Healthy dogs are happy dogs, and as such, every dog owner wants their pet to be as healthy as possible. As the pet wellness and healthcare markets are now booming, many owners focus on buying new products for their pets rather than checking them for illness. 

At the Alliance Of Therapy Dogs, we love dogs and are committed to making sure that they stay happy and in great shape.

After all, unwell dogs won’t help with our vital work, visiting facilities throughout the US, and helping vulnerable people improve their mental and physical well-being without having to deal with the pressures of owning a dog.

Whether you’re a member with a therapy dog or want to find out more about keeping your precious pup safe and healthy, here’s a list of some of the health issues that you never ignore in your dog.

Cuts And Scratches

Itching

Excessive itching in one place or across your dog’s body could be a sign of many different issues. One of the most common is fleas or ticks, so check their skin for signs of pests and their eggs.

If you notice that your dog has fleas, you can use a flea treatment to irradicate them. It would help if you also wash your bedding and fabric furnishings in your home to ensure that the fleas have not transferred onto them.

For ticks, you can use a tick remover. You can also remove ticks using nail varnish, as ticks breath through their skin. All you have to do is brush them with non-toxic nail varnish and then wait a few minutes for the tick to die and fall off your dog. 

Ticks bury their legs into your dog’s skin, so never try to rip them off of your pup. If you’re unsure how to remove them, then consult your vet, who will offer advice or help you remove the tick.

If you check your dog for pests and can’t see any, then the itching could be a symptom of another issue. Take your dog to the vet promptly to get them checked. Your vet will be able to offer you a short-term treatment to stop your dog from itching while they get to the bottom of what’s causing the issue.

Runny Eyes

Like human eyes, dog’s eyes tear up when they notice dirt or grime so that they can quickly remove the foreign body before it harms your pup’s sensitive eye area.

However, regular tears or significant, thick discharge could be a sign of an eye problem. It might be that your dog’s eyes aren’t draining correctly; this is common in older dogs.

If the problem persists or your dog appears in pain, then you should take them to the vet and ask them to check that their eyes are OK. Your vet can diagnose the problem and then explore ways to treat it with you. 

Not Eating

Dogs go off their food for various reasons, but if they continue to ignore their food, this could be a sign that something’s wrong.

Like any animal, dogs need regular nourishment to survive. If your dog isn’t eating and there isn’t any apparent reason, such as another pet taking their food from them, then you should investigate.

Try offering your pet small treats and seeing if they accept them. If they do, then the issue could be with the food that you’ve provided. They might not enjoy eating it, or they might struggle to eat from their bowl. Try putting their bowl up higher so that it’s easier for your dog to reach. 

If your dog doesn’t eat their treats, then the problem could be more serve. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible so that you can find out what is wrong and get your dog the help that they need to start enjoying their food again. 

Limping

Limping is never good, so whenever you notice that your dog is walking differently, you should take them to the vet. They can check the issue and work with you to fix it.

Many different health issues can cause limping in dogs, ranging from a small cut on their paw to joint problems requiring surgical intervention.

As such, you need to take them to the vet as soon as possible to find out what is wrong with your dog. They can check all of the options and find the cause quickly so that you can start treating the problem right away.

Sometimes, dogs that spend time with another pet that limps, or who have had a limp before, might pretend to limp for attention. 

While this can occur, you should still take them to the vet. It’s better to waste a little time and money to find out the issue, rather than assuming that it is just attention-seeking and then finding out that the problem is more serious. 

Get Regular Vet Checkups

One of the most effective ways to ensure that your pup is always at the peak of physical and mental fitness is to take them to the vets and get them checked.

Your vet can check for minor issues and make sure that they don’t become major problems. They’ll also be able to advise you on any lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that your dog stays healthy and happy.

For example, overweight dogs often struggle and develop additional health problems, so your vet can advise you on the ideal weight for your pup and how you can attain and maintain it. 

If you want any advice on how to make sure that your dog is fit and ready to become a therapy dog or continue with their duties after a bout of illness, then contact us. Our team is happy to discuss our requirements with our members or potential volunteers, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!