MORE TH>N, part of the RSA insurance group, has revealed that, of the 12 most common pet insurance claims reported to it in 2018, half can be significantly affected by obesity.
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 £8m 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. (Read advice from MORE TH>N on managing your pet’s 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.”