Allergies, Arthritis, and Weight Maintenance

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Filed in Dogs, Health, Nutrition

These allergies are driving me crazy! This arthritis is killing me! How can I lose weight? How can I gain weight?

These may all sound like complaints from your typical human, but if dogs could speak chances are they'd have similar complaints. Our pets suffer from many of the same problems as humans. However, it's important for dog owners to know that the way to treat dogs for such problems is different than the way we'd treat ourselves.

Allergies & Hot Spots

When most people think of allergies, they think of sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes. Dogs may suffer from similar symptoms, but most dog allergies tend to be skin based.

These can be contracted in a number of ways, but a common cause of these allergies occur when dogs lie in grass that has been treated with chemicals. This can lead to itchy skin and hot spots (open sores).

Fortunately there are numerous over-the-counter remedies to cure such allergies. There are also meat-based allergies and flea-based allergies. For more information on these types of allergies please refer to our Feeding Your Pet and Fleas and Pests sections. (See related articles.)

Arthritis

One of the new trends in dog healthcare is treating canine arthritis. More and more people are beginning to treat their dogs for arthritis.

In general, there are two main types of arthritis. The first is a type of morning stiffness where the dog's bones tend to be stiff and achy. This is often caused by cold weather.

The other form of arthritis is derived from joint problems. To meet this demand there are numerous prescription and over-the-counter medications to treat this problem. This type of treatment has become so popular that there are nearly as many ways to treat dogs with arthritis as there are humans with arthritis.

Weight Maintenance

Perhaps the number one problem facing dogs today is obesity. This is usually caused by over-eating and/or lack of exercise. You don't need to place your dog on a strict workout regiment, but you should make every effort to at least provide them with a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Another less prevalent problem, but an important one nevertheless, is dogs who are underweight. This usually occurs when a dog isn't getting enough food, or is having problems processing it.

So the inevitable question is, what is the proper weight for my dog? Of course this figure varies from breed to breed, but if you really want to know you should consult with your vet. If you provide your pet with a healthy diet and regular exercise, weight should be a non-issue.

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