Another great article by Jeff Gitlen and Mike Brown.
Many of us can recall having an urge to spontaneously purchase a pet at some point in our lives.
Typically, that desire quickly subsides as we consider the time, cost, and commitment that comes with owning a pet – but for others, that urge never goes away.
This phase is usually followed by searches on the internet for the best kinds of dog and cat breeds with the hope that you are just a few clicks away from finding the perfect match.
Once owners finally get the pet of their dreams, they then have to support it. However, owners often underestimate the cost of their pets, forcing them to make some tough decisions.
Our team here at LendEDU wanted to get a clearer picture of the expenses that pets bring to their owners and how much they are willing to spend to treat their furry companions if something goes wrong. To do this, we’ve obtained some insightful data from our friends over at Trupanion, a leading pet-insurer based out of Seattle, in addition to running a survey of our own.
Trupanion states that less than two percent of pets in the United States are currently insured. Although nowadays, pet owners can find more cost-efficient insurance plans in an effort to become responsible pet owners. With this growing increase in insured pets comes an increase in data related to pets and their health.
It’s impossible to know whether a dog or cat will catch a specific illness or suffer an injury, but with the help of Trupanion, we were able to see the 10 most common costly claims they receive, as well as the average cost associated with these conditions for both dogs and cats. We also asked pet owners if they would be willing to pay these costs to treat their companions.
Let’s take a look at what we found.
When deciding whether to become a dog or cat owner, most people expect dogs to carry a higher cost. After all, dogs are dirtier, more high-maintenance, and less independent when compared to their feline counterparts.
But to our surprise, after reviewing the 10 most common costly conditions, it was cats that were more expensive per claimed condition. To be exact, cats were about 22 percent costlier.
In a previous survey we ran, we found that cat owners were willing to spend less on their pets to save them from a life threatening disease when compared to dog owners.
With our new data showing that, on average, the most common costly conditions for cats are more expensive than dog conditions, we thought it was interesting that cat owners in our previous survey displayed that they were less willing to spend more than dog owners to save their pets.
To take the information shown in the above visual a step further, we found three conditions that made it into the 10 most common costly conditions for both dogs and cats and compared them side-by-side below.
The three mutual conditions were vomiting and diarrhea, any type of mass, and foreign body ingestion.
On average, cat owners received a bill roughly $267 higher than dog owners for the same condition, with cat owners spending $1,233 and dog owners spending $967.
In this section of our report, we polled 833 dog and cat owners to see how many were willing to treat the 10 most common costly conditions for their pet.
After reviewing the data in our poll, we found that as the average price to treat each condition rose, the percentage of cat owners that were willing to treat the given condition steadily decreased.
Weight decrease stood out amongst the rest with a near 16 percent drop off in willingness to pay from the previous condition, hyperthyroidism. Perhaps owners would rather tweak their cat’s diet instead of opting for a more costly treatment. Or maybe, weight-loss is not an issue that is taken too seriously by cat-owners.
Similar to cat owners, as the average price to treat each condition increased, the percentage of owners willing to treat that condition decreased.
The steepest drop off came from dog owners willing to treat a seizure at $1,600 to treating medial patellar luxation at $1,900. There was a decrease of about 10 percent of dog owners who were willing to treat medial patellar luxation.
The last piece of data we wanted to review was a comparison of the three mutually shared conditions and see how likely cat owners were to treat their pets when compared to dog owners who were dealing with the same three conditions.
Between the 10 most common costly conditions for both dogs and cats, the three conditions that landed on each list were vomiting and diarrhea, any type of mass, and foreign body ingestion.
Dog and cat owners’ reactions to treating the same condition were pretty similar in regards to the decrease in willingness from least expensive condition to costlier condition. But, one thing that does stand out is that, on average, dog owners were about 11 percent more likely to treat their dog than cat owners were across-the-board.
We are raised and educated from a young age with the understanding that everything has a value, whether it be emotional or financial is ultimately up to us. The question this data attempts to answer is at what point do these pet owners decide that the cost of treating their pet outweighs the value they provide, if ever.
With the data and results presented above in mind, it would be fair to say that for many pet owners, there seems to be a point, like most things in life, where the cost simply does outweigh the value.
The 10 most common costly conditions were provided to our team by Trupanion. The conditions and average cost per condition are strictly based on the claims Trupanion receives from the pet owners it insures.
The data provided was analyzed by our team; we were able to determine the average cost of a costly condition, as well as compare three mutual conditions between dog and cat owners.
We took our analysis a step further by surveying 833 cat, dog, or owners of both to determine the percentage of owners that would be willing to treat their pet for one of these common conditions. The numbers were put into visuals shown throughout this report. The poll was commissioned by LendEDU and conducted online by polling company Pollfish.
A screener question was utilized to ensure we were only getting responses from dog or cat owners, or owners of both. The poll ran over a three day span, starting on December 1st, 2017 and ending on December 3rd, 2017. Respondents were asked to answer each question truthfully and to the best of their ability.
A great article by Team Darwin
Your cat is an obligate carnivore evolved to use raw meat protein for quick power. A raw diet helps your feline maintain eye health, a balanced immune system, optimal energy, and weight control. Feeding a raw diet to your cat also helps prevent carbohydrate and starch-based diseases like diabetes mellitus, urinary tract infections (UTI), and irritable bowel disease (IBD). Go back to the basics, and meet your cat’s physical and digestive needs with the raw protein for which your cat is metabolically adapted.
