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Obesity is a significant factor in 50 percent of the most common pet illnesses, according to MORE TH>N data

MORE TH>N has revealed that of the 12 most common pet insurance claims reported to it in 2018, half can be significantly affected by obesity

11 November 2019, at 12:00pm

This means that being overweight or not having enough exercise could contribute to the development of, complexity of, or recovery from these conditions. The data has been released by MORE TH>N, which insures cats and dogs, to highlight how damaging obesity can be to pets’ health.

It shows that claims typically cost more for these conditions, averaging £900 compared to £722 across the top 12 conditions overall. This is most likely because obesity can make it harder to treat these types of illnesses, driving up vet fees.

Overall, MORE TH>N received 9,203 claims and paid out over £8 million for the top six obesity-influenced conditions in 2018. Obesity can affect a wide range of conditions to varying degrees, so the impact is likely to be even more widespread than that. This issue is largely caused by pets not getting enough exercise, while also having a poor diet.

To help pet owners keep their dog healthy, MORE TH>N has partnered with PitPat to offer free membership to "PitPat Life" for customers who take out a pet insurance policy in November. The membership includes a free PitPat dog activity monitor, which can be attached to a dog’s collar to track their exercise and weight. PitPat data on over 15,000 dogs in the UK shows they are active for an average of 100 minutes each day.

The monitor works with a free app that sets a daily exercise goal based on the dog’s breed and age, and users earn points for reaching their goal. These points can be exchanged for prizes, including up to £100 cashback for MORE TH>N customers, making keeping their dog healthy even more rewarding.

Andrew Moore, Director of Pet Claims at MORE TH>N, and a qualified vet, said:

“As an insurer and a former vet, I regularly see the issues pet obesity can cause and it’s a worrying trend. Pet owners are responsible for keeping their pets healthy, but the truth is many cats and dogs aren’t getting enough exercise.

“PitPat Life helps dog owners to understand the amount of exercise their best friend needs, and it motivates and rewards dog owners for taking the initiative. As an incentive, with MORE TH>N you can earn money for walking your dog - customers who consistently reach their dog’s daily exercise goals can earn up to £100 cashback as a thank you for keeping their dog healthy. Although an equivalent doesn’t yet exist for cat owners, we hope that they are doing everything they can to keep their feline friend healthy too.”

Andy Nowell, CEO of PitPat, said:

“Every owner wants to do the best for their pet, but sometimes we all need a little help. PitPat Life is the fun and simple way to make sure your dog gets the right amount of exercise and the perks and prizes membership offers are a great motivation. We’re delighted that MORE TH>N are giving their dog insurance customers membership of PitPat Life and think the opportunity to earn £100 for walking your dog will get tails wagging across the country.”

Diet also plays a crucial role in keeping pets healthy, so MORE TH>N has provided advice on managing your dog or cat’s diet.