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Dog Health Problems & Ideas to Tackle Them

Thursday, June 28, 2018
By Dan Massey

Your dog’s health is likely one of the greatest concerns at the forefront of your mind as a dog parent. It can be stressful thinking about your dog getting ill, which is why monitoring your dog for signs of illness is critical to ensuring their continued health and wellbeing.

When you notice signs your dog isn’t in top shape, it’s pivotal that you are proactive in finding and administering a solution. Doing so can help your dog to get on the mend quickly and get back to their usual happy self.

Below, we’ve outlined three common dog health problems your dog may face, as well as useful solutions you can try.

Problem 1: Your dog has digestive issues

Digestive issues are relatively common with dogs. Digestive issues usually occur because the good bacteria in a dog’s gastrointestinal system have been disrupted or destroyed and can occur with stress or food changes but also with other severe underlying diseases.

Solution: Dog probiotics

One of the best solutions for mending a dog with digestive issues is to administer dog probiotics. Dog probiotics are “specially formulated probiotic and prebiotic supplements that can help to restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, reducing unwanted symptoms and promoting health and well-being.”

Giving your pooch dog probiotics can help promote healthy gut flora, provide a boost to your dog’s overall health, and may even prevent some diseases.  

Unlike the probiotics you may ingest yourself, dog probiotics have been specially formulated with the particular digestive needs of dogs in mind. There are many brands to choose from, so make sure to do your due diligence (and consult with your vet) when selecting one for your dog.

Problem 2: Vomiting

If your dog is throwing up, it’s highly likely that he's ingested something that didn’t sit well with him or an object he shouldn’t have (missing a toy?). While you should take your dog to the vet if he is vomiting for more than a day or so (or if he is violently ill), if his vomiting seems not too serious, you can try the following solution. (If you’d like to read up more about when to take your dog to the vet or not when he is vomiting, be sure to read this article).

Solution: Make your dog fast

A dog who’s vomiting is not a pretty sight, but it won’t last long if you make your dog fast assuming it’s a minor condition. Healthy Adult dogs can fast for a day or more, while puppies that are weaned shouldn’t probably go longer than a day. Fasting gives your dog’s stomach a chance to recover from whatever illness striking it.

After making your dog fast, you should replace your dog’s regular diet with a bland diet (yes, similar to how you would treat food poisoning in humans). You should give your dog something plain like boiled chicken or ground beef with rice. The chicken or beef should just be an accompaniment to the rice, meaning the rice should form the bulk of each meal.

It’s important to remember to keep your dog hydrated during this whole process. Vomiting will make them prone to dehydration, so offer your dog water. If your dog even throws up the water you give them, ice chips (in a large sum) can be a useful alternative.

Problem 3: Overweight / Obesity

Overweight dogs are a surprisingly common health problem that is often left unattended. According to The Bark, “While a whopping 34 percent of dogs are overweight, only around 30 to 40 percent of the folks who put the food in the bowl for them know it.” Being overweight is a cause for concern in dogs because it can lead to such consequences as arthritis, heart and breathing problems, anesthesia risk, skin diseases, and reduced quantity and quality of life.

Solution: Feeding your dog right and regular exercise

Ensuring your dog has a well-rounded diet and exercise schedule is a surefire way of helping him lose some much-needed pounds. Feeding your dog the right food for his particular health needs is essential. While you may have taken a one-size-fits-all approach in the past, it’s particularly important to tailor your dog’s diet if he's facing weight problems.

Regular exercise is important for all dogs, but just like your dog’s diet, you need to work out what type and intensity of exercise is best for him. A dog’s exercise needs depend on such factors as their health, age, and breed, so if you’re unsure, simply ask your vet.

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