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5 Health Problems Dog Owners Should Never Ignore
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5 Health Problems Dog Owners Should Never Ignore

Dogs
Health & Safety

As every dog owner knows, there are times when their pets appear a little off colour, no quite themselves and behaving a little strangely. Although the signs may be pretty insignificant, it's never a good idea to ignore them because they could be the very first symptoms of a serious condition that needs veterinary attention. If you've shared your home with your dog for a long time, the chances are you know your pet really well so when they do act a little differently, you pick up on straight away.

However, people who have just got a dog and are not familiar with keeping one as a pet, could find it harder to spot a small detail like a change in behaviour, a small loss of appetite or any other tell-tale sign there may be something wrong. The first thing you need to look out for is whether your pet is experiencing any discomfort or if they are suffering from a painful and chronic condition. You need to bear in mind that our canine friends show pain in different ways than we do.

With this said, some dogs will just learn to cope with discomfort and this means their condition just gets worse as time goes by. Below are 5 things you need to routinely do to prevent your dog from suffering or developing a health problem which may become chronic if left untreated by a vet.

When Was the Last Time You Checked Their Ears?

Chronic ear conditions can creep up slowly until the infection literally drives your dog mad. The condition could be brought on by an infestation of ear mites or it could be that something really serious like a growth or a tumour of some sort developing on your pet's inner ear. Failing to treat your pet's ears with the right type of treatment or medication could result in their lives being made miserable by a chronic ear infection that's itchy and painful.

It is really important to check your dog's ears as a matter of routine and this means every time you groom them or after they have been out for a long walk in the countryside, a park or anywhere they can be off their leads cavorting through the undergrowth. It is especially important to check your pet's ears if they love splashing around in water and if you do notice anything untoward, then make an appointment and take your dog to the vet for a thorough check over.

When Did You Last Check Your Dog's Teeth?

Dental issues and oral disease in dogs is pretty common place because this is one thing that many owners forget about or think that by offering bones and things for their pets to chew on it keeps their teeth in good condition. However, this could not be further from the truth because just as with people, dogs need to have their teeth cleaned and checked on a regular basis to prevent tartar from building up. This is especially important where a dog's molars are concerned.

By regularly cleaning your pet's teeth with a dog-specific toothpaste and checking them over on a regular basis, you'll soon notice certain things which could be clear indications that something is not right in your dog's mouth. The signs to watch out for include the following:

  • Very smelly breath – halitosis
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Loose teeth

Nasty doggy breath is not normal at all - although many pet owners forgive their pets for having it believing they have tucked into something disgusting they found outside. If a dog is suffering from a bad tooth, just like us they are in constant pain until the dental issue has been resolved by receiving the right treatment from a vet. Not only is your dog is constant pain but eating too becomes a very uncomfortable experience so the sooner they are treated the better and the more comfortable their lives will be.

When Was the Last Time You Checked Your Dog's Skin?

Most people will give their dogs a quick once over with a brush but this is not really grooming them. A thorough grooming means checking your pet all over and this includes the length of their claws (particularly important in older dogs), taking a look at their pads to make sure they are not sore or cracked, looking in the mouths to see if there's a dental issue going on and checking the condition of your pet's skin to make sure they are not being bitten by pesky creatures like fleas, ticks and any other bugs that might be around.

You need to make sure your pet is regularly treated for fleas, intestinal parasites and other biting insects which could result in them developing a nasty and sore skin condition. Your vet would be able to recommend the right type of treatment to suit your dog and if they prescribe one, then you can be sure it will be very effective at keeping those biting bugs at bay and make your pet's life a lot more comfortable.

Have You Noticed Your Dog Limping?

As dogs get older they start to feel their joints and this could be an indication of arthritis setting in. However, young dogs too can suffer from this debilitating condition and it can make their young lives miserable if left untreated. When a person feels any discomfort, they take some form of pain relief to make their lives more bearable and so it has to be for your dog.

There are some very effective pain relief treatments for canines around which your vet would prescribe for your pet to make their lives pain-free and more bearable so it's really important to make an appointment as soon as you notice they are in pain.

Is Your Dog Just Too Fat?

People lead such busy lives these days and things do get overlooked which includes noticing if a pet is putting on the pounds. Obesity in dogs is a serious issue which vets are seeing more and more. You need to understand that an obese or overweight dog is more at risk of suffering from some sort of heart condition and by carrying more pounds than they should, it shortens their live span considerably.

If you think your dog is overweight you need to discuss the problem with your vet who may recommend you talk to an animal nutritionist. They would be able to recommend the right sort of balanced diet and the amount of exercise your dog would need to trim down their weight safely and get back into shape so they lead a longer and happier life.

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