Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Healthy Pets

Font Size

5 Health Mistakes Dog Owners Make

Avoid common problems and keep your best friend in tip top shape.
WebMD Pet Health Feature
Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM

Sometimes, pet owners with the best of intentions still make serious mistakes when it comes to the health of their dog.

Here's what top veterinarians had to say about mistakes owners make that lead to ailments they often see and how you can avoid them.

Recommended Related to Pets

At-Home Pet Euthanasia

Bob, a Maine Coon mix, was never fond of the ride to the veterinarian. While the cat would purr placidly through the vet's exam, he pitched a fit and cried during the trip there. "Riding in a car stressed him out terribly," says owner Sandy Volkman of Lakeville, Minn. When Bob went into kidney failure at age 18, Volkman couldn't fathom driving him to be put down through her tears and his cries. Her veterinarian recommended Minnesota Pets, a Twin Cities-based mobile euthanasia service. In October...

Read the At-Home Pet Euthanasia article > >


Mistake 1: Not Getting Preventive Care

Houston’s Canine Health Institute associate medical director Adrianne Brode, DVM, says neglecting preventive health care is the most common mistake dog owners make.

"Taking your dog in to the vet for regular examinations, giving heartworm prevention, and getting your dog the appropriate vaccinations and deworming can prevent many diseases," Brode says. For example, heartworm disease can be difficult to treat and ultimately fatal to dogs, but it's easily preventable.

Oregon veterinarian Marla J. McGeorge, DVM, says yearly exams help your vet catch problems early. Instead of coping with lengthy treatment of an advanced or chronic condition, your vet can catch issues in their beginning stages when care may mean cure. Early care saves you money in the long run.

Simply getting your dog vaccinated isn't the same as a full physical exam. Among other things, a comprehensive checkup may include:

  • Blood work
  • A fecal examination for intestinal parasites
  • Examination of a dog’s gums, heart, lungs, teeth, eyes, and ears

Talk to your veterinarian to learn more.

Mistake 2: Neglecting Dental Care

Shawn Messonnier, DVM, author of the Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, says neglecting regular dental care is also common. Dogs need dental care for the same reason we do: to prevent gum disease.

As with human teeth, plaque forms on a dog's teeth after eating. If left alone, the plaque builds, causing inflammation, decay, and eventually bone and tooth loss. And while this silent war goes on in your dog's mouth, she’s probably experiencing pain you don't notice because dogs, like cats, instinctively hide pain.

Gum disease is five times more common in dogs than it is in people. But it's easy to prevent and to treat with dental care that includes:

  • Daily brushings
  • Good quality food
  • Regular oral X-rays, exams, and cleanings
  • Safe teeth-cleaning treats and chew toys


Today on WebMD

Puppy digging hole
Are you putting your pet at risk?
Cat looking at fish
Things we can learn from our pets.
dog and kitten
27 ways pets help your health.
Get the facts about prevention.
Woman holding puppy
Sad dog and guacamole
Siamese cat eating from bowl
cat on couch
Cat People vs Dog People Slideshow
Kitten playing
Orange cat nuzzling woman
German shephard reading a book