Common Dog Health Problems

Your dog’s health is important, and it is good to do regular check-ups, as you may be able to catch some diseases early to prevent complications or a worsening in condition; regular check-ups may also save money in the long run.

So here is a list of common dog ailments:

Ear Infections

Ear infections may be caused by yeast, allergies or even hair growth deep in the ear canal.

To see if your dog suffers from this, look for these symptoms

  • Frequent ear scratching
  • Shaking or tilting his head a bit too much
  • Redness of the ear
  • Ear odour
  • Loss of balance
  • Swelling
  • Yellow, brown or bloody discharge

If you notice these symptoms in your dog, please visit your veterinarian.

The problem can often times be fixed quickly with medication and cleaning, but surgery may be needed.

.dog with ear infection


This also happen to be a common problem in some children, and can be quite painful, and in puppies, hookworm can be fatal.


  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Scooting on his bottom
  • Dry coat

dog with worms

Do not try to treat worms on your own, visit your veterinarian.


Don’t you just hate when these creatures insist on tormenting you dog?

One flea can turn into 1,000 in a matter of three weeks.


  • Scratching
  • Excessive chasing the tail
  • Hair loss
  • And erratic behaviour, for example, barking at his tail

Have a talk with your vet about possible medication.

Also, see about regular baths with medicated and antibacterial soaps.

.dog with fleas

Urinary Tract Infection

If your dog is peeing often or is having accidents in the house when it has never done so before, you should probably take it to the vet, as your dog may suffer from Urinary Tract Infection. If you notice blood when your dog pees or if urinating looks particularly painful for him, contact your vet.


I find it weird that dogs can become obese, I mean, doesn’t everyone exercise their dogs these days, and don’t they spend a lot of time burning off energy on their own as well?

But regardless of that, we should monitor the foods we feed our dogs. Be sure to limit the amount of human food we give them, as it tends to contain too much fat and salt.

Regular exercise and play time is important in dogs, (humans too), an exercised dog, is a dog that won’t be pestering you too much for affection and playing; he also won’t be trying to destroy your flower beds outside.

The health risks of obesity in dogs are the same in humans:

Diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and respiratory disorders just to name a few

dog obesity

Canine Parvovirus

Commonly called Parvo, this disease has become one of the most common and deadly viral infections in pet dogs.

While it affects dogs of all ages, young pups are more severely affected.


  • Vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss

If you suspect your dog may be affected by this, please contact your vet immediately.

Vaccines are available, but it has been shown that many dogs who were vaccinated still manage to be affected by it.

Top 3 Most Popular Dog Breeds and Fun Facts

Dogs come in different shapes and sizes, and are all great, but, we all have our favourites.

Here’s to the top three most popular dog breeds:

Labrador Retriever

This dog was ranked number one most popular in the U.S. and have been making families happy for years.

The Lab Retriever, was bred to be companionable and a great helper with workers.

According to history, the Lab worked with fishermen for years, and has helped them by fetching ropes, hauling nets and even retrieving fish from the cold cold North Atlantic.

Today, the Lab is still a great helper and is often brought on hunts into the forests, and used to bring back shot games; they have also been used as rescue dogs.

They are very affectionate and intelligent.

They are great swimmers

Labrador Retriever


Male Female
Height-55-60 cm Height 52-57 cm
Weight 25-33 kg Weight 25-30 kg



Hunting, watchdog, service dog


They have a lifespan of 10-12 years

Litter sizes

5 to 10 puppies

Energy levels

They are rather excitable, but they gain weight easily, so be careful with feeding.

German Shepard

They are known to be fearless and courageous.

Often times they are seen on TV as police dogs.

The German Shepard is a highly social dog and does not deal well with being alone for long periods of time. For best results, socialize them properly from puppyhood.

They have a strong sense of self and sense of power, so the owners need to continuously show that they are pack leaders. This dog is not ideal for people with passive behaviours; be sure to let the dog know that he is a dog, as treating him like a kid or human will have him thinking he is alpha.

