New research out this week has highlighted the UK’s top 10 most unhealthy areas to live if you’re a pet revealing that East Anglia has more pets suffering from ailments than anywhere else in the UK.

The study which gathered insights from Co-op Pet Insurance claims data for both dogs and cats discovered that East Anglian pets suffered most from gastrointestinal and digestive disorders, often caused by eating something other than pet food. Respiratory issues and skin masses such as tumours, warts, growths and abscesses were also found to be common problems the region’s pets suffered from.

Across the UK, the most common reason pets visit their vet include: road traffic accidents, the biggest threat for both cats and dogs, digestive problems and concerns over mobility and joints.

UK’s top 10 unhealthiest pet regions

  1. East Anglia
  2. North East England
  3. South East England
  4. The Midlands
  5. North West England
  6. South Central England
  7. South West England
  8. Scotland
  9. Wales
  10. London

Speaking about the findings on behalf of the pet insurer, Matt Brash, star of long-running series ‘Zoo Vet at Large’ said:

“It is so important to keep your pets healthy and, unsurprisingly, a big part of this is diet. The Co-op’s findings show that digestive tract problems are prevalent across the UK for both dogs and cats with stomach upsets and resulting gastrointestinal inflammation commonplace.

“Much of this is probably to do with the food that owners are feeding their pets. Whilst ‘human food’ may be seen as an innocent treat, this can be dangerous, especially for pets with sensitive stomachs, or pets with dietary allergies and intolerances. It causes them a great deal of discomfort and pain and of course the owners a big emotional and financial cost should the problem be severe.

“Likewise not feeding your pet the foods which are suitable for both their age and exercise levels can also cause issues. For example, older pets do not need as much protein, as they are no longer building muscles and growing, and of course less carbohydrate as they are often less active. Over feeding them leads to obesity and all the problems that comes with that. Over feeding protein in older cats is particularly bad, as it can predispose to kidney failure. All pets, as they get older should be fed on a senior pet food.

“Interestingly on a national level, it does look as if pets in the north may be out exercising more on rugged terrain than their southern counterparts based on the number of joint related problems in that part of the country. Although there may be other factors involved, such as breed variations and obesity. Of course it could also be related to the colder damper weather we seem to get up north.”

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