Common Canine Illnesses and How You Can Avoid Them

common dog illnesses

Dogs like their humans get sick. Since they cannot tell you how they feel it’s important that you know the signs of these 5 common dog illnesses.

Here are common illnesses on dogs and a few ways to avoid them.


One of the most common illnesses in canines is flea infestation. Fleas do not embed themselves in a dog’s coat, but they feed off of the dog’s skin. When fleas invade your dog’s body, they bite leaving red marks that are hard to detect under your dogs coat.

These bites then become inflamed when a dog scratches in an effort to stop the itch. Unfortunately many dogs have a strong reaction to flea bites. They are uncomfortable and painful can can lead to serious skin infections.

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If it’s possible try to avoid taking the dog for walks in wooded areas or places where fleas migrate. Most fleas may accumulate in the grassy area of your backyard, the local dog park or walking area’s.

Regular brushing and combing using a flea comb is recommended. And in addition there are natural sprays and repellents that can keep the fleas at bay.


Ticks are another problem that can commonly make dogs sick. These small parasites carry disease and can become embedded in the undercoat of a dog as well. They attach themselves to parts of a dog’s body, and trying to remove them can be painful to the canine.

To avoid ticks, it is recommended that anytime you take your dog for a walk you avoid areas where ticks migrate, such as: wooded areas, parks with thick brush and shrubbery, and particularly shaded areas where ticks usually reside.

Ear Mites

Parasites such as ear mites can be are hazardous for dogs. If you notice that your dog is scratching his ears too frequently, then check to determine if there is brown color mucus seeping from one or both of his ears. If so then this is a clear indication that the ear has become infected. A visit to the vet is recommended.

To help avoid ear mites use cleaning wipes for you dogs ears. This way you will keep his ears clean while creating a good habit of regular ear checks.

common dog illnesses - mites

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Various Types of Worms

There are many types of worms that can cause health issues for your dog. Tapeworms, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are among the most common that cause illnesses in dogs. For this reasons it is important to have your dog checked for any one of these conditions since some can be transmitted to children via the skin.

Unfortunately worms are hard to detect in a canine. And before there are obvious signs in your four legged bestie, he or she is usually already well along in the process. Some of the most common symptoms of worms in dogs are: (source

  • Weight loss accompanied by a marked increase or decrease in appetite
  • Distended abdomen, or ‘pot-bellied’ appearance
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea/chronic soft stools
  • Chronic coughing
  • Dulling of coat and/or hair loss accompanied by skin irritation/inflammation
  • Rubbing or dragging the hindquarters across the ground
  • Visible presence of segments of tapeworms in dogs attached to the skin and fur around the anus/hind quarters area
  • Visible presence of roundworms in dogs in infected stool, like tiny grains of rice

These symptoms of worms in dogs can also indicate other illnesses. So at first sign or suspicion it is imperative that you take your dog to his veterinarian immediately.

Allergies Can Cause Illnesses in Canines

Just like their humans canine can suffer from allergies, too. Any type of bite or sting from a bug can be cause for alarm, and is one of the common dog illnesses to monitor.

This is especially true if the dog is allergic. If you notice any swelling in the area of the bite or vomiting and diarrhea, take your dog to the vet for treatment immediately.

Concluding Common Dog Illnesses

All of these common canine illnesses are a cause by outside influences. In addition it can be a factor when interacting with other dogs that may have fleas or ticks, or ear mites.

Dog feces and developing an infection from ingesting fleas are the most common causes of common dog illnesses. If you have adopted a puppy that has not yet been vaccinated, he may have an infection which is a result from  from nursing.

While you it’s possible to avoid most of these illness, sometimes things just happen. Whether you’re taking your dog on his daily walk, camping in the backwoods or hiking along a trail your dog can get sick. It’s almost impossible to avoid all areas and places that sickness hides. But you can take measures such as paying attention to the signs if your canine gets sick.

This way you have more control you will have in keeping your dog safe and healthy. Keeping a first kit on hand is important as well as an antihistamine in the event of bites or severe allergic reactions.