Common Pet Health Issues and How to Prevent Them

As pet parents, it’s important to keep our furry friends healthy and happy. While there are a variety of issues that can affect pets, some of the most common include:

1. Obesity: Many pets struggle with being overweight, which can lead to a host of health problems, such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. To prevent this, make sure you are feeding your pet a balanced diet, providing enough exercise, and limiting treats. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate diet and exercise plan for your pet.

2. Dental disease: Dental disease is a common issue for pets, particularly as they age, which can lead to pain, tooth loss, and even infection. To prevent dental issues, make sure your pet gets regular cleanings and checkups from their vet, and consider brushing their teeth at home to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.

3. Parasites: Fleas, ticks, and other parasites can cause a wide range of health problems for pets. To prevent this, use preventative medications recommended by your veterinarian and make sure your pet receives regular checkups.

4. Allergies: Pets can suffer from allergies just like humans, which may present as itching, sneezing, or watery eyes. Common allergens include pollen, dust, and certain foods. To prevent allergies, keep your pet’s living space clean and free of irritants, and talk to your vet about allergy testing and treatment options.

5. Arthritis: Arthritis is a common issue for older pets, particularly larger breeds, which can cause pain, stiffness, and lameness. To prevent this, make sure your pet has a healthy weight, gets enough exercise, and receives regular checkups from their vet.

Overall, one of the best ways to prevent health issues in your pet is to establish a close relationship with your veterinarian. Talk to them about your pet’s individual needs and work together to create a comprehensive plan for their care. By doing so, you can help ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy for years to come.

by Dr. Probst


Hawthorne Animal Hospital, a small animal hospital and veterinary clinic, serves St. Louis Metro East area, including the communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Troy, Alton, Granite City, Collinsville, Highland, Wood River, Roxana, Bethalto, Godfrey, Worden, and Hamel.

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