a couple of dogs sitting in grass

7 Common Health Issues in Dogs

As pet owners, our dogs are our best friends, and they depend on us for good care. To help your furry friend live a healthy, long life, it’s important to understand common health problems in dogs, the signs and symptoms of each condition, and what you can do about them.




Like humans, dogs can develop cancer as they become older. Dogs can suffer from all types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma.


Cancer treatments for dogs include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. Like cancer in humans, catching the condition early can give your dog the best chance for survival. Common signs of cancer include unusual lumps, hip dysplasia, and spots on your dog’s skin, ears, and eyes.




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Obesity is a common condition that often goes unnoticed by pet owners. If your dog is obese, they face a higher risk of developing serious medical conditions, including heart disease, kidney disease, and arthritis, regardless of your pets breed. If you think your dog is overweight, ask your vet for diet and exercise advice.




Cataracts are a common condition, especially among older pets. Like in humans, cataracts can significantly affect the way your pup sees.


Cataracts can develop as a result of age, trauma to the eye, or disease. Cataracts may be present when the dog is born or may develop during the first few weeks of a kitten’s or puppy’s life. If your dog has cataracts or has suffered trauma to the eye, routine care and regular vet visits are recommended to monitor the condition.




Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are common parasites among pets. While some infestations can make your dog uncomfortable, other internal infections, like hookworms, can be fatal in puppies.


If you notice diarrhea, weight loss, changes in appetites, vomiting, or scooting, take your puppy to the vet to diagnose their worm problem. Treatment depends on the type of infection but typically includes oral medication. Don’t visit the pet stores to find medications for your dog’s worm infection—a medication that kills hookworms, for example, won’t kill whipworms.


Ear Infections


Ear infections can be caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, and hair growth. Common signs of an ear infection include head shaking and tilting, ear odor, intense scratching, lack of balance, and swelling and redness around the ear canal.


If you think your dog has an ear infection, schedule an appointment with the vet as soon as possible. Although most ear infections can be cured with cleaning and medication, surgery may be required for chronic conditions.




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Arthritis is a common condition among senior pets, with one in five Australian dogs suffering from arthritis at some point during their lives. If your dog takes longer to get onto their feet and appears less active than they used to be, your furry friend may be suffering from arthritis.


If you think your dog is suffering from arthritis, your veterinarian can help your pup overcome the pain with exercise, weight control, and anti-arthritic drugs.




In dogs, diarrhea and vomiting can have numerous causes, including stress, infections, intestinal parasites, and digestive issues. The symptoms of diarrhea include loose, watery, or liquid stool.


Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so make sure your dog has clean water available. If diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, take your furry friend to the vet. If diarrhea occurs with a fever, lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, or dark stools, schedule a vet visit immediately, as this could be a sign of a more serious illness.


If you’re worried about the upfront cost of veterinary care, pet insurance is designed to cover the unexpected vet visit expenses when your pet is sick or injured. While some home insurance policies offer limited pet insurance bundles, you can also purchase an individual pet insurance policy for your pet.


Like most insurance policies, pet owners can choose between complete coverage, comprehensive coverage, and limited coverage. The varying levels of pet insurance include accidental injuries and illnesses and annual vaccinations, and some providers can help cover the costs of treatment for serious illnesses.


Working with a dependable pet insurance provider can help you give you peace of mind while helping you explore your deductible options and find a low pet insurance premium. To find out more information about long-term coverage options, compare pet insurance with iSelect.

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