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Dog Health Problems – Guide to Understanding
Our dogs are not so different from us when it comes to health. Dogs can suffer from obesity, cancer, arthritis, anxiety, etc. Knowing when to schedule a vet appointment and when to allow your dog through an illness is the question pet owners frequently ask. It’s not like your dog can tell you what’s going on, so being prepared and understanding dog health issues is our best defense.
When a dog is not feeling well, they begin to show signs and one of the easiest for pet owners to recognize is a change in behavior. If he seems disoriented or slightly unbalanced, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Regularly checking your dog’s ears and keeping them clean during regular grooming can help prevent an ear infection.
Often the signs that your dog has health problems show up in urine and defecation. A strong smell of urine may indicate a bladder infection, while an increased need to relieve oneself may be a sign of Cushing’s disease. Changes in color and viscosity during defecation may indicate a digestive problem. It could be as simple as changing your dog’s diet or food brand quickly or maybe something worse.
Obesity is one of the most serious health problems in dogs. Obesity in dogs can lead to a host of problems like heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. Keep your dog healthy by reading the labels on his dog food bags. Most inexpensive commercial dog foods contain fillers and sugar. Additionally, while an active dog at a very young age may seem capable of burning calories, there is nothing offered in the food to boost their immune system. Older, inactive dogs will gain weight quickly and experience all of the health issues that come with canine obesity.
Several different brands of dog food are designed specifically for your dog. change the ingredients as the dog ages. Food is a wonderful preventative for dog health problems. A good quality dog food with healthy ingredients will provide the protein a growing, active dog needs while boosting their immune system. By giving your dog the right food for his age and activity group, you can avoid costly visits to the vet.
Allergies are another canine health issue that can affect some dogs. Dogs show similar symptoms to humans when they suffer from allergies. Watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose are common. Check your household cleaners and see if they allow pets. If not, observe where the dog spends its time to notice if it comes into contact with the cleaner.
Generally speaking, when your dog reaches the age of 10 to 12, he is considered a senior. Depending on the size of the breed, signs of aging may appear sooner or later. Health problems for dogs at this stage of their life could be cataracts, hearing loss, cancer, and joint pain associated with arthritis. Signs to look for are licking of joints, walking slowly, especially on stairs, and not seeming to hear you when calling or bumping into furniture as it crosses the room.
No matter the symptoms of your dog’s health issues, your four-legged family member never takes a chance. If symptoms persist after checking all of the common issues mentioned in this article, see your veterinarian or use the service on the Remarkable Dogs home page and “Ask a Vet”.
As pet owners, we speak for them, so tracking your dog’s behavior, diet, and daily needs is your best defense against your dog’s health issues. Regular six-monthly checkups from your veterinarian along with observation while making a few minor changes at home can prevent a host of health issues in dogs.
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