It shouldn’t surprise any dog owner that their pet is susceptible to certain ailments, just as all creatures are. Knowing what to expect will ensure that you are prepared to act in order to minimize the effects of health problems. This will minimize the potentially devastating emotional and financial toll these ailments can produce if symptoms are not responded to quickly. Knowing how to prevent avoidable problems is also a key to keeping your dog healthy and your vet bills low.
Potential Health Problems in your Dog
Your dog’s health problems may take longer to come to light because you won’t know there is a problem until your pooch shows clear physical or behavioral symptoms. Keep a close eye on your dog and examine him or her regularly for signs of trouble. In this way you may catch health issues before your pet begins to suffer. Knowing what to look for is essential.
Let’s start with an easy one to spot. Does pooch look a bit chunky? Is he 15% over his recommended weight? If so, you’ve got a dog with a weight issue. Left untreated it may cause diabetes or heart disease, both real threats to your canine friend. Liver disease, skin problems and other ailments may follow. Get your dog on the right diet with plenty of exercise, or risk losing your pet well before its time.
This dread disease may be caused by the dog being overweight or it might simply be in its genetic history. Make sure your furry friend is on a good diet consisting of the right number of calories, proper nutrients and essential vitamins. Table scraps are off limits – in fact, cut out all human food. If your dog develops diabetes that cannot be resolved with diet and exercise then regular trips to the vet along with medication and shots you may have to administer might ensue.
Arthritis and Dysplasia:
Older dogs have their aches and pains just like their masters. Some breeds are more inclined to joint problems than others. Keeping a dog with arthritis fit will be hard, and being overweight will compound the problem. If your dog develops arthritis or dysplasia the veterinarian will prescribe medication to ease the swelling and the pain. Change the dog’s diet and the kind of exercise it gets accordingly. These degenerative diseases can be managed if you’re willing to do what is required.
Dog’s ears, eyes, teeth and skin are susceptible to infection as places bacteria can invade. Check your dog all over for signs of infection that include redness, hot spots, swelling, oily sores, or rashes. Keep your canine friend’s ears clean. Brush its teeth weekly or more frequently, and give him or her a bath as often as your vet recommends – more often if trips to the lake or deep woods are part of its routine. Bacterial infections are easy to avoid but deadly if not caught, so check for problems regularly.
In a typical dog’s environment there are a myriad of allergens ranging from pollen and dust to chemicals in carpet or household cleaners, and of course, the common flea bite. Keep your dog on flea medication during flea season and check for infestation when petting or grooming your pooch. Hot spots on their skin, runny noses or watery eyes are other symptoms that should be examined by your animal doctor.
The best defense against canine health problems is a good offense. This includes your dog getting lots of good exercise, eating a healthy diet and regular vet visits for checkups and necessary shots. Stay on top of your dog’s health and you will be giving it the longest, happiest life possible.