Common Dog Breed Illnesses That Are Impacted by Nutrition

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A nutritious and balanced diet is important when ensuring that your dog is healthy and happy. The contributing factor in many canine illnesses is often poor nutrition, which makes it important to give your dog high-quality food to prevent him from getting sick. Another is the potential health risks that stem from genetics which have been passed down in the bloodlines of breeds. If you invest in your dog’s health now, then he won’t get sick later on.

Eating human food can be detrimental to a dog’s body, so your dog may seem fine initially, but his health can deteriorate over time and complications can arise later in life. A dog will rely on adequate nutrition to support all his bodily functions, which includes supporting healthy immune systems as well as avoiding specific ailments like healthy fur, strong claws, and maintaining cell function and strong bones.


A nationwide problem for both humans and dogs, obesity affects over 50 percent of dogs in America. If a dog is affected by his obesity, he is prone to cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. Obesity can also decrease his life expectancy, and more than 90 percent of dog owners were surprised that their pet wasn’t in the normal weight range.

It’s important to pay attention to the fat and calorie levels of your pet’s food. Both are important to a dog’s diet, but a lot of either one can exacerbate or cause obesity in a dog. When you find a good dog food diet, you will find that it will limit the fats and calories that your dog eats, which can help him trim down if he is obese or overweight, and also help him live a healthier lifestyle.


When a dog’s pancreas becomes inflamed, pancreatitis will develop. This causes a flow of digestive enzymes that are released in his abdominal area, which can cause digestive enzymes to break down proteins and fat in other organs as well as your dog’s pancreas. Dietary fat in a dog is associated with a dog’s development of pancreatitis. And it can stimulate the hormone’s secretion that can induce the dog’s pancreas to secrete digestive hormones. If your dog suffers from pancreatitis, it recommends a bland diet that is easy to digest and low in fat.

Bladder Stones

No two bladder stones are the same since they may be composed of different minerals and other types of substances. One bladder stone, like the calcium oxalate bladder stones, is primarily made of calcium while a struvite is primarily made of phosphates and magnesium. A bladder stone may begin small, but can grow in size or number over time, which can cause issues like urination straining, urinary accidents, and discolored urine.

Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog suffers from bladder stones. Not only can he identify the type of bladder stones your dog has, but he can recommend food that can dissolve the stone, or if your dog needs surgery to take it out if it can’t be dissolved using food. A vet can also recommend special diets that will deter bladder stones from even forming. If your dog doesn’t currently have bladder stones, he may benefit from a diet that is low in phosphorus and calcium.

Heart Disease

A dog can have issues with heart disease just like a human, particularly if they have a diet that isn’t balanced. One important factor that determines if your dog will have heart disease in a dog is his sodium intake. An increase in sodium in a dog’s diet can cause an increase in his sodium levels that circulate in his blood. An elevated level of sodium will cause his blood vessels to have water retention and for your dog to have elevated blood pressure.

When your dog’s blood pressure increases, his diseased heart will start to enlarge in order to overcome the increased pressure to pump blood from his ventricles. If you feed your dog human food or your dog has a diet that is high in sodium, talk to your vet to see how a healthy diet that is low in sodium can benefit your dog.


If you have a dog that suffers frequently from diarrhea, you will find that there are two types that he can have, either large bowel or small bowel diarrhea. A dog with small bowel diarrhea will usually have a large amount of soft stool a few times each day, so you should feed your dog a diet that is easy to digest, bland, and low in fat. When he has developed abnormalities that are centered in his colon, it will affect a dog so that he strains to produce just a small amount of watery stool throughout the day, which is considered large bowel diarrhea. A diet high in fiber is often beneficial, so ideally you will want to use soluble fiber.


Often associated with a poor diet, diabetes in a dog can develop in one of two forms. Most commonly, you will see diabetes mellitus, which is genetic and caused by a lack of insulin. Or, it may be a secondary condition that is related to chronic pancreatitis or obesity that is both caused or affected by a poor diet.

The second type of diabetes, called diabetes insipidus, is very rare as well as idiopathic, which occurs spontaneously and has no known cause. Dogs that have diabetes need treatment their entire life, which will include doses of insulin. But, if you feed your dog a high-quality diet, it can help that you control his blood sugar levels, which makes it important as an important way to manage his illness as well as a preventative method.

Gastrointestinal Illnesses

Many illnesses can affect your dog’s digestive system including gastritis, gastroenteritis, colitis, and gastrointestinal distress. There can be many causes of these stomach illnesses, and a dog’s diet can be a huge contributing factor. Plus, a decent diet with highly digestible food can be a part of the treatment needed for most gastrointestinal issues that your dog can develop. Feeding your dog a good diet is an excellent preventative measure when fighting these types of illnesses.


Cancer is actually pretty common among dogs, and the causes of cancer can vary and also be pretty hard to diagnose. But just like in humans, if your dog eats a balanced and healthy diet, it can play an important part in reducing your dog’s risk of developing cancer. If your dog is overweight, it can also contribute to the possibility of his developing cancer, which makes it even more important that you ensure that your dog has a good diet. In addition, some studies show that your dog’s diet can influence the progression of cancer as well as improve your dog’s quality of life if he does develop the illness.

Skin and Fur Conditions

When your dog doesn’t get enough nutrients from his food, it is a clear indication that can be seen in his fur and skin. If your dog doesn’t absorb his food correctly or eats enough nutritious food, his fur becomes dry, dull, and brittle and sometimes it becomes itchy. He may also experience a thinning of his fur and even a loss of his hair.

The biggest cause of a recurring skin condition in a dog is poor nutrition. Feeding your dog nutritious food not only prevents some skin conditions, but it also helps to strengthen your dog’s skin barrier to stop allergens from penetrating his skin and lowering the possibilities of any future problems. Skin infections and hair loss can also be the result of dietary allergies, which makes it that much more important to make sure that you feed your dog a very nutritious diet that doesn’t include allergens.




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