The risks of pet obesity are similar to the hazards of human obesity and show that being overweight is a serious health hazard. It reduces both quality of life and life expectancy. The following diseases are reported to be associated with pet obesity:
- Impaired breathing
- High blood pressure
- Difficult births / reproductive disorders
- Exercise and heat intolerance
- Decreased immune function
- Increased health risks during anaesthesia
- Intervertebral disc disorders
- Tearing of cruciate ligaments
- Joint pain
Cardiorespiratory disorders (affecting the heart and breathing):
- Tracheal collapse (collapse of the windpipe with partial closure)
- Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome
- Laryngeal paralysis (paralysis of the larynx)
Endocrinopathies (diseases caused by hormonal disorders):
Urinary tract disorders:
- Urinary stones
- Increased susceptibility to bladder infections
- Increased susceptibility to urethral infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Mammary tumours
This list is only a glimpse into the wide range of diseases that an obese animal could experience.
A pet that is overweight...
could face major health problems in the future if left untreated. But you can do something about it!
PFMA Pet Obesity Reports 2019. https://www.pfma.org.uk/pet-obesity-reports Veterinary Practice News.
Beyond the Belly: The health consequences of pet obesity. July 2017. https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/beyond-the-belly-the-health-consequences-of-pet-obesity/
Greencross Vets, Health Risks For Overweight Pets. https://www.greencrossvets.com.au/pet-library/articles-of-interest/the-risks-for-overweight-pets/
VCA Corporate, Obesity in Dogs. vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/obesity-in-dogs
VCA Corporate, Obesity in Cats. vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/obesity-in-cats
Linder, D.E., Five Ways Being Overweight Can Harm Your Dog’s Health. Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School. 2017. https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/10/dogobesity/
German AJ. The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(7):1940S-1946S. doi:10/ghvn5m