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8 Common Health Issues in Dogs and How to Prevent Them | Pupford

January 31st, 2024

Filed under Dog Health, Health + Wellness

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As devoted and responsible pet parents, it is important to be aware of common health issues in dogs and take proactive steps to prevent them as much as possible.

In this blog post, you will learn about 8 common health issues in dogs, as well as ways to prevent them and signs of health concerns. With this information, you will be able to ensure your beloved pup lives a long and healthy life!

Table of Contents:

  1. Obesity
  2. Dental Problems
  3. Kennel Cough
  4. Parasites and Fleas
  5. Allergies
  6. Arthritis and Joint Issues
  7. Ear Infections
  8. Respiratory Issues

Let's look at each one below. 👇

Obesity

a photo of a pug on a scale being weighed

Obesity is a growing concern among dogs, affecting their overall health, life span, and quality of life. Excess weight can lead to diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular issues.

Factors contributing to canine obesity include overfeeding, lack of exercise, and unhealthy dietary choices.

Portion control is essential, and pet parents should tailor their dog's diet to their breed, age, health conditions, and specific nutritional needs. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate caloric intake and choose a high-quality, well-balanced diet.

Regular exercise is equally crucial in preventing obesity. Dogs, like humans, benefit from daily physical activity.

Engage your dog in regular walks, playtime, and mentally stimulating activities. Adjust the exercise routine based on the dog's age, size, breed, and physical abilities.

Obesity prevention also involves avoiding excessive treats and considering low-calorie alternatives.

Our Freeze-Dried Training Treats are a great low-calorie option that are packed with nutrients!

Dental Problems

picture of a brown and white dog holding a yellow toothbrush in his mouth

Dental health is often overlooked in dogs, but it is crucial to their overall well-being.

Dental issues, like gum disease and tooth decay, can lead to pain and discomfort. Regular brushing is one of the most effective ways to maintain good dental hygiene in dogs. Use a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste, and gradually introduce the routine to make it a positive experience.

Shop our Dog Dental Care Pack for everything you need to ensure oral health and hygiene!

In addition to brushing, provide dental chews and toys designed to promote oral health. These items help to minimize bad breath and reduce plaque and tartar buildup, contributing to healthy teeth and gums.

Regular professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian are also recommended to address any issues that may not be visible during at-home care.

Kennel Cough

a photo of a husky mix dog being examined at the vet

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that poses a risk in environments where dogs interact closely.

Vaccination is a key preventive measure against kennel cough. Puppies and dogs that frequently socialize with other dogs or visit places where other dogs frequent such as parks, groomers, and daycares, should receive the vaccine as part of their routine vaccinations.

To further prevent the spread of kennel cough, avoid crowded places during outbreaks and practice good hygiene. Regularly wash your hands and clean shared spaces, including toys and bowls.

If your dog displays symptoms such as a persistent cough, consult with a veterinarian promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Learn everything you need to know about kennel cough in our Guide to Kennel Cough blog post.

Parasites and Fleas

a photo of an Australian Shepherd puppy itching

Parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and worms, can cause discomfort and pose a risk of various health issues in our dogs.

Regular preventive measures are crucial to keep these pests at bay. Use vet-recommended flea and tick medications according to the dog's size and lifestyle.

Where you live and the climate will impact what types of parasites your dog is at risk of encountering. Always check with your veterinarian to see what preventative measures are needed based on your geographic location.

Regularly inspect your dog's coat for signs of fleas, ticks, or other parasites, especially after outdoor activities. These parasites like to hide in warm, damp places such as behind the ears, in between the toes, and around the tail.

Maintaining a clean living environment is equally important. Regularly vacuum and wash your dog's bedding to eliminate flea eggs and larvae. Outdoor spaces where your dog spends time should also be treated to prevent infestations.

Consult with a veterinarian to determine the most effective parasite prevention plan tailored to your dog's specific needs.

Allergies

a photo of a cream colored small dog sneezing

Dogs, like humans, can suffer from allergies, whether environmental, food-related or due to specific substances.

Allergic reactions may manifest as skin issues, gastrointestinal problems, or respiratory difficulties. Identifying and eliminating allergens from a dog's environment is crucial in managing and preventing allergic reactions.

If you suspect your dog has allergies, consult with a veterinarian for proper testing. This may involve dietary trials to identify potential food allergies or skin tests to determine environmental allergens.

Once identified, allergens can be avoided or minimized. In some cases, dietary adjustments, hypoallergenic foods, or allergy medications may be recommended.

Arthritis & Joint Issues

a photo of a senior black dog laying on a bed

As dogs age, arthritis and joint issues can become prevalent, affecting their mobility and quality of life.

Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are crucial in preventing and managing arthritis. Tailor the exercise routine to your dog's age, breed, and physical condition. Low-impact activities like swimming or gentle walks are beneficial for joint health.

Diet plays a significant role in joint health. Choose a high-quality dog food with joint-supporting nutrients such as glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids.

If your dog shows signs of arthritis, consult with a veterinarian for appropriate medications or supplements. Providing comfortable bedding and considering joint supplements can contribute to maintaining optimal joint health.

Ear Infections

a photo of a dog getting their ear cleaned to prevent infection

Ear infections are common in dogs, especially those with floppy ears or a history of allergies.

Regular ear cleaning is a crucial preventive measure. Use a veterinarian-recommended ear-cleaning solution and gently clean your dog's ears, especially if they are prone to wax or dirt buildup.

Regularly monitor your dog for signs of ear infections, such as excessive scratching, head shaking, or unpleasant odor. If you notice any abnormalities, seek prompt veterinary attention.

Avoid excessive moisture in the ears, especially after baths or swimming. Your veterinarian may recommend ear-drying solutions or ear medications to prevent infections.

Learn everything you need to know to keep your dog’s ears healthy in our Dog Ear Care guide.

Respiratory Issues

a photo of a young pug in a harness

Certain breeds, especially brachycephalic dogs with short noses and flat faces, are prone to respiratory issues. These dogs may experience breathing difficulties, particularly in extreme weather conditions.

Preventive measures include avoiding exposure to smoke and pollutants, providing proper ventilation in living spaces, avoiding strenuous exercise during hot or humid weather, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Consider using a harness instead of a collar to reduce pressure on the neck and throat.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for identifying and addressing respiratory issues early on. Discuss any concerns about your dog's breathing or respiratory health with your veterinarian.

Common Health Issues in Dogs Recap

Proactively addressing and preventing common health issues in dogs requires dedication, awareness, and regular veterinary care. By incorporating detailed preventive measures into a dog's routine, pet parents can ensure their pups lead happy, healthy lives.

Remember that each dog is unique, so consulting with a veterinarian to tailor a health plan specific to their needs is crucial. Through responsible ownership and proactive care, we can significantly enhance the well-being of our beloved canine companions.

Shop our Health line of products for everything you need for a happy and healthy pup!

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