I know you want to keep your dog happy and healthy. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of common dog health problems, so you can catch ailments before they become much more serious. The sooner you can identify a dog’s health issues, the faster, easier, cheaper and healthier it will be to treat them. Also there’s less of a chance you will be emotionally devastated by losing your pet.
Dogs can have many the same kinds of health issues that humans do. The big difference is that your dog can’t tell you clearly when something is wrong. Plus dogs are genetically programmed not to let anyone know that they are suffering. Therefore, they often suffer silently with a problem, until finally the pain or discomfort gets just too much for them to handle.
Even when you know they are in pain, it is often difficult to understand what is going on. You have to be very alert and investigate the situation closely. This is why the best approach is to try to avoid having any problems with your dog’s health in the first place. You can do this by keeping your dog in the best possible health.
Let’s look at some of the more common dog health problems.
Infections can create some real problems for your dog, particularly in their ears, skin, eyes or teeth. Infections in their ears are particularly common in many breeds due to bacteria or foreign bodies lodging there. Therefore check your dog’s ears for signs of infection. These can be signs like excessive ear scratching, red spots, swelling, or may be excessive bad odor. In addition, regularly check for excess moisture, dirt, or foreign bodies present (like ticks).
Try to keep your dog’s ears and eyes as clean as possible so minimize the buildup of bacteria. Dog health problems can also be caused by allergies. A very common type of allergy in dogs is a flea allergy which can cause spots and can lead to infections. Use flea medication on your dog regularly and bring your pet to the vet regularly, to have him examined for a flea infestation. Your vet can also determine if the allergy is in fact a food allergy rather than one caused by fleas.
Diabetes is one of those dog health problems people don’t think of. Yes dogs can develop this disease as well, so it’s important to keep this in mind and learn to take preventative measures. If your dog eats food rich, fatty or sugary content, this can lead to diabetes. To avoid these problems, keep your dog on a strict regimen of high quality dog food with minimal table scraps or snacks. If your dog does develop diabetes, then you’ll need to have your pet treated by a vet regularly and regular shots may need to be administered as well.
Some breeds of dogs are quite susceptible to joint problems. This is particularly true with purebred dogs that have long and narrow joints. This can be minimized by ensuring that your dog receives important vitamins and minerals daily and is checked out by your vet once or twice a year.
Just like it is with humans, obesity is a big problem with dogs. Unfortunately this is one of the most common health issues in dogs today. This is caused by poor diet and insufficient exercise for your dog. Obesity can lead to a whole host of problems with your dog’s health including heart failure, liver disease, etc. Dog obesity is truly preventable.
If your dog is able to exercise regularly, eats a healthy diet, and its ears and eyes are kept clean you should have minimal health issues. Also it’s very important to bring your pet to the vet regularly to check for any potential problems. When you are there ask your vet what you should watch for with your breed of dog. Common dog health problems should be identified in the early stages to minimize bigger problems and heart ache down the road.
Author Cece Baird provides information on dog food cautions at her blog [http://economydogcare.com/dog-education-pages/dog-food-cautions/]