Health issues in dogs

Black Labrador laying in arms

Our dogs depend on us to look after them and we want nothing more than to help them to live full, happy and healthy lives. Although most dogs don't see their vet very often, there are still many reasons your dog can become ill.

There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of your dog becoming ill from some health issues, but sometimes problems can still occur despite giving your dog the best care. You know your dog best and you should always see your vet if you have any concerns.

A to Z of health and care issues 

We have created a number of articles on common health issues that can occur in dogs. These cover a broad range of topics; from arthritis to worms, highlighting the signs to watch out for, how the issues can occur and what you should do if you think your dog is affected. 

Learn more by browsing our A to Z of health and care issues.

Top 5 most common health problems 

As a dog owner, it's important that you understand and are familiar with the common disorders that might affect your dog. Regular care, cleaning and general checking of your dog can make a big difference and will help to avoid some of these problems.

The top five problems in dogs are:
  1. gum disease
  2. ear infections
  3. obesity
  4. overgrown nails
  5. anal sac impaction
Find out more about the most common health problems in dogs.

Most common questions about dog health and their behaviour

If you've ever wondered why your dog does certain things, are confused by their behaviour, or are looking for reassurance about common canine habits, then we’ve found the answers to some of the most frequently searched for questions on ‘why does my dog?’.

Articles by topic

Read more about the health issues that may affect your dog, as well as tips on how to identify and sometimes prevent them.

Long-term/breed-specific health issues
Seasonal health issues
Diet, nutrition and feeding

Who can I talk to about health issues in my breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator, who works on behalf of breed clubs and councils as advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They act as spokespeople on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

You can contact your breed health co-ordinator on the health section of your breed's entry on our Breeds A to Z.

Breeding for health

When breeding from your dog, there are so many health issues to consider that it can become quite confusing. Read more about breeding from your dog, while also making the health of your future puppies a priority

Help with health research

One of the hardest parts about carrying out research is trying to find owners and their dogs to participate in studies. More participants means more data, making it more likely that scientists can find solutions to current dog health problems.

To find a list of research projects that need your help, read more about BARC (Bringing About Research Collaboration).

Even if you can't participate, we’d still really appreciate your help spreading the word, especially on social media.