6 Common Puppy Illnesses To Watch Out For and How To Prevent Them

6 Common Puppy Illnesses To Watch Out For and How To Prevent Them

Puppies are often a chaotic, exciting addition to the family. With seemingly endless energy and the curiosity of a dog experiencing the world for the first time, puppies bring joy into our lives. 

As dog owners, our top priority is to keep them happy and healthy, which is why it’s critical to be aware of common puppy illnesses. Unlike adult dogs who’ve received vaccinations against the most common canine diseases, puppies and unvaccinated dogs face an increased risk of infection.

At XDOG, we encourage pet owners to feed their dogs a healthy diet and provide them with supplements to support their immune systems, like our supplements for bully puppies. However, it’s necessary to be informed about potential illnesses to look out for in the event of infection.

Below, we’ll break down some of the most common puppy illnesses and how to protect your pup from these conditions.

1.  Parvovirus 

Parvovirus, or parvo for short, is an extremely contagious canine disease that spreads through bodily fluids. Puppies and dogs between the ages of 12 weeks and three years face the highest risk, though veterinarian professionals advise that pet owners get their puppies vaccinated against parvo at around six or eight weeks. 

Common symptoms Include: 

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness

The best way to prevent parvo is to get your puppy vaccinated. If you think your pup has contracted the illness before receiving the vaccination, take them to the hospital. They can receive fluids and antibiotics and return home after a few days.

2.  Distemper

Of all the most common puppy illnesses, the canine distemper virus is one of the more dangerous. Distemper is an airborne illness that can infect many different types of wildlife, making it a challenging disease to prevent in some cases. This virus can also spread among dogs who share water and food bowls. 

Distemper affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems of infected animals. Puppies who have yet to receive the vaccination face a higher risk of infection than adult dogs. 

The challenge with distemper is that owners often mistake it for a common cold. Dogs will begin coughing and experiencing a runny nose, and, believing their pup has a cold, owners will overlook the possibility of distemper. As a result, infected dogs can develop pneumonia and severe neurological complications.

Inpatient treatment is necessary for puppies and dogs with distemper. It may take weeks for your dog to recover, and your vet may send them home with medications to manage the lingering symptoms. Distemper recovery can be a lengthy process, so it’s important to prepare yourself should your puppy get infected.

The troubling part is even if an infected dog recovers from the disease, distemper can often break out again later in the dog’s life and cause neurological problems. To prevent this unfortunate circumstance, keep an eye on your puppy’s health and get them the distemper vaccine when possible.

3.  Kennel Cough

Infectious tracheobronchitis, often referred to as kennel cough, is a respiratory illness. Despite the common name for the infection, any dog can contract it, whether they sleep in a kennel or not. 

Common symptoms Include:

  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Cough

Without proper treatment, kennel cough can evolve into pneumonia. If your pup is coughing and seems less energetic, it’s best to go to the vet to prevent further complications. 

4.  Coccidia

Coccidia is a parasite most often found in still, stagnant water. Generally, puppies contract this parasite when exposed to unsanitary conditions after birth. Keep your pup, their water, and their space clean to prevent this condition.

Common symptoms Include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy

If your pup contracts coccidia, your veterinarian will most likely prescribe medication to kill the parasite. The most critical step in preventing this illness in dogs is frequently changing their water and cleaning their dishes thoroughly. 

5.  Heartworms

Heartworm disease, or heartworms for short, is, unfortunately, one of the most common puppy illnesses. The frustrating part about this disease is that it can take up to six months to appear, meaning infected dogs can go a long time without presenting any symptoms. This lengthy incubation period is concerning, as untreated heartworms can be fatal.

However, if your dog begins to show signs of heartworm disease, they may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Decreased appetite

Fortunately, most dogs infected with heartworms can recover. It’s essential to monitor your puppy’s health to prevent serious complications.

6.  Vomiting or Diarrhea

Very common in pets of all types, standalone vomiting and diarrhea are likely the least worrisome symptoms for a dog—assuming you’ve ruled out the possibility of intestinal parasites or other infections. If you’ve confirmed that your dog’s vomiting and diarrhea aren’t related to a more severe condition, they’ve likely eaten something they shouldn’t have, and they’ll pass it in time.

Make sure your sick pup is getting water and staying hydrated. Generally, these symptoms aren’t cause for concern. However, if your dog has been vomiting for over 12 hours or having diarrhea for more than 24, and they still aren’t feeling better, you should go to the vet to assess the situation.

Keep Your Pup Healthy and Strong With XDOG

Preventing canine illness can be challenging. As natural explorers who put their noses into just about everything, dogs constantly seek new sights, smells, and tastes. Their curiosity is admirable, but it can occasionally get them into trouble. 

Luckily for them, it’s our job as owners to keep them safe however possible. At XDOG, we provide high-quality products to give your dogs the boost they need to live happy, healthy lives. With years of experience developing canine supplements, accessories, and more, we know what’s necessary for building a dog’s immune system to help them fight against common puppy illnesses. 

Check out our storefront to browse our high-performance products, and let XDOG give your pup the protection and strength they need to be and stay well.


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