A Brief Guide on Common Healthy Dog Problems and Diseases

Is your dog sick? You may love your dog very much but sometimes love is just not enough. You need to take care of your dog especially if he has a weak immune system. Some dog breeds look healthy but can easily catch a virus or bacteria and get sick right away. Like humans, dogs can suffer from several health problems. It can be a parasite, infection, or even dental disease, so your furry companion will need a proper health checkup to make sure the symptoms don’t get any worse. 

Most Common Dog Health Problems that make them Fussy

Sometimes pets have milder problems that are easy to cure. In other cases, a severe health problem can be troublesome. Being responsible dog owners, we all (yes myself as well) need to educate ourselves about the prevailing dog health problems that we may be facing and yet are oblivious about. 

1. Vomiting and Diarrhea in Puppies

The hardest phase is for a newborn puppy. Adjustment in their diet plan can be one of the major reasons behind the vomiting. However, there can be a lot of reasons behind vomiting like it can be a sign of canine distemper virus or a sign of bloating, or in a severe case organ dysfunction.

The point of concern begins if your puppy is throwing up more than he should. Vomiting for any reason will dehydrate the body faster and thus can lead to diarrhea too.  

Diarrhea is one of the major symptoms of chronic vomiting. It can be very frustrating for owners but let’s not panic alright? Even the slightest diet change, like from puppy food to adult dog food, can trigger diarrhea or even a viral infection can be the reason behind it. Try a bland diet for a while, and if still diarrhea doesn’t stop, visit your vet immediately. 

2. Dog’s Skin Issue

Skin problems are quite common in dogs much to our surprise. If you ever see your puppy or adult dog scratching, it’s a typical sign that they have skin issues. 

If the skin appears to be red or inflamed at some point it can become scaly or flaky. Allergies, parasites, skin infections, etc are some of the most common reasons for a dog’s skin problem. But how can you differentiate whether it’s a normal itch or not? An itching is considered to go wrong when its 

  • Skin sores 
  • Dry skin 
  • Rashes 
  • Hair loss 
  • Dandruff etc 

3. Liver Disease in Dogs

What are the possible early signs for liver problems in dogs? It is still nonspecific but it does include common telltale signs like loss of appetite, weight loss, chronic intermittent warning vomiting, or diarrhea.

 Sometimes other symptoms of liver problems in dogs can also include a drink and urinating more than often. Depending on the stage of the liver disease, it could be because of acute liver failure due to infections, poor flow of fluids into the liver, hypoxia, or even exposure to heat! In case of serious metabolic disorders, you need to hospitalize your dog. 

4. Stomach Problem in Dogs

Did your dog get a stomach bug? That’s bad. Stomach problems can occur for various reasons like 

Tapeworms – quite common in dogs, transmitted through ingesting fleas. It can cause abdominal bloating and result in mild digestive upset and anal irritation too (itching). 

Intestinal worms – are chronic in nature and can even get their owners infected. Children are at higher risk to get infected by the puppies having intestinal worms. If the number grows abnormally, it can even cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in some cases. 

Or it could be a regular digestive disorder for the dogs. Try bone broth it can work wonders or in either case you must take your dog to a vet.  

5. Infection in Dogs 

The two most common types of infections in dogs are ear infection and urinary tract infection. 

Scratching can be related to the ear infection too, which can make ears extremely itchy and painful at one point. It is related to skin issues, so it’s best to find out if your dog is allergic to something. On the other hand, urinary issues are also quite common in dogs. It can be really frustrating for you but imagine the trouble your dog must be facing because of it. 

Dogs with kidney infection show signs of inappropriate urination, frequent thirst, or bloody urine. A kidney infection can be caused due to urinary tract infection too. 

Telltale Illness Symptoms in Dogs

Telltale Illness Symptoms in Dogs

How to identify if your dog is ill?

If your dog is gravely ill, you must know the signs before it gets too late, so learning to interpret signs of sickness always comes in handy. 

If you notice any of the following symptoms it is strictly advised not to experiment on your own but go straight to the vet to minimize the sickness. 

