Kennel Club launches new Canine Health Week

  • Kennel Club kicks off Canine Health Week by highlighting most common disorders across overall dog population, using VetCompass™ data
  • Ear canal disease is most common disorder, followed by dental disease, impacted anal glands, overgrown nails and arthritis
  • The top disorders vary widely across individual breeds
  • Kennel Club encourages all dog owners to be aware of health issues, both general and breed-specific, that could affect their pet

The most common disorders affecting dogs in Britain are being highlighted by the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to dog health and welfare, the Kennel Club, as it launches a new awareness week, Canine Health Week, which runs from 13th to 19th November 2017.  The week will highlight the most common health issues in the overall dog population and enable owners to familiarise themselves with these in order to establish and meet the healthcare needs of their dogs.

Canine Health Week replaces the previous National Canine Health Testing Week and will be an annual initiative to highlight resources, research and information to help make a difference to dog health by identifying all known health issues rather than just those with an available health test or screening scheme.  This will help owners be more aware of and understand the most commonly reported canine disorders that may affect their dogs.

The most common disorders affecting dogs in the UK, according to four years’ worth of clinical veterinary data[1] gathered by VetCompass™ are ear canal disease, followed by dental disease, anal sac impaction, overgrown nails and arthritis. VetCompass™ is a welfare project based at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) that uses anonymised veterinary clinical data to explore disorder occurrence in companion animals and is supported by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “To launch Canine Health Week we wanted to highlight the most common overall problems facing the dog population so that owners have a better understanding of common disorders that might affect their dogs.  It is important that people are familiar with these as regular care, cleaning and general checking of your dog can make a big difference and can help to avoid some of these problems.

“As well as being aware of general problems it is important that dog owners familiarise themselves with breed-specific conditions.  Different dog breeds can have different profiles when it comes to health and the Breed Information Centre on the Kennel Club website offers a wealth of information on the health of each breed.”

Dr Dan O’Neill, VetCompass researcher and RVC Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology, said: “Awareness of the most common disorders in dogs overall is hugely important so that owners can aim to better prevent or recognise these important issues. Key issues for owners of all breeds to be alert to include ear infections, dental health, anal sac problems, arthritis and obesity.  However, each breed has its own unique conformation, behaviour and genetics. Therefore each breed may have health problems that are specific to that breed.  Current and prospective owners should learn as much as possible about the unique health of their breed and tailor their healthcare to best suit their own breed in addition to meeting the healthcare needs of dogs overall.”