Owning a dog comes with great responsibility. Dogs are intuitive, loving, and reliant creatures. They require the basic tender love and care, but also for us to ensure their needs are being accounted for and met.
There are a variety of issues that may come up over your dog’s lifespan. Some are foreseeable and avoidable, while others simply happen depending on your pet’s individual circumstances. Understanding common health problems in dogs will allow you to be more prepared prior to adopting.
It’s weird to say that some avoidable issues are unavoidable, but here’s how. Avoidable things include ear infections, heartworm, broken bones, the infiltration of fleas and ticks on your dog, or kennel cough. These are ailments and issues that come with choices and exposures. Just as with humans, life happens, and these “avoidable issues” become something to deal with.
All you can do to try and prevent these things from happening is closely monitor your dog to ensure unnecessary risks aren’t being taken, arm them with parasite defense medicines, be aware of where they go when you need them cared for, and take your pet to the vet regularly.
Routine check-ups and maintaining awareness of changes in your dog’s health or behavior keeps these issues from becoming more serious. Basic tests can detect many small problems and be dealt with before they leave room for long-term effects to occur.
Some conditions that occur in dogs are age-related. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ve surely said, “They just don’t live long enough.” Unfortunately, they age rapidly compared to humans and we only get them for a short while.
Some of the more inevitable conditions that could occur are cataracts, arthritis, or hip dysplasia. (Bear in mind these aren’t guaranteed, though.) Age-related problems in dogs are another reason to have regular physicals with a medical professional just like you would with yourself as you age.
Some conditions occur in specific dog breeds that are rarely seen in other breeds. For instance, larger breeds tend to suffer from hip dysplasia as well as other joint and limb issues. However, some smaller breeds with shortened legs such as Dachshunds or Corgis may have similar problems. When choosing to adopt a dog, do some research on common breed related issues. This shouldn’t deter you from homing a pup, just to help you anticipate and take precautions as they age.
Dogs are great companions and bring a lot of joy and love into people’s lives. Just as anything else worth loving or worth having, dogs need to be cared for. Maintaining awareness of common health problems in dogs will allow you to better prepare for anything that comes your way. Acting early and keeping your dog comfortable through their life is part of what makes you a great pet owner.