1. Intestinal ParasitesThese include tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms, among others. The most common, as cited by Perdue University include tapeworms and roundworms. The intestinal parasite that is the most dangerous to your dog is heartworm. Heartworm is a serious condition and treatment is very difficult. The best way to protect your pet against heartworm is to give a prevention medication monthly. Please discuss your options for prevention with your veterinarian.
3. ObesityAccording to PetObesityPrevention.org, as of 2013 52.5% of dogs were overweight or obese. These statistics aren't all that surprising seeing how the number has increased in the human population as well. When determining if your pet is the correct weight, I recommend using the Body Condition Score chart. Always work with your veterinarian to determine your dog's ideal weight and Body Condition Score.
4. ArthritisAccording to VetStreet.com, 65% of dogs between the ages of 7 and 11 years old suffer from arthritis. Arthritis is exacerbated by excessive weight, and will sometimes worsen with age. Although there are many medications available to treat arthritis, there are some holistic methods as well. Some veterinarians will recommend starting your dog on supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin to help support cartilage and joint function.
5. Allergies/Skin IssuesI am grouping together allergies and skin issues here. However, it is important to understand that they are not one in the same. Some skin issues experienced by dogs are caused by allergies (like flea allergy and inhaled allergy), but some are not. Additionally, allergies can present in ways other than skin issues. Why are skin issues so prevalent in dogs? Well, maybe because there are over 160 different skin disorders seen in dogs, and some of these are chronic issues (PetMD). Some skin issues are curable, and some are not. Additionally, some issues can be a symptom of something else occurring with your dog, like a thyroid disorder. It is imperative to work with your veterinarian to diagnose your dog's skin issues and produce a treatment plan.
7. Toxicity/PoisoningOur dogs can be curious creatures, and, unfortunately, our everyday lives contain a lot of items that can be toxic or poisonous to them. According to the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) the Top 10 poisons from 2011 were; foods (chocolate/xylitol/grapes/raisins), insecticides, mouse or rat poison, NSAIDS human drugs, household cleaners, antidepressants, fertilizers, acetaminophen (Tylenol), amphetamine human drugs (ADD/ADHD medications), and veterinary pain relievers (Rimadyl, Dermaxx and Previcox). If you ever have the suspicion that your pet ate something poisonous, please immediately call your veterinarian, an emergency veterinarian, or the Pet Poison Helpline.
8. Upset Stomach/VomitingA number of different things can cause vomiting or stomach upset. Whatever you think the cause may be, vomiting is not natural and should be addressed with your veterinarian. Vomiting is often a sign of a gastrointestinal blockage, toxicity, or other serious diseases or disorders.
9. Intestinal Upset/DiarrheaDiarrhea is another clear signal that something is not right with your pet. Ongoing diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so it is important to speak with your veterinarian to determine the cause and create a treatment plan.
10. Bladder Infection/Urinary Tract InfectionsOften pet parents think the reason their dog is urinating in the house is due to a behavioral issue. However, it is always important to first rule out an infection. UTIs or Bladder infections are typically coupled with frequent urination, increased water consumption, lethargy, and inappropriate urination. If your pet is showing any of these signs, it is important that you take them to see your veterinarian. I hope that this information provided you with some valuable insight into the common health issues for dogs. Please share in the comment below your personal experiences regarding these issues. Sources: Perdue University: https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/4h/4-h-852-w.pdf Dogs.About.com: http://dogs.about.com/od/dogandpuppyhealth/tp/10-Common-Dog-Health-Problems.htm Veterinary Pet Insurance: https://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health/Top-10-Dog-Medical-Conditions.aspx American Veterinary Dental College: http://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease.html Pet Obesity Prevention: http://www.petobesityprevention.org/2012-national-pet-obesity-survey-results/ VetStreet http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/dealing-with-canine-arthritis PetMD http://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/evr_dg_remedies_for_arthritis_in_dogs?page=2 PetMD http://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/evr_dg_skin_problems Vetstreet http://www.vetstreet.com/care/chronic-otitis-chronic-ear-infection-in-dogs Pet Poison Helpline http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/2012/01/top-10-most-frequently-reported-poison-dangers-for-dogs-in-2011/
Rachel Sheppard Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector. After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.