The most common dog diseases: Recognize, understand and prevent

My dog is not just a pet - he is part of the family. But what if he suddenly behaves differently? When he no longer romps around so happily or leaves his food lying around?

Just like us humans, dogs can get sick. It is important to recognize the signs in time to be able to help him. We show you, Which diseases are most common in dogs, how to recognize them and what to do about them. Stay informed and make sure your dog stays healthy!

The most common diseases in dogs

Sports and exercise are not only important for us humans, but also for our dogs. An active lifestyle not only prevents diseases, but also alleviates existing symptoms. But first, let's take a look at the problems.

Skin diseases in dogs

Dogs love to be outside and explore the world. However, just like us humans, they are also prone to various skin diseases. Here are the most common ones:

  • Allergies: Like humans, dogs can be allergic to pollen, dust or certain foods. Typical symptoms are itching, redness or swelling of the skin.
  • Fungal infections: If your dog scratches frequently or you notice bald patches in the coat, this may be a sign of a fungal infection. These infections often occur in moist or sweaty areas.
  • Parasite infestation: Fleas and mites are annoying pests that can make your dog's life miserable. Frequent scratching and biting may indicate that your dog is infested with these parasites.

The good news? Regular exercise and exercise with your dog can help reduce some of these skin problems. A healthy coat, good circulation, and the release of endorphins during exercise help improve your dog's skin health and minimize the risk of skin conditions.

Gastrointestinal diseases in dogs

Our dog's stomach and intestines are just as sensitive as our own. The wrong food or an unexpected piece of chocolate - and there are problems. Digestion in dogs can sometimes be complicated, and there are some common problems you should watch out for:

  • Gastritis: If your dog suddenly leaves his bowl, vomits frequently or has a bloated belly, he could have gastritis.
  • Diarrhea and constipation: Every dog owner knows this. Sometimes the feces is too soft, sometimes nothing comes. Both are not only unpleasant for the dog, but can also indicate serious problems.
  • Foreign body in the digestive tract: Dogs are curious and sometimes grab things that do not belong in their stomachs. Whether socks, toys or sticks - such foreign objects can lead to serious complications.

But: exercise can help! An active lifestyle helps your dog's digestion. Long walks or a game at the park help keep the digestive tract moving. A good metabolism can alleviate or even prevent many of the problems mentioned above. However, only consistent education or high vigilance on your part will help against ingesting unknown things.

Cardiovascular diseases in dogs

Our dogs accompany us through thick and thin. But even their heart can sometimes get out of step:

  • Heart failure: The heart becomes weaker and is no longer able to pump blood effectively through the body. Shortness of breath, coughing or reduced performance are possible signs.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias: An irregular heartbeat may indicate that something is wrong. It can be harmless, but it does not have to be.

Preventive health care starts with an active lifestyle. Regular exercise not only strengthens your dog's muscles and stamina, but also keeps his heart pumping. Whether it's a brisk walk or an energetic game outdoors, exercise is good for your dog's heart gene and prevents disease. And regular check-ups at the vet help with early detection.

Orthopedic diseases in dogs

Every jump, every romp - all this puts a strain on our dog's bones and joints. But sometimes our best friend suddenly shows signs of pain or restricted mobility. A healthy musculoskeletal system ensures that our dog can happily jump through life. But there are dangers lurking here, too:

  • Hip joint dysplasia: This is a deformity of the hip that occurs mainly in large dogs. An atypical gait or pain when standing up can indicate this.
  • Osteoarthritis: This is a wear and tear of the joints that occurs mainly in older dogs. It is often manifested by stiffness after standing up or hesitation when jumping.
  • Herniated disc: As in humans, the intervertebral discs can also cause problems in dogs. Pain, numbness or even paralysis are possible symptoms.

Exercise works wonders! With targeted exercise, you can alleviate or prevent these complaints. Joint-friendly sports such as swimming or quiet walks strengthen the muscles and keep the joints mobile. This way you help your dog to stay fit and active for a long time.

Other diseases

It's not just bones and joints that can give our dogs a hard time. Other parts of the body are also susceptible to diseases.

  • Diabetes: Yes, dogs can also get diabetes. Watch for increased drinking, frequent urination or weight loss despite a good appetite.
  • Tumor diseases: Lumps, swellings or noticeable changes in your dog's behavior can be signs of a tumor. Early detection is the key.
  • Eye diseases: Cloudy eyes, frequent blinking or excessive eye discharge? These may be signs of eye disease.

