Frequent Dog Health Problems by Age

There are some health problems that are more common when a dog is a certain age. Take your pet for regular veterinary exams and vaccinations throughout his entire life to ensure proper health care. A higher level of care is needed when dogs start getting into their latter years. However, start prevention practices as early as possible to ward off diseases such as arthritis or diabetes.

Take into account your dog's age when you approach treatment practices.

Puppy Care

Bring your puppy in for a complete physical exam as soon as possible to verify if she's healthy or in need of special care. Initial vaccinations are given when a pup is from 6 to 8 weeks of age. Then shots to prevent rabies and parvo are given annually.

Puppies require different care than adult dogs, from exercise to feeding. They have a rapid growth stage between 4 and 9 months. If you over-feed your pup, it can add stress to her newly developing bone structure and lead to hip dysplasia. Feed your puppy small portions of specially formulated chows and all-natural foods to prevent such dog health problems from occurring.

Care for Young-Adult Dogs

At this point you should really dig in and set the standard for preventative care. A healthy, well-balanced diet lays a solid foundation for all dogs. A lean and healthy dog is less likely to develop cardiac problems, diabetes and arthritis. Even skin conditions can develop due to a poor diet that's low in fatty acids and minerals.

Keep your dog's ears clean to prevent future conditions from occurring. As your dog ages, untreated ear infections can damage his middle ear drum, which can lead to hearing loss or complete deafness. Prevent ear infections with daily or weekly cleanings.

Some conditions appear in dogs as they get older, but then burn out by adulthood. A skin disorder or allergy can cause issues monthly for young or middle aged dogs, and then disappear by the time they are 8 or 9 years old.

Start giving your dog an inspection from head to tail once a week. Check for lumps, fleas, swelling and skin disorders.

Dogs Aging Issues

Caring for elderly dogs requires special attention. You will likely be administering medications or helping to make your senior dog's life more comfortable. Dog health problems like joint conditions tend to make climbing stairs or running highly painful. Administering glucosamine tablets will help cushion your dog's joints and bones so he can get around easier.

Be aware of any changes in your dog's regular routine, diet or bowl movements. Listen to how he breathes and watch his movements. Labored breathing is a sign of congestive heart problems and excessive thirst is an indication of diabetes.

Care and Maintenance

A senior dog still needs his daily exercise and play. Even if he's reluctant to go for a walk, encourage him to keep his paws moving. It's okay to scale back on the frequency of walking and playing, but some form of fitness is vital for his well-being.

Dog health problems that can arise later in life:

  • Kidney failure: change in appetite, drinking a lot of water, or urinating more frequently than normal.
  • Congestive heart failure: a typical sign is shortness of breath.
  • Skin conditions: excessive dander, less resistances to flea or tick infestations.
  • Arthritis: will limp and have trouble climbing stairs.
  • Check for lumps or bumps, which can be signs of cancer in older dogs.
  • Abscesses that form in a dog's mouth area are especially serious.
  • Cataracts: most common with diabetes.