Dog at the vet

Dangers of Pet Obesity

Being overweight reduces both quality of life and life expectancy


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:

General impairments: 

  • Impaired breathing
  • High blood pressure
  • Difficult births / reproductive disorders
  • Exercise and heat intolerance
  • Decreased immune function
  • Increased health risks during anaesthesia

Locomotory disorders: 

  • Arthrosis
  • Arthritis
  • Intervertebral disc disorders
  • Fractures
  • 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): 

  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism

Urinary tract disorders:

  • Urinary stones
  • Increased susceptibility to bladder infections
  • Increased susceptibility to urethral infections
  • Urinary incontinence


  • Mammary tumours

Dermatological issues: 

  • Eczema


This list is only a glimpse into the wide range of diseases that an obese animal could experience.

A pet that is overweight...

Dog icon

could face major health problems in the future if left untreated. But you can do something about it!  

Countermeasures to Pet Obesity 

Dog looking at food

A serious health Issue

Find out more about obesity in pets and how to manage it

See here


Zoran DL. Obesity in Dogs and Cats: A Metabolic and Endocrine Disorder. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. 2010;40(2):221–239. (Obesity, Diabetes, and Adrenal Disorders). doi:10/bvm4td

PFMA Pet Obesity Reports
 2019  Veterinary Practice News.

Beyond the Belly: The health consequences of pet obesity. 
July 2017.

 Vets, Health Risks For Overweight Pets. 

VCA Corporate,
 Obesity in Dogs.

VCA Corporate, 
Obesity in Cats.

inder, D.E., Five Ways Being Overweight Can Harm Your Dog’s Health. Clinical Nutrition Service at Cummings School. 2017.

German AJ. The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats. The Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(7):1940S-1946S. 

Share now!