Owning a pet is a big responsibility – second only to having children! You’re responsible for another life, a creature that can bring you endless joy, but relies on you to keep it fed, exercised, happy and healthy. This means that if you have a dog, worries are a natural part of your life.
The way to help control these worries is to understand common health problems it can suffer. To know the most frequent dog diarrhoea causes and treatments, to recognise the symptoms of distress and know what you can do to help your dog at home and when a trip to the vet is called for! Fortunately, today we’re here to help with some insights into common health problems for pet dogs.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
In many cases, doggy digestion issues aren’t something you need to worry too much about. Dogs are curious creatures, and many of them are happy to sample almost anything that will stand still long enough. While their digestive systems are more robust than ours, they still have their limits and if your dog is a keen forager every so often it will run up against those limits. In cases like this, you can expect your dog to be ill for no more than a day, and the most important thing you can do is make sure they keep hydrated, as both vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
The time to worry is if your dog is unable to hold down food and water for more than a day – even if there’s no health problem causing the vomiting, an extended period of hunger and dehydration can have serious consequences.
Paradoxically, it can actually be more serious if your dog is trying to vomit – making a throaty retching sound – but is unable to. This is a symptom of a serious, life threatening condition called Bloat in which the dog’s digestive system gets twisted around itself and inflates with gas. This can require surgery to resolve, and it’s important to get your dog to a vet as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms, along with other signs of distress.
With a thick coating of fur, many dogs are happier in cooler climates than hot ones, so when the summer heatwaves hit, it’s important to keep your dog’s comfort in mind.
Changing the times of your walks can be an important adjustment: it might take your pet a little time to adapt to this new schedule, but getting their exercise in before the day has a chance to heat up is valuable.
Hydration is the key factor in keeping your dog healthy and happy in the heat: keep their water bowl filled up with cold water, give them ice-cubes to play with and munch on, and if you can, let them play in a paddling pool! This can cool them down as well as giving them a chance for a good drink.