Understanding the nutritional needs of the purring cat draped across your chair back requires a primer in cat evolution. Nearly identical to its Near Eastern and Egyptian ancestor, the species Felis sylvestris lybica (the African wildcat), your cat is a water-efficient hunter, an obligate carnivorereliant on animal tissue to meet its unique nutritional requirements.
Cats awaited the agricultural revolution (approximately 12,000 ago) to decide to live among humans had its advantages. Grain stocks drew mice. Humans welcomed cats for their pest-control value, for not only did the rodent population drop, snakes and other venomous crawlies declined as well. Over time, the more human-tolerant wildcats “self-domesticated,” bred, and linked their fortunes to people. Yet over the millennia, cats have changed little in their digestive abilities; they have a limited tolerance for food other than meat.
Cats, in their natural habitat, consume a natural raw diet including rodents, small reptiles, and birds, which have high protein value, moderate fat content, and few carbohydrates. All cats are metabolically adapted to “preferentially use protein and fat as energy sources.” Cats use protein like athletes use carbs, but a diet heavy in carbohydrates decreases a cat’s ability to digest its glucose-producing proteins. Is your cat getting the meat she needs?
Your cat’s eyes have six to eight times more rod cells than yours and a 200-degree field of peripheral vision. Keeping cat peepers healthy requires taurine, an essential amino acid that maintains eye and heart as well as growth, reproduction, neurological development, hearing, and proper bile function. In the wild, cats get taurine from a raw diet of birds, rodents, and insects.
If you think your cat gets plenty of taurine from that gourmet canned cat food, think again. Heat destroys a good two-thirds of taurine in canned meat, not to mention other amino acids, enzymes, and nutrients. Cats need raw muscle and organ meats, which are loaded with taurine.
Cats with balanced immune systems can handle occasional fleas, pollens, and ingesting occasional food that doesn’t agree with them. Their bodies respond by producing antibodies. Antibodies are like tiny Y-shaped bouncers that bind to irritants, escorting them out of the body. When a cat’s immune system is compromised, allergy symptoms arise. The antibody bouncers attach themselves to the threatening substances, but they can’t wrestle them out; they circulate in the bloodstream triggering inflammation, itchiness, or worse.
If your cat exhibits an allergic response–scratching, sneezing, wheezing, runny eyes, ear infections, vomiting, snoring, or paw chewing to name a few—see your veterinarian. Discuss a raw diet to rebalance your cat’s immune system. Getting rid of biologically inappropriate foods like corn, soy, and wheat from your cat’s diet your cat removes foods your cat is not equipped to digest. Try for a six-week period a raw protein choice that your cat has not previously eaten.
Your cat is hardwired to stalk in shadow hours, burst into full-tilt boogie chases, and then recover with a 16-hour nap. If a cat is lethargic or out of sorts, diet may be the culprit.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 58 percent of cats in the United States are obese. Well-intended Americans love their cats to death. Obese cats suffer from bladder and urinary tract disease, but also often develop diabetes. A fresh meat diet can prevent a lot of misery.
Many cat diseases go undetected and untreated. Diabetes mellitus can cause thirst, increased appetite, and unusual grooming habits. If left untreated, a diabetic cat may lose its appetite, vomit, become dehydrated, or have problems with motor function. Should your cat exhibit any of these symptoms, see a veterinarian, and discuss both medications and changing to a raw diet.
Note: switching to a low-carb diet if your cat receives insulin requires lowering the insulin dosage – otherwise, you will be putting your cat at significant risk for a hypoglycemic crisis. Talk to your vet.
Urinary tract disease in cats is one of the most common reasons cats are abandoned to animal shelters. Sadly, this problem stems from grain-based starchy foods that drive up the pH of a cat’s urine, and that’s when Struvite crystals form in a cat’s concentrated urine.
Likewise, feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may be caused and can be alleviated by diet. IBD is a group of gastrointestinal disorders that occur when inflammatory cells infiltrate and thicken the gastrointestinal tract, inhibiting the intestine’s proper functioning. One of the identifiable causes is a “food allergy.”
Prevention is key. Feeding cats food that supports a proper intestinal pH is essential for prevention and long-term therapy. Because dietary allergens are a recognized possible factor in IBD, a food trial using a fresh meat diet that the cat has never eaten may be recommended by your veterinarian.
Cats do things on their own schedule. Rediscovering their inner wildcats may take some time. Therefore, if you decide to start your cat on a raw diet after it has been conditioned to fly into the kitchen when kibble hits the bowl, you’ll have to work on a transition plan. Regular feeding times, no grazing, feeding your cat in a flat dish with its food at roughly body temperature, and remaining patient is all in your cat’s best interest. Once these adjustments are made, your cat will love a raw food diet.
Some raw-meat enthusiasts formulate their own raw food diets with grocer meat. The origins of that meat are sometimes dubious. It’s time-consuming and messy. Darwin’s is free-range, cage-free, and free of steroids, hormones, or chemical preservatives. Your cat’s meals come to you vacuum-sealed and frozen to keep vital nutrients intact. Darwin’s ensures balance and top-quality sourcing. You ensure you feed your wildcat at the time she pleases.
Meet your cat’s physical and digestive needs with a diet it will love. You will love the deliver-to-your-door convenience. Darwin’s Natural Selections™ Raw Cat Food Premium Line and Intelligent Design™ Raw Cat Food, our Prescription Line for cats with special health needs.
What a fun event! Great dogs and lots of competition! We met lots of new customers and really enjoyed the show! Hope to see more of you next year!