7 Common Dog Health Problems and How to Prevent Them

a guide for your pet

Seeing a pet in distress can be both alarming for the dog and the owner. Very often, it can be hard to diagnose the problem afflicting your animal, even though you know they are trying to tell you something is wrong.

Just like their owners, dogs can suffer from a list of complex problems and ailments over their lifetime.

Luckily, many of these can be diagnosed and treated at home. To assist, we have listed 7 of the most common dog health problems below.

  1. Ear Infections

Luckily, an ear infection is one of the easiest problems to spot in a dog. If your pet is shaking its head and scratching at the earlobes, it is a sign of an infection. Seek the help of a veterinarian immediately.

Ear infections can occur frequently as dirt, dust, and detritus from your dog’s outdoor activities can get lodged in their aural canal. This makes their ears itchy and painful. They can also give off a bad odor in worse infections.

You can prevent this by cleaning your dog’s ears regularly. If it does occur, most instances are treatable using antibiotic drops. If this does not work, it may be allergies or underlying skin conditions.

  1. Worms

There are a number of worms that may give your dog health problems. None of them are comfortable for your dog, and some can even be fatal.

Signs of a worm infestation are diarrhea and vomiting, weight loss, and changes in appetite, a generally poor appearance with a coat that is void of nutrients. Dogs can also often pull themselves along on their backside using their front legs as a sign of intestinal worms and general bad dog gut health.

One very dangerous parasite is the heartworm. Unlike other worms, it affects the heart instead of the gastrointestinal system, eating away at it until it causes cardiac arrest. Dogs can get it from drinking unclean water and it is very common in rescued street dogs in many parts of the world.

  1. Fleas

At some point in its life, any active, healthy dog will get fleas. They can quickly multiply if left untreated. In extreme cases, fleas can cause larger skin infections, allergic reactions, and anemia.

Fleas look like small, black fly with long legs that can quickly jump a long distance. the signs they may be inhabiting your dog’s fur include your dog biting and scratching his skin or any skin condition including hair loss. You should also look for small black grains, usually flea dirt, left in your dog’s coat.

Luckily, most remedies and many preventatives are available at pet stores. These can come in the form of medicine, collars, ointments, shampoos, and sprays.

  1. Arthritis

Just like their human counterparts, as dogs get older their joints can become inflamed due to arthritis. Dogs tend to suffer from osteoarthritis, often known as degenerative joint disease. It can occur naturally or may be the result of an old injury in your dog.

Signs that your dog may have arthritis tend to be a general slowing down of your pet. They may get up slower, avoid running, or be tentative when going for a walk.

Luckily it can be managed. A vet will give you a list of options about how to keep your dog healthy which may include exercises, weight control, and drugs. You can look at herbal remedies for your dog with this guide for your pet.

  1. Dog Health Problems Linked To Obesity

Obesity is actually a growing problem in dogs. However, it can be much harder to spot than people realize. This is due to the different genetics and breeds of dogs, and what qualifies as obese in each one. Luckily, it is extremely easy to fix.

If your dog is not treated, obesity can cause various types of health-related problems. Arthritis, diabetes, kidney, and heart disease are all common side effects. To treat obesity you need to readdress what and how much your dog is eating, along with its exercise regime.

  1. Vomiting

Vomiting is a side effect and can be a sign of a number of ailments giving your dog health issues. These could be due to parasites, poisoning, organ failure, heatstroke, and dehydration among others.

Dogs can vomit if something has simply not agreed with them. However, if they keep vomiting it can a sign of a major problem. Blood in the vomit or an inability to hold down food and liquid will require urgent medical attention. If your dog is vomiting in conjunction with diarrhea, they can risk dehydration which can be fatal.

Depending on the cause of the problem, your vet will administer therapy. This could be everything from regulating the diet to intravenous drips and fluids along with prescription drugs.

  1. Kennel Cough

If your dog has been in close proximity with other dogs, usually in a kennel or rescue center, then it is likely they may have contracted kennel cough. It is nothing too serious, though it can be unpleasant for your dog. It is essentially the common cold for dogs.

To address the problem, you should give your dog quality food and keep them hydrated. Try to keep them warm and avoid any walks in the rain or cold conditions for a few days if possible. If symptoms persist, your vet should be able to administer antibiotics for your pet.

Caring for Your Pet

To avoid all dog health problems and to keep your dog in the best condition, it helps to do a weekly check on them. Look behind their ears for signs of skin conditions or fleas, and check their mobility and joints when exercising. This can help you halt any problems before they get out of hand.

If you are looking for more advice on pets, then visit our blog. We have regular updates on everything you could want to know, across the whole range of pets and products. Pay us a regular visit starting today to keep your pooch in perfect condition!

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