If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ll know exactly why people call them man’s best friend. They’re always happy to see you, and unlike cats will stick with you for a lifetime! Like any pet though, dogs go through a range of health problems in their life. If you want your pooch to be as happy and comfortable as possible, then here are some common health problems to be aware of.
First of all, heartworms. I don’t want to alarm you, but this is one of the more serious conditions a dog can get. Heartworm larvae enter the dog through a mosquito bite, so it can be hard to detect. Once infected, the larvae can develop into massive worms, causing all kinds of pain and potentially death for your pet. The symptoms include lethargy and coughing. Some dogs have even shown depression; not reacting to their owners coming home and moping around the house. You can reduce your dog’s chances of getting heartworm in the first place by using mosquito-repellent medication, such as K9 Advantix ii. However, if they start to show these symptoms, take them to a vet as soon as possible.
Another common problem with dogs is obesity. This isn’t something which people usually associate with dogs, but it’s a very real health risk which you need to be aware of. Just like in humans, obesity can up the risk of many serious health issues in canines. If your dog is overweight, then it will have an increased risk of liver disease, diabetes, and joint pain. There’s an easy way to check if your dog’s a healthy weight or not. You should be able to run your hand along its back and feel its spine without having to press down. There should also be a visible waist between the lower ribs and back legs. Like the disease, we share the solution with our pets. Talk to your vet about a healthier food and exercise plan. Sites like Dog Food Advisor can be a big help in finding low-fat brands.
Finally, kennel cough. Don’t let the cutesy name fool you. What some people call “kennel cough” is a highly infectious kind of bronchitis. It causes inflammation of your dog’s voice box and windpipe, and is characterised by strange wheezing and coughing. It’s almost always caught from other dogs after stays in a kennel, hence the nickname. Your vet might be able to give you some antibiotics, but usually the condition will subside after it’s run its course. Although it’s not usually serious, kennel cough is extremely unpleasant for the dog. To reduce your chances, try to find a private dog sitter rather than sending your pet to the kennel. The longer your dog spends around its own kind, the higher the risk is of it catching kennel cough.
Keep an eye out for these three conditions in your dog. It can be tough to watch your furry friend suffer. However, preventative measures and a cautious attitude will keep this to a minimum.