Prevention is often the best medicine. Regular visits to the vet, a healthy diet and sufficient exercise help to minimize the risk of these diseases.

Sick dog

How can you tell if your dog is sick?

Dogs can't tell us with words when they are not feeling well. But they show it in other ways. Here are some hints and tips on how to keep an eye on your dog's health.

Changes in the behavior of the dog

Every dog owner knows the individual characteristics and habits of his pet. But what if these habits suddenly change for no apparent reason? Dogs not infrequently have a "bad day", just like us humans. However, clear and persistent changes in the dog's behavior can be a warning signal.

If your normally playful dog suddenly shows a lack of drive, retreats into a corner or changes his eating and drinking behavior, you should take these signs seriously. These changes may indicate that your dog is unwell or even sick. He may be in pain or have a problem that is not immediately apparent. A sudden loss of appetite or increased drinking should not be ignored either.

In case of persistent behavioral changes, it is always advisable to consult a veterinarian. He can determine the exact cause and recommend treatment if necessary.

Recognize physical symptoms

Physical changes in your dog are usually obvious and often easier to spot than subtle changes in behavior. For example, if your dog suddenly limps or has difficulty walking, it's a clear sign that something is wrong. Stiffness, especially after standing up or resting for an extended period of time, can also be an indication of possible joint or muscle problems.

Skin changes such as redness, scaling, rashes or significant itching that causes the dog to scratch or lick are other signs that require attention. The skin is your dog's largest organ and often reflects his overall well-being.

Also, if your dog suddenly starts coughing frequently, sneezing, or even showing signs of shortness of breath, this is a warning sign. These symptoms can range from a simple cold to serious conditions like heart problems. It is important to watch for these signs and take them seriously.

Digestive disorders in dogs

It is not uncommon for dogs to have occasional digestive problems such as diarrhea or vomiting, especially if they have eaten something unusual or their gastrointestinal tract is sensitive. While such occurrences are disconcerting, they can be considered normal if they are sporadic and of short duration.

However, if these symptoms persist over a long period of time, occur several times in a short period of time, or are accompanied by other signs such as lethargy or loss of appetite, it's time to take a closer look. This could be an indication that something is wrong with your dog's diet or health.

Other digestive problems, such as flatulence beyond normal levels or a marked change in the consistency of feces - too solid or too runny - should not be ignored. Such signs can be early warning signs of a variety of conditions, from food intolerances to serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Tips for regular health checks at home

Examine your dog regularly at home. Look for abnormalities in teeth, eyes, ears and coat. Regular palpation of the body can help detect lumps or swellings early.

Trust your instincts. You know your dog best and are often the quickest to notice when something is wrong. If in doubt, it is always advisable to consult a veterinarian.

How breeding and selection influence disease risks

Are some dog breeds really more resistant than others? What influence does breeding have on the health of our four-legged friends?

Influence of genetics and breeding

There are actually dog breeds that have fewer health problems. Often these are the so-called "original breeds", which have been subject to fewer breeding changes. On the other hand, there are breeds that are unfortunately prone to certain diseases due to selective breeding. This can range from hip problems to respiratory diseases.

The importance of choosing the right breeder

It is important to choose a responsible breeder. Look for health checks and certificates that the breeder can show. A good breeder will always act in the best interest of the animals and use responsible breeding practices. This way you increase the chance of adding a healthy puppy to your family.

And finally, be sure to thoroughly inform yourself before choosing a breed or breeder. The health of your future pet should always come first.

Sick dog

Practical tips for the prevention of diseases

Our dog is more than a pet - he is a family member. Of course, we want only the best for him, including his health. But how can you ensure that your four-legged friend stays as healthy as possible?

Regular visit to the vet

As obvious as it may sound: An annual check-up with your veterinarian can work wonders. He can detect possible diseases early and treat them before they worsen. Vaccinations and deworming should also not be neglected.

Balanced diet

Health comes from within. Be sure to give your four-legged friend high-quality food. It should contain all the necessary nutrients and be adapted to the age, breed and activity level.

Sufficient exercise and mental stimulation

A busy dog is a happy dog. Regular walks, games and training sessions keep not only the body but also the mind of your dog fit. It's not just about romping around, but also about targeted activity that stretches the mind.

With these tips you lay the foundation for a long and healthy dog life.

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Vigilance is the key

Being a responsible dog owner means not only enjoying the daily pleasures of living with a pet, but also being mindful. Recognizing signs and symptoms early is crucial to treat health problems in time.

By regularly checking on your dog's health and well-being and acting quickly when in doubt, you can give him the best care possible.

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