1. Diarrhea

Persistent constipation means diarrhea. If your dog is at it for more than 48 hours or with smaller intervals and the stool has some blood or mucus, it’s time you visit the vet. 

2. Gagging or Vomiting 

Gagging and vomiting are two common signs that your dog is probably sick. It could be because of some allergies or infections. 

3. Lack of Hunger 

Loss of appetite can be regular but if it’s persistent (more than a day) you need to consult your doctor 

4. Thirst and Urination

Excessive or lack of thirst is one of the symptoms that your dog may have developed a serious stomach bug. An unusual excessive thirst means frequent urination. It can be because of a kidney infection in dogs. 

5. Bad Gums 

Swollen and red gums mean bad breath but it could also be the symptom of oral infection. Gum diseases can occur if your dog’s oral hygiene is compromised. 

6. Hard to Urinate 

If your dog yelps or whines while urinating, alarm bells should go ringing. Watch out for the signs like the sound he makes (yelping) or a hunched back or maybe blood. 

7. Flu-like Symptoms

A runny nose, eyes, sneezing, and panting could indicate that your dog has a respiratory illness. Check if he has shortness of breath or is gasping more often. If yes, then go visit the vet and get your dog’s lungs checked. 

8. Uncertain Weight 

If your dog shows any signs of progressive weight gain over 2-4 weeks, then it is a sign that your dog’s nutrition is compromised or in case your dog starts to lose weight for lack of any appetite it could lead towards the eating disorders in the dog

Some other partial symptoms of illness also include changes in activities, stiffness or difficulty in moving or climbing stairs, cloudy eyes, and so on. 

List of Common Dog Diseases or Medical Conditions 

Although you still don’t want to think of your dog being sick it’s the sad fact of life. There are many illnesses and diseases that dogs can suffer from besides diarrhea and vomiting. So, keeping the common facts in mind we have prepared a brief list of medical conditions found in dogs that can be taken care of at an early stage if diagnosed timely. 


One of the common medical conditions in senior dogs, the outward growth of the eye develops with age, which is also common among humans. Eye trauma can even cause it. 


As a dog grows older, the inflammation in joints can raise causing osteoarthritis at some point in their lives. Dogs will become slower than usual, especially in winters. 

Kennel Cough

The most common type of cough found in dogs especially among those dogs that are found in animal shelters. It may sound bad but it’s more like the common cold. Just give plenty of water and nutrition to your dog to get rid of it. 


One of the annoying little problems that can become a real pain for you is when your dog gets ticks or fleas. It can cause serious health concerns like blood poisoning that can lead to the inevitable death of your dog!


This is pure gross and painful for dogs! If you have seen holes in a dog’s body (literally!) It means a dog is infected with heartworms. These parasites affect dogs and are also a potential death trap due to the failure of organs. 

Broken Bones 

Any signs of limping, sagging, or protruding bones can mean one thing – the dog’s bones are broken. Your dog may put up a brave face but don’t be fooled if your dog is not playing with you anymore. Chances are he has weak bones. 

As Bad as Cancer

Yes, it’s true, even dogs can develop cancerous cells. Once the dog starts to age, they have the potential to suffer from various types of cancers like lymphoma, melanoma, and even prostate cancer. You can choose surgery or chemotherapy/ radiation as long as it is curable. 

How to prevent Common Problems in Dogs?

Start by taking care of the annual vet appointments that can help to diagnose the dog’s sickness. Taking your dog to the vet when a symptom shows up can prevent a lot of other health issues with your dog too. 

It is important to establish a normal baseline for your dog so that it’s easier to keep an eye on if they show any sign of illness. This way you are more likely to know if something is wrong with your dog or not.  Also, do opt for preventive care screening, as it helps the owner to detect the disease in its early stage or otherwise if the disease goes undetected for too long is troublesome. 

If you have a concern about your dog’s health and feel that he is sick then it’s best to book an appointment with the vet right away. Always be early to your dog’s rescue.

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Summra is a dog enthusiast fully committed to helping train fellow dog owners. She enlightens them to solve their furry friend’s behavioral issues and to focus on the dog’s needs in optimistic ways.