What are the most common dog diseases and health problems? In 2008, a popular pet health insurance provider (VPI) evaluated this issue and released the following results, listed in order of frequency:

The most common health problems in dogs are:

  1. Ear Infections
  2. Skin Allergies
  3. Pyoderma/Hot Spots
  4. Gastritis/Vomiting
  5. Enteritis/Diarrhea

Rounding out the top ten in their survey were: urinary tract infections, benign skin tumors, Osteoarthritis, eye inflammation and Hypothyroidism.

These ten dog health problems accounted for nearly 25% of all dog health insurance claims.

Not included in VPI’s list but other highly prevalent canine health concerns are: parasites (worms, fleas, ticks), Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (“GDV”) – commonly known as bloat, and obesity.

It is recommended that you make a list of these health concerns (the ten in VPI’s survey plus parasites, bloat, and obesity) and bring them with you to veterinary appointments. Ask your vet for more information on common dog ailments and symptoms of each.

Preventative care can significantly reduce or eliminate the risk for many of these health problems. Obesity is best avoided by regulated, measured feedings combined with safe and appropriate exercise. Parasites can be prevented by keeping your dog’s immune system strong through a carefully chosen, species appropriate diet, by keeping your dog clean and well-groomed, and through the use of preventatives, which include a wide array of products from flea and tick collars to spot on treatments, essential oil blends, and diatomaceous earth. Ear infections can be prevented or significantly reduced in frequency through appropriate and consistent cleaning of the ears.

While all of the mentioned canine health problems can affect a dog of any breed, some tend to appear more frequently in certain breeds and types. Bloat is most frequently seen in dogs with deep chests, and occurs most commonly in Great Danes, followed by Saint Bernards and Weimaraners. Since bloat is a medical emergency and can effect a dog of any breed or mix, it is worth asking your vet about tips for preventing bloat and how to recognize the symptoms in case, despite your best efforts, your dog bloats.

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