Keeping a pet dog has immense rewards, from having furry companionship to the activity that comes from exercise and play. But as with most pet owners, ensuring their health can be a challenge.
The top 12 most common dog health problems include obesity, dental problems, allergies, parasites, arthritis, skin conditions, ear infections, urinary tract infections, eye problems, gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, and respiratory issues. To prevent these health problems, dog owners can take preventative measures such as providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, proper grooming, and regular visits to the veterinarian.
Our goal is to empower dog owners with the knowledge necessary to provide their pups with long-lasting well-being — both emotionally and physically.
Obesity is one of the most common health problems in dogs, and it should not be overlooked. Sadly, overweight pups can suffer from a number of negative health outcomes such as joint pain, organ disease, and other mobility issues.
Additionally, obesity has links to diabetes, liver disease, and even certain types of cancer. To keep dogs happy and healthy for a long time, owners should make sure to feed their pets the appropriate amount of food based on their age, size, and activity level.
2. Dental problems
Proper dental care is an important part of keeping your dog healthy. Without proper care, plaque buildup can lead to painful infections, loss of teeth, and even serious medical complications if left untreated for too long.
While it may be difficult to spot a dental problem in its early stages, some signs you should look out for are discolored teeth, excessive drooling or bad breath, swollen and bleeding gums, and difficulty eating.
Consequently, it’s important to establish a regular dental care routine with your vet that includes brushing your dog’s teeth regularly and having their teeth examined by a professional annually.
Allergies are a common health concern among dogs. These can take the form of food allergies, environmental allergies, or even contact allergies.
While most allergies dermatologically present with skin irritation, they can also cause chronic ear and respiratory infections.
Prevention is key to minimizing a dog’s risk of developing an allergy, which means all owners should be aware of what their pup may potentially be allergic to in their environment – such as plants, building materials inside the home, or certain processed ingredients in the food they eat.
Parasites can have a huge impact on canine health. Unfortunately, they are one of the most common problems dogs face. External parasites such as fleas and ticks can cause a number of issues for dogs, including skin irritation and discomfort.
Internal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms can lead to gastrointestinal disease.
Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding parasitic infestations in your dog; taking proactive measures such as using preventative medications or topical solutions, carrying out regular flea checks, washing your pet’s bedding regularly, and limiting their exposure to areas where they could become infested with parasites will all help in keeping them free from harm.
Arthritis is the most common of all chronic conditions in dogs and can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics and old age.
It’s characterized by joint stiffness, swelling, and pain that often affects larger breeds such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, and Labrador Retrievers.
However, any breed or size can suffer from arthritis as it’s estimated that half of all dogs over six years old show signs of this disease.
Taking preventative action is key to keeping arthritic pain at bay and includes making sure your pup has a healthy diet full of all the nutrients they need while limiting vigorous activities when possible.
Regular check-ups with the veterinarian should also be attended to provide early diagnosis and treatment options.
6. Skin conditions
Skin conditions are one of the most common health problems for dogs and can cause itchy, flaky skin. These conditions can be caused by a variety of things such as allergies, bacterial or fungal infections, and parasites like mites, fleas, and ticks.
Fortunately, skin conditions are often preventable through regular grooming, nutrition, and preventive care. Grooming your dog regularly helps to keep the coat and skin in good condition while proper nutrition supports healthy hair follicles and moisturized skin.
Regular vet visits can help ensure that any developing issues are caught quickly which is key for swift treatment.
Taking proactive steps like these can help ensure your pet’s overall well-being and avoid needless discomfort due to common skin conditions.
7. Ear infections
Ear infections are a very common health problem that can affect both young and old dogs. These infections can be caused by bacteria, yeast, allergies, or mites, and will cause intense discomfort for your pup.
Some of the common signs of an ear infection include redness and swelling in or around the ear, a foul odor coming from the ear, head shaking, and black or yellow discharge.
To prevent an ear infection from occurring or recurring in your pooch’s ears, make sure to dry their ears after every bath or swim and check them regularly for any possible signs.
Doing so will help to control moisture as well as irritants like dust mites which significantly lower the likelihood of future infections.
8. Urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections are among the most common health problems seen in dogs.
These infections can cause inflammation of the bladder which, along with struvite crystals formed by bacteria in the urine, can lead to difficult and painful urination and occasional blood present in the urine.
Fortunately, there are several ways to help prevent urinary tract infections and maintain overall urinary health in dogs.
Regular vet visits, ensuring your dog has access to plenty of water throughout the day, feeding a balanced diet that reduces the acidic content of the urine, and preventing stress are all important steps owners can take to reduce their pup’s risk of urinary tract infections.
If an infection does occur, early recognition and treatment are necessary as it can lead to further complications such as increased levels of potassium in the blood or even kidney failure if left untreated.
9. Eye problems
Eye problems are a common incidence for dog owners to encounter. Conditions such as cherry eye, dry eye, and lens luxations can cause visibility issues and discomfort for the animal.
Aside from being more prone to injuries due to vision impairment, dogs with vision problems may be less active and even withdrawn in some cases if the condition is left untreated.
That is why it is important for pet owners to take action as soon as possible when signs of an eye problem arise.
Taking your pup to its veterinarian as soon as you see early symptoms of an eye issue is essential since treatment at the onset has greater odds of success than letting conditions worsen after they have been allowed to persist.
Keep an eye on your pup’s eye health and follow up on its ophthalmologic consultations at regular intervals in order to ensure your furry friend maintains proper sight into old age.
10. Gastrointestinal Issues
Gastrointestinal issues are among the top 12 most common health problems for dogs. These can be caused by a variety of things, from eating something they shouldn’t to serious medical conditions.
Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite can be indicative of an underlying problem and should always be taken seriously by pet parents.
Taking preventative steps such as feeding quality food, avoiding stressful situations, providing regular exercise, and keeping up with regular vet visits can help maintain your dog’s good health and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal troubles.
Be sure to check with your vet about any concerns that you may have about digestive issues so that you can get on top of them quickly in order to keep your pup healthy and happy.
11. Heart Disease
Heart disease is a top threat to our beloved canine companions. It comes in several varieties, but it can generally be divided into two primary categories: structural and functional.
Structural heart diseases usually involve a physical abnormality of the heart, such as an enlargement or narrowing of the organ itself.
Functional heart disease involves abnormalities observed in the cardiac cycle, usually due to malfunctioning valves or electrical issues that disrupt the normal rhythm of the heart’s beating.
Early detection is key for managing these conditions and helping extend your pet’s life expectancy; regular physical examinations from your vet will help identify any potential problems with your dog’s heart health before they become life-threatening.
12. Respiratory Issues
Respiratory issues are among the top 12 health problems seen in domesticated canines.
Dogs can struggle with a variety of conditions, such as parenchymal diseases, bronchitis, and pneumonia, which can all affect their ability to breathe normally and get enough oxygen.
Knowing what signs your canine might show if they have respiratory problems is essential and can make a difference in how soon you take them to see the vet. An uptick in coughing or wheezing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and loss of appetite are among the common signs to look for.
To help prevent the onset of respiratory conditions, canine owners should take their pets for regular check-ups at the veterinarian so any issues can be treated quickly and effectively.
In conclusion, canine health issues are incredibly common and should not be taken lightly. Dog owners, both new and experienced, should always take the appropriate measures to ensure their pup is receiving the best possible care, from a balanced diet to regular vet visits.
Although none of us can guarantee our pups will remain healthy for life, the more action we take to prevent these common issues from arising in the first place, the more likely our pup will be to lead an active and happy life.