The Dangers Of Obesity In Pets

Pet Obesity Awareness Day is coming up on October 12th. Obesity is a huge issue among our animal companions. Chubby pets may look cute, but they face some very serious health issues. A Lexington, KY vet lists some common health problems associated with pet obesity below.

Skin Problems

Overweight pets have a hard time grooming themselves. They also sometimes get skin folds, which can trap oils, dirt, and bacteria. The resulting skin and fur problems can make pets horribly uncomfortable, and can also cause secondary issues, such as infections.

Respiratory Issues

Extra weight also makes it difficult for your pet’s respiratory system to function properly. For example, overweight dogs are more prone to a collapsing trachea and laryngeal paralysis. They’ll also get winded more easily when running or playing.

Heat Intolerance

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are both serious risks for pets. Extra pounds can make it even harder for your furry friend to cope with high temperatures!

Cancer Risk

Obesity has also been associated with an increased risk of several cancers in pets, including mammary and urinary tract cancers.


This one is very concerning, as so many pets develop painful and debilitating problems with their bones and joints. Your furry buddy’s bones, joints, and ligaments will be supporting and moving around more weight than they are really able to hold, increasing the risk of painful issues, such as hip dysplasia.

Heart Disease

Obesity makes it harder for your pet’s cardiovascular system to function properly. That increases the risk of heart disease.

Reproductive Issues

We recommend that dogs and cats be spayed or neutered. That said, obesity can increase the risks of reproductive issues. This could potentially endanger not just your own pet’s life, but also their offsprings’.


This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the health issues that have been linked to obesity. Others include diabetes, liver and kidney issues, lowered immunity, and shortened lifespan. Plus, the negative effects of obesity are unfortunately cumulative. As your pet gets heavier, it will be harder for them to stay active. That in turn will make it easier for them to gain weight. If you know or suspect that your four-legged friend is overweight, talk to your vet about helping them trim down safely.

As your Lexington, KY pet hospital, we’re here to help! Contact us anytime!

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