An overweight cat standing near a scale.

Although they might look adorable when they have a little extra floof, obesity in dogs and cats can lead to a lot of health problems. The team at Hampton Veterinary Hospital wants to help you keep your pets as healthy as possible, which is why we think it’s important to understand the dangers of obesity in pets.

Respiratory Issues

Extra weight puts more strain on the heart and lungs, which can lead to significant breathing issues. It can also cause heart disease and high blood pressure. The extra pressure placed on the respiratory system could even lead to a collapsed trachea or laryngeal paralysis, which, without treatment, could lead to premature death.

Mobility Issues

Dogs and cats have small bodies, and any amount of extra weight can put undue strain on muscles and joints. Obese pets are much more likely to suffer from arthritis, torn ACLs, and hip and knee issues. When it’s more difficult to move, it’s more difficult to lose weight. Try to keep your pets at a healthy weight to avoid these issues and provide them with a better quality of life.

Increased Cancer Risk

Unfortunately, obese pets are also more likely to develop certain tumors and cancers. Overweight dogs and cats are more susceptible to lipomas. They also have a higher chance of dealing with bladder and breast cancer. 


Canine and feline diabetes are dangerous diseases that could negatively impact your pet’s health. In fact, diabetic pets are more likely to suffer from:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Pancreatitis
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections

Ways to Prevent Obesity in Pets

Canine and feline nutrition is paramount to a healthy weight. It is important to work with your veterinarian to determine how much food your pet needs and do not feed them more than that. Dogs and table food can sneak in some extra calories, so be careful not to give your pup too much human food. Watch how many treats you give your pets, too, which are another source of calories. Make sure your pets get plenty of exercise each day.

If you need help figuring out how to keep your pets at a healthy weight, Hampton Veterinary Hospital is here for you. We offer nutrition and weight management recommendations at every wellness visit to help you and your pet. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (603) 926-7978.