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26% of dogs and 19% of cats are considered “obese” (1)

More than four in 10 (43%)(1) of the cats and dogs seen by Britain’s vets are overweight, according to new research by Sainsbury’s Finance whose comprehensive Pet Insurance covers vets bills up to £7,500. Sainsbury’s Finance is warning that many medical conditions suffered by our cats and dogs are linked to or worsened by being overweight, and that allowing your pet to become overweight could put a strain on the purse strings because of the extra vet fees and medication costs. Furthermore, the Bank warns that those with pet insurance could be risking invalidating their claim as they could be found to have not taken proper care of their pet dog or cat.

The findings, which come from a survey of veterinary surgeons across the country(1), reveal that they are seeing more overweight dogs than cats, with almost half (47%) of all dogs seen by vets being described as overweight. More than one in four (26%) dogs were considered obese, with 21% being described as slightly overweight. There is also a weight problem amongst cats however, with 19% of them being classified as obese, and 20% considered slightly overweight, giving a total of 39% who are overweight.

Neal Devine, Sainsbury's Pet Insurance Manager said: “We are seeing a worrying percentage of cats and dogs being taken to the vet who are overweight. People often think they are being kind to their pet by giving it treats, but being overweight can influence and worsen many medical conditions in pets, such as osteoarthritis and respiratory disorders, conditions that can be very uncomfortable for the animal.”

Of those medical conditions which can be linked to obesity, osteoarthritis is the one most commonly seen by Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance, closely followed by heart disease or congestive heart failure(2).

Top five conditions influenced by pets being overweight claimed for on Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance
Heart disease / congestive heart failure
Renal (kidney) problems
Type 2 diabetes
Respiratory disorders
Source: Analysis of Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance data(2)

Neal Devine continues: “Veterinary and medication costs for long-term conditions such as arthritis can add up to a lot of money over the course of the animal’s lifetime. It is important that pet owners are properly insured by policies with adequate levels of cover, so that to avoid getting hit hard in the pocket.

"Every pet owner has a duty of care to their animal, and if reasonable care has not been taken to prevent an animal becoming overweight, you could potentially invalidate your insurance."

Good quality pet insurance does not need to be expensive, good cover at a competitive price can be found by shopping around. Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance is designed to offer some of the widest range of benefits available at a competitive price. For further information call 0800 056 5758, log on to or pick up a leaflet in a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Sainsbury’s offers a range of nutritionally balanced foods and snacks for cats and dogs.


For further information, please contact:

Ian Morris / Phil Anderson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
020 7638 9571

Notes to Editors:

Sainsbury's Pet Insurance is underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

(1) Based on independent telephone market research of 100 veterinary surgeons in July 2008
(2) Based on analysis of Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance data, August 2008

Sainsbury’s pet insurance cover – Option 2:

Veterinary Fees / Up to £7,500 (includes up to £1,000 per condition for complementary treatments and £250 a year for behavioural problems).
Personal Liability / Up to £2,000,000
Emergency Boarding Kennels / Cattery Fees / £100 (max £1,000)
Daily Minding / £100 (max £1,000)
Advertising Costs
- reward limit / Up to £1,000
Theft or Straying / Up to £750
Death Caused by Injury / Up to £1,500
Death by Illness / Up to £1,000
Trip Cancellation or Return Home / Up to £3,000
Expenses for referral to another vet / Up to £150
Accidental damage / Up to £500
Damage to kennel or basket / Up to £100
Personal accident to the owner / £5,000
Quarantine costs / Up to £2,000
Loss of Health Certificate / Up to £250
Repeat Tick and worming treatment / Reasonable costs
Emergency expenses abroad / Up to £500

A lower level (Option 1) of cover is also available.

Sainsbury’s Bank:

To find out more about Sainsbury’s Bank and see the latest press releases, product rates and photographs, please visit the Sainsbury's Bank online media centre at

Sainsbury's Bank offers a range of quality, competitively priced, award-winning products. Sainsbury’s Bank opened for business on 19 February 1997 as a joint venture with Sainsbury's and HBOS.

Sainsbury’s Bank offers the following products:

Insurance: Car Insurance, Life Insurance, Home Insurance, Travel Insurance and Pet Insurance
Borrowing: Personal loans, credit cards and Driveä car purchase scheme
Saving: Internet Saver, Instant Access (branch equivalent), Direct Saver account (telephone) and Child Trust Fund

For further information and general Sainsbury’s Bank enquiries customers can call the freephone number on 0500 40 50 60 or visit

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This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Sainsbury's Bank in the following categories: Personal Finance, Farming & Animals, for more information visit