When you welcome a dog into your home, they quickly become another member of the family. The thought of them being unwell is just as distressing as if your partner or child were to become ill. Luckily, if you’re well aware of the signs and symptoms, then you’ll rarely have to worry about an unwell pooch. Here are some of the most common illnesses in dogs and what you should do about them.

How To Combat Common Dog Illnesses

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Diarrhea and Vomiting

This is the most common problem seen in dogs and can make us all feel uneasy. After all, we don’t know what it is that has caused the vomiting or diarrhea in the first place. In most cases, it can just be an isolated incident. This is generally due to your dog having eaten something it shouldn’t have! The most common cause is usually an infection such as parvovirus. Typically, diarrhea and vomiting will ease up within a day. If it doesn’t, then you should take your pet to see the vet. Feed your dog plain food such as boiled potatoes and rice while they’re going through a sickly patch. It can help with their digestion and stop them from feeling unwell. Also, make sure they have plenty of water.


Itching and scratching is something most of us will notice our dogs do at some point. In most cases, it is simply a reminder that they need to be de-flead. However, it could be something more uncomfortable for your pet. There are several skin conditions which could cause your dog to become itchy. In some cases, it can actually lead to cuts, lesions or bleeding through too much scratching. You can get over the counter creams that can help soothe some of the most common skin conditions. It is worth talking to your vet before using anything on your dog’s skin, however. It’s a good idea to learn more about dog skin conditions so you know which warning signs to look out for.

Kennel Cough

This is an illness which most dog owners are the most scared of. We’re told to get our pets vaccinated against this viral infection, but sometimes we’re too late. Your dog can get kennel cough simply from interacting with other canines, so it’s always something to be wary of. If you haven’t had your dog vaccinated against kennel cough, then you should do so right away. Symptoms include a strange coughing noise, which sounds like your pup is choking. With kennel cough, you really need to let it run its course. However, in smaller or frail dogs they may need to visit the vet. A steam-filled room can also work wonders.

Urinary Problems

Your dog has a sensitive urinary tract and infections can be quite common, even if we do our best to avoid them. Bladder infections can lead to your pup needing to urinate more often or little specks of blood in the urine. This can be uncomfortable for your dog, but not fatal. Plenty of water and rest can clear up the basic urinary tract problems. If you notice that the problem is ongoing, then it could be something more serious. Such as cancer. Make sure you get your pet checked out at the vet if it doesn’t clear up in a few days.

If you notice any strange behavior in your dog then it could be the sign of an underlying illness. It’s always a good idea to monitor them, if they’re not acting themselves. Most common conditions will improve in a day or two. If nothing changes you should always talk to a vet.

Filed under: Dog Care

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