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How Can You Support Pet Cancer Research? Just Take Your Dog For A Walk!

One in four dogs and one in five cats in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetimes, making it the number one disease-related cause of death for our canine and feline companions.

Between now and November 30, 2021, pet parents can raise much-needed funds for pet cancer research simply by walking their dogs!

Pet Cancer

As part of National Pet Cancer Awareness Month in November, Nationwide is hoping to raise awareness of the prevalence of this dreaded disease and provide funds to support research for a cure.  

Nationwide, the largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States, is donating much-needed funds to Animal Cancer Foundation on behalf of those who register for the virtual Nationwide Pet Cancer Awareness Walk hosted by WoofTrax, Inc. and Animal Cancer Foundation.

During the challenge, running through November 30, each time you walk your dog, Nationwide® pet insurance will donate 50 cents to  Animal Cancer Foundation, up to $60,000. These funds will help to fund life-saving cancer research.

The more you walk in the challenge, the more chances you have to win prizes for your favorite animal charity!

It is easy to join!

  1. Download and install the WoofTrax app.
  2. Enroll on WoofTrax and select any animal charity you like.
  3. Go to the “Challenges” tab at the bottom of the app and then Join the 2021 Nationwide® Pet Cancer Awareness Walk.
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Be sure to post photos and stories of your challenge walks to all of your social channels using the hashtag #curepetcancer and encourage others to join the challenge.

A cancer diagnosis is never welcome, and that’s no less true when a beloved pet is the one who’s sick. But early detection, better treatment options and the knowledge needed to make critical care decisions can make a difference.

“Nationwide members submitted claims for more than $49 million in 2020 for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in their pets,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer for Nationwide. “As pet lovers ourselves, we know the emotional impact behind these numbers, and that’s why we’re expanding our efforts in leveraging our industry-leading claims data to provide vital information to pet parents and veterinary teams alike.”

The nation’s leading pet health insurer is sharing the first of a series of analyses on which pets are more or less likely to develop cancer, and where those cancers are likely to occur.

Cancer in dogs: Mixed-breeds, purebreds and breed prevalance

Nationwide’s veterinary analytics team reviewed policy and claims information of more than 1.5 million Nationwide-insured dogs over a six-year period and identified the following insights:

Mixed-breed and cross-breed dogs are significantly less likely to have claims for cancer. Compared to purebred dogs as a group, dogs identified as mixed-breed or cross-breed (a mix of two purebreds) were 48% less likely to have submitted a claim for cancer than the average purebred dog.

• Purebreds report cancer at vastly different rates across breeds. Looking at the top 100 purebred dogs across Nationwide policies and when comparing the highest and lowest prevalence by breed, English Cocker Spaniels reported a cancer prevalence at 246% the rate of other dogs, compared with the Shiba Inu, a breed 62% less likely to have a claim for cancer than the average dog of any breed or mix.

Limiting the analysis to the top 10 most popular breeds among Nationwideinsured pets, the Boxer (7th most popular breed) was 161% more likely to report cancer, while the Chihuahua (8th most popular breed) was 47% less likely.

The importance of prevention and early detection

“The signs of cancer in pets can be vague, and can also be shared by other disease,” said Dr. Benson. “But having more information about cancer prevalence rates and what types of cancer are likely to occur can be key to an early diagnosis, and that can mean access to more treatment options and better outcomes.”

Dr. Benson advises that a veterinarian should check out any weight loss, drastic changes in appetite or thirst, or changes in energy level.

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Over the last 11 years, Nationwide has donated nearly $500,000 to the Animal Cancer Foundation’s mission to fund research and increase public awareness of comparative oncology, the study of naturally occurring cancers in pets and people.

Even when caught early, the expenses associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can limit the options available to pet parents. With Nationwide pet health insurance, many veterinary expenses associated with cancer diagnoses and treatments are eligible for reimbursement based on the member’s chosen coverage. To see plans available and get a quote for pet insurance for dogs, cats and many other kinds of pets, visit PetInsurance.com.

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