Just like with humans, dogs are also susceptible to health problems. These issues can range from minor infections to chronic ailments such as Cancers. As such, it is essential for you as a pet owner to identify, keep track, and take appropriate measures to ensure your furry family member remains healthy. One of the best ways you can do this is by taking time to understand common dog diseases and illnesses.  

Some dog health concerns are more prevalent than others, and this mainly depends on the size of your pet. For example, small dogs usually suffer from breathing and organ disorders while their larger counterparts are prone to joint and bone problems.  They also depend on the dog breed hence the need for awareness.   

To guide you, herein is a comprehensive outline of some of the most common dog diseases.  

1. Arthritis 

Arthritis, almost always, affects dogs as they age. It is by far the most common ailment with older pets.  

Signs & Symptoms: reduced movement as well as the dog taking considerable time getting up from seated or lying positions. 

Treatment: Unfortunately, Arthritis is not curable. However, there are several useful steps to alleviate it. First, provide proper diet and nutrition. A balanced diet and regular walks will maintain the nutrition levels of your pup as they should. Include food called ‘Senior’ and ensure you don’t underfeed or overfeed. However, if the arthritis is severe, visit the vet and acquire medication.  

2. Worms 

Signs & Symptoms: Swollen belly, weight loss, lack of energy, diarrhea 

Treatment: visit the vet for prescription medicine. Follow it up with regular fecal checks until all the worms are gone.  

3. Allergies 

There are numerous dog allergies. They can range from tick bites, food, and even flea allergies. As such, essentially look out for change in behavior especially when you expose our pup to new things.  

Signs & Symptoms: persistent sneezing or coughing, continued lack of energy, or anything else that seems off.  

Treatment: First, determine the type of allergen. Common allergies can usually be remedied by changing the food or bathing shampoo. For environmental or seasonal allergies, treat with medication, although repeated administration will ultimately weaken the dog’s immune system.  

4. Kennel Cough 

This is a respiratory infection and is easily transmittable from one pup to the other.  

Signs & Symptoms: coughing, lethargy, appetite loss, or leaky eyes and nose.  

Treatment: regular administering of vaccines. On noticing the mentioned signs, consult a vet for prescribed medications for a speedy recovery. Ensure your dog is not interacting with others outside to avoid contracting and also afford him ample rest. Also take him for walks regularly.  

5. Vomiting 

Vomiting can result from numerous causes. The best approach is to evaluate the behavior of your dog before and until the vomiting. This is to rule out any serious issues.  Otherwise, vomiting is generally a regular occurrence and can be as a result of something he ate.  

Treatment: Again, evaluate his behavior before and until the vomiting. If you find nothing unusual, it is perhaps not worth much concern. Nonetheless, if the vomiting persists, or you notice odd behavior he started vomiting, consult your vet for a proper check-up.  

6. Dog Obesity 

While obesity signs might come off as pretty obvious, it is vital to have regular weight checks to keep records of the weight of your do over time. Also, it is critical to identify weight gain in your pup to afford him the best opportunity for recourse.  


Treatment: Regular exercise and a proper, steady diet. However, you need to monitor how severe the obesity is to implement the appropriate changes in exercise and nutrition. Also, consult your vet before effecting any changes for proper guidance.  

7. Diabetes 

Signs & Symptoms: excessive vomiting and thirst, change in appetite 

Treatment: regular injections of insulin (up to twice per day). A high-fiber diet and oral medications can also reverse it. However, if it goes untreated for a substantial amount of time, it can lead to cataracts and UTIs. 

8. Cancer 

Cancer accounts for about half of all disease-related deaths of pets. After suspecting your dog has cancer, immediately visit your veterinarian. The earlier you detect it, the better the chances of your dog surviving.

Signs & symptoms: lumps, unusual odors, long-lasting behavioral changes, or drastic weight-loss.  

Treatment: Surgery to remove a tumor (although it depends on the location and type of cancer) or give him medical prescriptions to alleviate pain.   

Check out or more information on the latest in canine cancer education and research as well as how you can help us in the fight against canine cancer on our Clear Canine Cancer website.

9. Rabies 

Luckily, rabies is no longer as prevalent as before, and this is mainly due to the numerous vaccinations now available. However, your dog is still susceptible even after receiving rabies shots.  

Signs & symptoms: aggressive behavior and thick, heavy drool.  

Treatment: Prevention is the best treatment. This you can do by giving him shots annually. Additionally, you need to monitor your pup’s activities to prevent him from interacting with others infected with rabies.  

In case you suspect your dog has contracted rabies, immediately contact Animal Control and stay as far as you can from him.  


With this list of common dog diseases, you can adequately take care of your pet.  It should help you identify symptoms early and take appropriate action. Lastly, if your pet is continually visiting the vet, you can also consider applying for pet insurance.