Our dogs are not all that dissimilar from us when it comes to health. Dogs can experience obesity, cancer, arthritis, anxiety, etc. Knowing when to make a veterinarian appointment and when to allow your dog to work through an illness is the question pet owners frequently ask. It is not as if your dog can tell you what is happening so being prepared and understanding dog health problems are our best defense.
When any dog is not feeling well they begin to show signs and one the easiest for pet owners to recognize is a change in behavior. If they seem disoriented or slightly off-balance, this could be a sign of an ear infection. Checking your dog’s ears regularly and keeping them clean during regular grooming can help prevent an ear infection.
Often the signs that your dog is having health problems will show up in urine and defecation. An intense odor from urine may indicate a bladder infection while an elevated need to relieve themselves could be a sign of Cushing’s disease. Changes in color and viscosity in defecation may point to a digestive problem. This could be as simple as changing your dog’s diet or brand of dog food to quickly or perhaps something worse.
One the more serious dog health problems is obesity. Dog obesity can lead to a host of issues like heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. Keep your dog trim and fit by reading the labels on their dog food bags. Most inexpensive commercial dog food contains fillers and sugar. Moreover, while an active dog at a very young age may seem to be able to burn off the calories there is nothing offered in the food to build their immune system. Older inactive dogs will quickly gain weight and experience all the health problems that accompany dog obesity.
Several different brands of dog food are designed specifically for your dog; changing ingredients as a dog ages. Diet is a wonderful preventive for dog health problems. A good quality dog food with wholesome ingredients will provide the protein a growing and active dog needs while giving their immune system a boost. By feeding your dog the appropriate dog food for their age and activity group, you can prevent costly Vet visits down the road.
Allergies are another dog health problem that can affect some dogs. Dogs will show similar symptoms as humans when suffering from allergies. Watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose are common. Check your household cleaners and see if they are pet friendly. If not, observe where dog spends his time noticing if he/she is coming in contact of the cleaner.
Generally speaking, when your dog reaches the age of 10 to 12 years old they are considered a senior citizen. Depending on the size of the breed signs of old age, may appear earlier or later. Dog health problems at this time in their lives could be cataracts, hearing loss, cancer, and joint pain associated with arthritis. The signs to look for are licking of the joints, slow walking especially up stairs, and cannot seem to hear you when you call or bumps into furniture as they walk through the room.
No matter the symptoms of dog health problems your four-legged family member is demonstrating never take a chance. If symptoms persist after you have checked all the common issues mentioned in this article consult with your Veterinarian or use the service on the Remarkable Dogs home page and “Ask a Vet.”
As pet owners, we speak for them so keeping track of your dog’s behavior, diet, and daily needs are your best defense to dog health problems. Regular bi-annual checkups from your Veterinarian as well as observation while making some minor changes at home can prevent a host of dog health problems.