease is on the rise - Reluctant is the descriptor for many pet owners when it comes to dental procedures in their pets. If your pet has bad breath, it's a good indication a dental cleaning is in order.  Do yourself a favor as well as your pet, take him/her to get their teeth cleaned.  A cleaning now is much cheaper than major dental work later.  Just like a human, teeth are very important to the health of a pet.