The Dangers of Obesity in Pets

Our furry friends truly brighten up our lives with their adorable faces, funny antics, unwavering devotion, and charming personalities. It’s quite understandable that so many pet owners love to pamper their furry friends, often by giving them yummy food. We know our furry pals love to eat, and they are definitely experts when it comes to begging. Giving your furball a special snack or tidbit or an extra helping of food may seem like a harmless way to spoil your pet, but be careful! Those extra pounds can be very bad for your furry pal’s health! In this article, a Coon Rapids vet discusses some of the dangers of pet obesity.


Obesity is a major contributing factor in many cases of pet diabetes. Diabetes in pets, like that in humans, happens when the body cannot process sugar properly. Left untreated, the condition can become very serious, even life-threatening!

Skeletal Issues

Extra pounds are really hard on your furball’s bones and joints. Obese pets are much more likely to develop arthritis and hip dysplasia than those at healthy weights. In fact, about a quarter of overweight dogs develop serious problems with their joints.

Heart Trouble

Just as with people, obesity can be a huge factor in heart trouble in pets. Your furbaby’s heart has to work harder to pump blood if he is overweight. Overweight pets often have high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Breathing Problems

When a pet is overweight, lung function is often decreased. Those additional pounds make it hard for the lungs to get oxygen through your pet’s body. Animals with respiratory issues are even more at risk of having difficulty breathing if they are obese.

Liver Damage

When there is too much fat present in a pet’s body, liver function can be compromised. This can lead to some very serious trouble!

These are just some of the health risks associated with obesity in pets. Heat intolerance, reproductive issues; higher risk from surgical procedures and anesthesia; lower immunity; digestive problems; skin and coat issues; increased cancer risk; and shortened lifespans are also associated with or increased by obesity. If your furball is chubby, ask your Coon Rapids veterinarian to recommend a diet and exercise plan. Never put an animal on a crash diet, as it’s very dangerous for them. Instead, make slow and gradual changes, so those additional pounds come off safely.

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