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8 Common Health Problems in Pets and How to Prevent Them

June 5, 2023 6:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Whether you’ve got a cat, a dog, or another kind of pet, you must watch for problems. Your job as a pet parent is to figure out when your pets aren’t feeling well and take them to the vet. Unfortunately, figuring out when your pet needs an appointment at Rolling Plains Veterinary Corporation is not always easy.

Knowing about common health problems in pets is key to preventing problems and getting existing problems treated quickly. Whether your cat is vomiting or your dog is tired and won’t eat, vets know how to get to the bottom of just about any problem. Here are eight common health problems in pets and tips for preventing them.


Many people are overweight due to a lack of self-control regarding food, and cats and dogs are no different. When your pets eat on a schedule, they’ll usually eat whatever you put in front of them. You must talk to your vet about choosing the right portion sizes for your pets. Your vet can look at the weight and breed of your dog or cat to help you figure out how much to feed them. You should also take your pets in for routine checkups, which makes it easier to keep an eye on their weight.

Dental Problems

If you’re not brushing your pet’s teeth regularly, they’re at risk for a long list of dental problems. Pets can get many of the same dental problems that people can, which can impact their quality of life. According to most vets, you should brush your cat or dog’s teeth at least three times per week, working up to daily brushing if your schedule allows for it. You should also take your pets in for routine dental cleanings to help prevent tooth and gum problems.


Arthritis is a common issue in aging humans, and it’s the same for animals. As your dog or cat ages, they may have trouble walking around the house or getting up on the couch. Unfortunately, arthritis happens to many older animals, and certain large dog breeds are more prone to it. Keeping your pets at a healthy weight is one of the best ways to prevent arthritis, but you can also ask your vet about joint health supplements. Remember to talk to your vet before you give your dog any new medication or supplements.

Parasites and Worms

Parasites and worms are a constant battle for pet parents. These parasites lay their eggs in feces which end up on the ground outside and eventually hatch into larvae. When your dog or cat goes to dig in the yard or explore at the park, they get infected by these larvae. Keeping an eye on your pets and keeping them away from wild animals can help prevent parasites and worms. There’s only so much you can do, though, so make sure you know the symptoms so you can call your vet if your pet has worms.

Ingestion of Toxins

Animals are known for eating things they shouldn’t, especially dogs. You’ve probably seen your dog rooting through the trash or trying to eat some random object they spotted during a walk. Dogs have tough stomachs, but there are a lot of things they simply can’t eat. Dogs should avoid the onion family of vegetables, chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocado, alcohol, and cooked bones. Cats should avoid alcohol, chocolate, grapes and raisins, liver, onions, raw or undercooked meat, and milk and dairy products. Call your vet immediately if your pet is vomiting or showing other symptoms after ingesting a toxin.

For a complete list of foods you should keep away from your pets, talk to a vet at Rolling Plains Veterinary Corporation.


Diabetes is another common health issue in pets that often starts with being overweight. You can start by ensuring your pets are eating the proper portions and getting enough exercise. That being said, diabetes can also be caused by various medical issues or induced by certain medications. Talk to your vet about whether your pets are at risk for diabetes. If your pets are at risk, ask what you can do to prevent it.

Fleas and Ticks

Preventing fleas and ticks is a constant battle for pet owners. There’s a good chance fleas and ticks are in your yard, so you need to protect your pets if they like to play outside. You can get flea and tick medication from your vet, or you can use a flea collar. Regular brushing and bathing can also help keep fleas and ticks away. You can talk to your vet to get more tips.

Ear Infections

Dog breeds with long ears hanging down are prone to ear infections. Labradoodles and basset hounds are some of the worst-off breeds regarding ear infections. However, ear infections can also occur in dachshunds, beagles, poodles, and any other breed with ears that hang down.

You can prevent ear infections by using a cleaning solution to clean your dog’s ears once a month. If you’re unsure which brand to buy, ask your vet if they recommend or sell a particular brand.

Keep Your Pets Healthy

Nothing beats spending quality time with your pets, but keeping them healthy is very important. Whether you’ve got a cat that loves to explore or a dog that gets in the garbage, it’s your job to protect them as a pet parent. If you want to keep your pets healthy and prevent these eight common health problems, call Royal Plains Veterinary Corporation to schedule an appointment at one of our three clinics.

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This post was written by Dr. Marc Phillipot

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