There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day at the office, only to be greeted by slobbery kisses and a wagging tail. If you are lucky enough to have a man’s best friend, there’s a good chance you would do anything for your furry companion. Unfortunately, dogs (and cats) can become unwell, just as humans can.
It is a heartbreaking endeavor to see your dog suffer, but the best thing you can do as a dog owner is study up on common dog ailments so that you are able to properly treat them. Diseases like DCM, parvovirus, and canine cancer are just 3 common dog illnesses. Understanding them fully is the best way for you and your doggy friend to tackle them head-on – or prevent them from happening in the first place.
Just like humans, one of the most common causes of death in dogs is cancer. There are many common types of cancers found in dogs, some that can be prevented with good nutrition and regular activities. Try to keep in mind that every veterinarian has different treatment views when it comes to doggy cancer, so try to consult with a few vets to determine the best treatment for your pooch.
DCM, short for dilated cardiomyopathy, is a heart disease that is common in larger dog breeds. DCM happens when the heart muscles become weakened, specifically due to the dilation of the organ’s ventricles. Some dogs have a higher chance of developing DCM depending on their genetics (like Great Danes), but the risk is even higher when poor diet and lack of exercise are thrown into the mix.
When choosing a dog food, the best way to decrease the likelihood of DCM is to choose a high-quality kibble that avoids the use of fillers, preservatives or dyes. Dogs are known to be omnivores, which means they need a healthy combination of plants and animal products. Choose a dog food that offers this balance by using high-quality meat products as well as a small portion of plant products.
If you come across a dog food that seems to be OK, but the price is way lower than the other pet food contenders, there’s probably a reason for this. Of course, it’s nice to get a great deal, but cheap dog foods are likely to use fillers, preservatives, and dyes that provide no nutritional value to your canine.
Parvovirus is very common in dogs that have not been vaccinated for the disease. The virus works by attacking the cells in a canine’s body, mostly concentrated in the intestines. The white blood cells are also under attack when Parvo is present, and eventually, the virus will damage the heart muscles when left untreated. Luckily, there is a vaccine available that any local veterinarian will offer.
If your dog is not yet vaccinated, pet owners need to be extremely cautious with bringing their pup around other dogs. Parvo is extremely contagious and is transmitted through the feces, so try not to let your dog sniff other dogs’ messes that their owners have failed to clean up.