10 Common dog health problems

There are a lot of things to know when it comes to dog health care, but our canine companions are our best friends, aren’t they?

So, you’ll want to act fast if they ever show signs of any health problems.

But to do this you’ll need to know what to watch out for, to help with that below I’ve outlined 10 of the most common dog health problems, their symptoms and how you can help your dog feel better.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are one of the most common infections dogs can get and they have a variety of causes the most common being a bacterial infection or ear mites.

Symptoms vary but things to watch out for include:

  • head tilting
  • a lack of balance
  • a lot of scratching around the ears
  • a slimy discharge.

If you notice any of these symptoms take your dog to the vet as soon as possible, in the majority of cases infections will be easy to clear up if they are caught quickly.


This is something most dog owners will face sooner or later, thankfully fleas are easy to spot and usually easy to treat.

The most common symptoms include:

  • excessive biting or washing
  • fur loss,
  • itchy or red skin that feels rough to the touch.

Fleas can be treated in various ways including over the counter treatments, however, it may be advisable to go to a vet first to get a professional recommendation on what treatment would be best for your dog.

Gum Infections

Dogs can quickly develop a variety of gum infections one of the most common is periodontal disease. Which infects an estimated 80% of dogs under the age of 2.

Gum infections are usually easy to spot with common symptoms including:

  • bad breath
  • swelling around the mouth/ face
  • difficulty eating

Treating infection should only be done by a vet although you can take preventive measures yourself by cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly.

Broken Teeth

An important part of dog health care is checking their teeth regularly, broken teeth are more common than you might think and are not always easy to spot.

Broken teeth can lead to infections if not treated and can cause severe discomfort.

Symptoms to watch out for include

  • difficulty eating
  • blood around the mouth
  • abscesses

A vet will be able to help alleviate the pain and depending on how badly the tooth is damaged they may be able to save it or they can extract it.


Obesity is a growing concern for dog owners and is becoming a more common dog health problem.

Obesity is easy to spot if your dog is becoming fatter, lacks its usual mobility and is more lethargic then it could be carrying to much weight.

You can put your dog on a diet yourself to help them lose weight, but I would also recommend seeing a vet as well as they’ll be able to put a more effective weight loss plan together.


No dog illnesses list could be complete without talking about vomiting.

While seeing your dog being sick might be scary it will usually be just a simple stomach upset. If your dog is vomiting a lot though then it could be a sign of a more serious illness.

So, if your dog is being repeatedly sick take them to a vet for a more thorough examination.


Diarrhea is another common dog health problem but just like vomiting is doesn’t always mean there is a serious health problem behind it.

However, if your dog suffers from repeated bouts of diarrhea then it can cause more serious health issues like dehydration.

So, if this occurs take your dog to the vet for a more thorough examination.

Urinary Tract Infections

One of the most common dog behaviour problems can be the result of a urinary tract infection.

If your dog is peeing in the house a lot then it could be because of an infection, especially if the behaviour starts suddenly.

Other symptoms to watch out for are increased thirst and general lethargy. If you suspect that your dog might have an infection go to a vet to get some antibiotics to clear the infection.

Kennel Cough

You can think of this like the common cold for dogs, and while it’s commonly caught from other dogs especially if they’ve stayed at a kennel (hence the name) dogs can sometimes just develop this cough without warning.

Symptoms include:

  • coughs and sneezing
  • a loss of appetite
  • runny nose
  • even a fever in more serious cases.

Kennel cough can usually be treated with plenty of bed rest and will usually fade away within a week, however, in more serious cases you should go to a vet for some antibiotics.


Worms are a type of internal parasite and one of the most common dog health problems.

A worm infestation might sound serious but thankfully they are usually easy to treat, tablets are available in many pet shops and dewormer treatments are also available.

These can help prevent worms from even developing in the first place.

Common symptoms to watch out for include:

  • vomiting
  • a bloated stomach
  • a poor appetite
  • diarrhea.

The worm parasites come in many forms and if you’re having trouble clearing the parasites yourself you should go to a vet to get a more thorough examination.

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