Dog Health 101 : How to Keep Your Dog Healthy

All responsible dog owners want to know how to keep their dogs the healthiest they can be. Like humans, dogs are also prone to get various diseases. Each dog breed is different and has its own health issues.

While there is no absolute way to keep them from getting sick, we have created a guide for common dog breeds to understand their potential health issues.

Golden Retriever

These dogs are commonly owned by families because of their loving good nature. They love being around hoomans making them the perfect playmates and house pets. Don’t let their size fool you, they’re a gentle and kind breed of dogs.

Common Health Problems :
  • HIP DYSPLASIA – common in this breed. It is a form of arthritis that is debilitating. It is an abnormal growth in your dog’s ball and socket joint that if left untreated, could lead to degeneration of the hip, inflammation and pain, or permanent disability.

Symptoms: Difficulty or reluctance in rising, decreases range of motion, or loss of thigh muscle mass

Care: Physical therapy, joint fluid modifiers, and anti-inflammatory medication

  • SKIN CONDITIONS – often caused by allergies. Their dense undercoat and longer outer coat attract disease-ridden bacteria.

Symptoms: Skin sores, dry and itchy skin, rashes, lumps, or hair loss

Care: Pinpoint what they’re allergic to (pollen, dust, food, grass, and so on), topical medication, change diet, or use hypoallergenic dog shampoo

Extra Dog Care:
  • Proper and regular grooming
  • Maintaining a clean environment
  • Regular check-ups (most especially, when your dog is showing symptoms)
  • Walks and exercise

Labrador Retriever

Just like the golden retriever, this breed is also common in family households. They are intelligent and fairly easy to train, especially because they love being around people and other dogs.

Common Health Problems:
  • HEART DISEASE – a disease common in the dog community, even the healthiest dogs have the possibility of having this.

Symptoms: Loss of consciousness due to lack of blood flow to the brain, difficulty breathing, bluish tint to the skin, or loss of appetite and weight

Care: Keep their vaccines up to date, regular exercise, vet-prescribed medication, and keep them well hydrated

  • OBESITY – A normal and healthy labrador weighs 55 to 75 pounds, while an overweight one can top 100 pounds. The extra weight can have a serious impact on the health and life expectancy of your pet. It also increases the chances of them getting other diseases.

Cause: Over-feeding, Genetics (They could have inherited it), or insufficient exercise

Symptoms: Refusal to move or play, excessive panting, abdominal sagging, and/or a reluctance to go for walks

Care: Scheduled meals and no extra treats after meals, cut down food intake and change diet, and record your dog’s weight loss progress

Extra Dog Care:
  • Regular vet check-ups and consultations

French Bulldog

A loving and loyal breed that is a common companion. Unfortunately, a lot of Frenchie owners tend to give them up for adoption due to medical bills that sometimes pile up due to their long list of health problems.

Common Health Problem :
  • EAR INFECTION (Otitis Externa) – It is common for this breed to get this due to the narrow ear canal.

Cause:  Wax buildup, excessive cleaning, ear canal injury, moisture (which can become a growing environment for bacteria), allergies, and/or autoimmune disorders

Symptoms: Scratching the affected ear constantly, crusting or scabs in the ear, dark discharge, or redness or swelling of the ear canal

Care: Go to a Vet and have it checked and follow their instructions closely and make sure to clean out excess moisture after swimming or baths

  • HIP DYSPLASIA – Occurs when the ball and socket joint of the hip isn’t formed correctly.

Symptoms: Inability to climb stairs and jump, “bunny hopping”, decreased activity, and/or hip sensitivity, and difficulty standing up

Extra Dog Care:
  • Regular check-up with the vet, avoid over-exercising as a puppy, regular gentle and low-impact exercise, and veterinarian-prescribed supplements.


A friendly and gentle small hound that is also common in households because of size, good temper, a lack of health problems.

Common Health Problems:
  • DIABETES  – Just like humans, dogs can also get diabetes. The two types are :

Type 1 – Inability to produce enough insulin

Type 2 – Producing enough insulin, but it is not working the way that it should

Symptoms: Excessive thirst, a change in appetite, lethargy, and increased urination.

Care: Diet and exercise and insulin shots (consult with a vet first)

  • EAR INFECTION – With their floppy ears it is usually possible for air, moisture, and dust/debris to be trapped inside.

Symptoms: Scratching the affected ear constantly, crusting or scabs in the ear, bad odor discharge, and excessive head shaking

Extra Dog Care:
  • Go to a vet and have it checked

While there is no guarantee that your pet will not go through any of these, one thing you can do is to make sure that you are taking the best care of them.

Being a responsible owner means putting in the extra care and precaution and knowing how to keep your dog healthy — that includes having a trusted vet for your dog to regularly visit. Remember, a healthy dog is a happy one.

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