What Are The Most Common Health Problems For Dogs?

When you add a new dog to your family, you are committing to looking after them for their entire life. For many people, a dog is just like another child and so any health problems are taken extremely seriously. Not only should you have a registered vet that you can visit from time to time to check on your dog, but you should also know about the common health problems that you should look out for. To help you make sure that your dog is healthy and that your family doesn’t lose a beloved member sooner than necessary, we have gathered some information on the most common health problems for dogs. Read on to hear what these are so you can spot the signs right away. 

Cataracts

You’ve heard of humans getting cataracts as they get older, but did you know that this is actually a very common problem for older dogs? Dogs need to be able to see in order to find their food and navigate their way around your home or the park but as they get older, their eyes start to deteriorate. Cataracts don’t just appear as a result of old age though as trauma can also cause this kind of health problem. If your dog has been in an accident or has had a hard life before it joined your family, you might want to get them checked out for cataracts. This way, you’ll get advice from the professionals on how best to look after your dog over time. 

Pancreatitis

According to the experts, pancreatitis is on the rise when it comes to dogs around the world. The pancreas is a very small organ between the stomach and the small intestine and if it gets inflamed over time, the duct can become blocked. This can result in enzymes not passing freely to the intestine which can be a big problem for dogs and their digestion. Some of the common symptoms of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhoea and an arched back. One of the common causes of pancreatitis in dogs is processed dog food that is difficult to break down. Often, the best dog food for pancreatitis is raw food. You can learn more about pancreatitis and how to help your dog here. 

Ear Infections

Many of us love to call our dog’s name and watch them come running. How great is it when you can whisper the word ‘walk’ and your dog will all of a sudden know what you are suggesting? While dogs have pretty good hearing, they can develop issues throughout their lives such as ear infections. This can be much more common in dogs that spend a lot of time outside. You’ll find that this is due to the dirt and dust that can get in there when they are rolling around in the park. The good news is that this health problem can be easily rectified most of the time by using ear drops that are given by the vet. Just make sure you keep your dog’s ears clean to prevent this issue from happening in the future.

Arthritis

Another common health problem that some older dogs experience over time is arthritis. This can be really sad to watch as typically, older dogs suffering from this problem will become slower and find it hard to move around. If you have noticed that in the mornings or during the cooler weather your dog is less active, it might be a sign that they are starting to develop arthritis. Sadly, this problem can be painful for the dog, but they won’t typically make much noise about it. While there isn’t really a cure for this disease, you can ease the pain by offering your dog some anti-arthritic medicine and making sure that they are getting enough exercise. 

Fleas and Ticks

Typically, dogs will experience fleas or ticks over the course of their lifetime. Fleas are much more common and easier to deal with than ticks, so this is something to be aware of. Depending on where you are located, ticks could cause more serious health problems for your dogs and so it is always best to check them over before you bring them inside. Unfortunately, you can’t always stop a dog from rolling around in the woods where you’ll find ticks and fleas, but you can keep them clean and check for any at the end of each day. You can pick up some flea treatment from your local pet store so make sure to look into this. 

Obesity

Over time, dogs can start to build up on the food that they are eating, and this can result in them getting obese. How often do you feed your dog the leftovers from your plate right after you have given them their own dinner? This can be an easy mistake to make but you need to recognise that dogs will continue to eat as long as you are giving them food. If you let your dog, get to the stage that they are being classified as obese by the vet, you could find that their health condition can worsen further. Obesity in dogs can lead to kidney disease, heart disease and more. Take a look at the diet that your dog is currently on and adjust their food accordingly. You should try to keep them on track and avoid too many snacks to keep them healthy for longer. 

Diarrhoea

The last common health problem in dogs on our list is one that not many people want to talk about. When your dog has diarrhoea, it can be very hard to deal with, especially when it comes to keeping your home clean. Just like with humans, this health problem can be brought on for a number of reasons such as bad food or allergic reactions. However, you should note that sometimes, diarrhoea is a sign of something a bit more serious, so it is always best to get them checked out by the vet. One case of diarrhoea is not something that you necessarily need to worry about right away. However, if you spot this happening frequently, make an appointment with your vet. They will be able to tell you if there are any more serious issues that need to be addressed to keep your dog healthy for longer. 

Look Out For These Problems

Dogs can grow up quickly and so while you might not think that you have a dog old enough to have serious health problems, you might be surprised. It is important that you are aware of the common health problems and that you can recognise the signs that could indicate that something more serious is at play. Look at your dog’s diet, make sure that they are getting enough exercise and call your vet if you spot anything that might be related to an issue. A dog is a vital part of any family so you need to keep them healthy in the same way that you would a human. If your dog is your best friend, spot these signs early on and let them live a long and happy life.

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