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New Year’s resolution: Help our pets get fit

Posted On: Jan. 4, 2019 10:00 AM CST

New Year’s resolution: Help our pets get fit

Better get Fido a gym membership, too.

Nationwide Pet Insurance, the nation's first and largest provider of pet health insurance, on Wednesday released data that show pet obesity is on the rise for the eighth straight year.

Nearly 20% of Nationwide members' pet insurance claims in 2017 were for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity, equaling a sum of more than $69 million in veterinary expenses, according to a statement.

The boost in total obesity-related claims signifies a 24% increase over the last eight years, according to Nationwide.

"Obesity can be detrimental to the livelihood of our pets," Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary officer for Nationwide, said in the statement. "The new year presents a perfect opportunity to create regular exercise routines for our pets and to effectively manage their eating habits to avoid excess weight gain.”