Common Dog Diseases and Symptoms

There are several common dog diseases that a dog can catch. Many of these diseases are preventable and treatable although there is no way to ensure that your dog will be 100% safe from them in his lifetime. Some of the most common dog diseases include urinary tract disease, allergic dermatitis, arthritis, and kidney disease. Dogs can also suffer from obesity, diabetes, mange and heartworm.

Urinary Tract Disease

There are several ways to determine if your dog has developed a urinary tract disease such as a urinary tract infection. Bacteria builds up in the in the urethra and becomes infected. A dog may have urinary tract disease if she suddenly starts peeing in the house or resists going out to pee. The dog will feel like she needs to urinate frequently but very little urine will be produced, and she may strain and whimper while trying to urinate. Blood may be present in the urine as well.

Allergic Dermatitis and Mange

The effect of an allergy will often show up in a dog's skin. The skin can become inflamed which causes itching, irritation and redness. The dog will scratch and bite at her skin much more than normal, and it may be hard to get her to stop. Allergic dermatitis can be caused by food allergies, hot weather or an allergic reaction to fleas, mites or flea medicine. Some dogs will develop mange on the skin in the form of big white flakes or pieces of skin that come off.


As your dog ages, her muscles and joints may become arthritic. You'll notice restriction in range of motion and possible limping. Arthritis can be prevented with regular exercise in moderation, diet changes and supplements that include glucosamine.

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys become infected. Sometimes in a kidney infection, minerals will crystallize into small stones. A dog with kidney disease will exhibit blood in the urine and similar behavioral symptoms to a dog with a urinary tract disease. The dog may also have abdominal pain. She may whimper and strain while trying to urinate.


Obesity is a serious medical condition that can only be properly diagnosed by a vet. An obese dog will have excess weight around her middle. It will be hard to feel her ribs and she may have trouble moving easily. Canine obesity is caused by too many calories and not enough exercise. Other factors such as thyroid problems, insulin problems and genetics can contribute as well.


If a dog has too much sugar in her blood and not enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels, she can develop diabetes. Once a dog has diabetes, it is dangerous for her to eat too much food that is converted to sugar in the body. Even if the dog is getting a healthy diet that is low in its glycemic index, insulin may be required. There are many serious complications from diabetes that is not managed properly.


Once a dog catches heartworm, there is no way to get rid of it. It's a serious condition resulting from certain types of mosquito bites. It's easy to protect your dog by giving her a monthly medicine in the form of a chew dog's love. You must have your dog tested for heartworm before giving the medicine.