German Shepherd


Males Females
Height 60-65 cm Height 55-60 cm
Weight 35-38 kg Weight 34-34 kg



Tracking, obedience, sniffing for drugs

They also make for great guard dogs


About 13 years

Litter sizes

6 to 10 puppies

Energy levels

Very energetic, and they love strenuous activities as it keeps them busy and allows them to use their muscles.

Golden Retriever

They are loyal and very easily trained; they make for wonderful family dogs. And though they tend to be very excitable, and near overly exuberant, they are rather very intelligent; being able to learn up to 200 commands, and is also known as a sporting dog.

Golden retrievers do well in competitions.

While this may not be the best choice for a guard dog, it makes for an excellent companion. To house this dog, you need to arrange activities to keep it entertained, or you may just be coming home to a de-stuffed couch.
 Golden Retriever


Males Females
Height 55-60 cm Height 50-55cm
Weight 25-36 kg Weight 25-32 kg



Tacking, hunting and performing tricks


10 to 12 years

Energy levels

Is very excitable, and requires daily exercise

Agility Dog Association of Australia

Alpha Dog Coats is proud to be associated with the Agility Dog Association of Australia (ADAA), who just hosted their 2015 Grand Prix. Congratulations to Carol and the team for a job well done running what was a very successful event.

Tuff Dog Coats - Certificate of Appreciation ADAA

Do You Need a Dog Jacket This Winter?


  • Some people scoff at the idea of putting clothes on dogs, but there are lots of dog owners who have seen their dogs struggle with the cold to the point of shivering.
  • Some dogs are designed to handle cold conditions well with thick shaggy fur, but some dogs, through breeding and other factors, are very unsuited to cold weather
  • Dogs that have short coats, small or light-framed dogs tend to have very little in the way of natural layering, and are good candidates for dog coats.
  • Old dogs, or dogs with sicknesses have weaker immune systems, and can have trouble growing hair and with circulation, and so are more susceptible to cold weather, and also may have more need of a jacket.


Here are some symptoms your dog can show if he’s not handling the cold weather:

  • Your dog is reluctant to go outside to relieve himself.
  • Your dog shivers when he’s outside.
  • Your dog curls up into a little ball in an effort to conserve heat.


Some dogs are bred to handle very cold conditions, with thick dense fur that acts as natural insulation against the wind, rain and snow, and have no need for extra layering (think of huskies, german shepherds, and so on)
If your dog fits this description, and has been bred to thrive in cold conditions, he doesn’t need a dog jacket to keep him warm. If you do plan to buy clothing for him, make sure you buy a lighter jacket like our Fleece Dog Jacket, to avoid overheating.


If you feel that your dog could use a bit of extra layering in the colder months, the next step is to choose the right dog jacket for him.

Waterproof range:

Non-waterproof dog coats, like our Alpha Fleece Jacket or even our Dog Pyjamas make good indoor or dry-weather jackets for your pooch.


  • Before you order a dog coat or jacket from our store, please make sure you measure your dog using our Dog Coat Sizing Chart available here.
  • A good snug fit is important so your dog is comfortable in his new coat.
  • Too small and the coat will be too tight and restrict your dog’s movement, but too big and your dog coat can drag on the ground, get caught on snags and even get pulled right off him.


  • Some dogs aren’t naturally suited to cold weather.
  • Decide what type of dog coat your dog needs.
  • Measure your dog up before you buy your first coat or jacket.


Dog Coat Fit / Size Guide

Tips For Measuring Your Dog

  • The size of a dog coat is the measurement taken from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.
  • If you can’t see the base of your dog’s neck, run your fingers down his neck until you find the spot where his shoulder blades start
  • Your dog must be standing up straight while you take your measurement
  • The measurement is the horizontal distance, taken in a straight line
  • Most people who need to exchange coats have over-estimated the size dog coat they need

dog coat size guide

If Your Dog Is In Between Sizes

If your dog is in between sizes, use these general rules of thumb:

  • Tail up – round down
  • Tail down – round up
  • Large, muscular, heavy-set dogs – round up
  • Slender, light dogs – round down