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Common Illnesses In Dogs & Cats

Pet parenting is just about the greatest job in the world. Whether you’re watching your dogs romp around the park with joy or lounging on the couch with a soft, purring feline in your arms – little can compare to the connection we have with our pets.

Aside from happiness, pet parenting also brings some steep responsibility. Unfortunately, our pets cannot tell us when they feel unwell. That’s why it’s vital to monitor your dog or cat for any unusual signs or behaviors, and take them to their veterinarian as soon as possible. We recommend you watch for the following symptoms and conditions.

Common illnesses in dogs

  • Loss of appetite: Appetite loss is a symptom rather than an illness, but it’s such an important warning sign that it deserves to be mentioned first. After all, have you ever known your dog to turn down a treat? If you notice your dog is not eating normally, call your veterinarian and let him or her know that your dog’s eating behavior has changed.
  • Obesity: Of all the common illnesses in dogs, the most preventable one is obesity. Obesity can also lead to other conditions and diseases, such as arthritis and diabetes. Take your pet for regular exams - they will get weighed during each visit so that obesity can be stopped before it advances. Your vet may even prescribe prescription dog food that promotes weight loss. Figo’s Powerups can help cover the cost of these treatments and checkups.
  • Arthritis: Just like people, dogs can slow down as they get older, but they don’t need to suffer through joint pain. Ask your vet about daily arthritis pain medication and specially formulated prescription food for arthritic dogs.
  • Dental disease: As dogs age, tartar build-up and gingivitis can lead to dental disease. Symptoms include bad breath, drooling, and reluctance to eat dry kibble. Your veterinarian will likely recommend having your pet’s teeth cleaned, but they may also identify any teeth that need to be extracted.
  • Urinary problems: If your house-trained dog starts urinating indoors, or you notice that your pet’s urine looks more brown than yellow, contact your veterinarian. They will collect a urine sample and run tests to see what might be causing the problem. It could be a urinary tract infection (UTI), which can be cleared up with antibiotics.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea: Just like people, dogs can have stomach issues involving their upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sometimes a dog will vomit after eating too fast, but if vomiting or diarrhea occur for more than a day or two, see your pet’s vet as soon as possible. It might be serious, or you may just need to change your pet’s diet.

Common illnesses in cats

Many pet parents are told that cats are easier to care for than dogs. They may be lower maintenance, however, it’s admittedly difficult to know when your cat falls ill.

Our domesticated cats’ wild ancestors hid their symptoms of illness as a means of survival. They didn’t want predators to know they were vulnerable. Unfortunately for us, this feline trait continues today. If your cat usually trots from his or her napping place to vocally greet you but has begun quietly hiding in a safe spot, he or she might be feeling unwell. Changes in behavior can indicate that it’s time to visit a vet.

  • Litterbox problems: Like loss of appetite and litterbox issues can be symptoms of disease. In fact, there are many health-related reasons your cat may not be using the litterbox. If your cat has stopped using the litterbox, contact your veterinarian and schedule a health exam.
  • Kidney issues: One of the most common illnesses in cats is kidney disease. You may notice your cat drinking more water than usual and/or using the litterbox more frequently. Your cat might even urinate outside the litterbox if she or he is unable to reach the box in time. Your veterinarian might recommend switching your cat to a renal-friendly formula of cat food.

Our animal companions can’t verbalize when they’re not feeling well, so it’s up to you to recognize the symptoms of common diseases in dogs and cats. If you suspect any issues, take them to see their veterinarian as quickly as possible, before a minor illness becomes a chronic disease.

Pet insurance

Not all pet insurance companies will cover all the costs associated with your pet’s illness. Figo Pet Insurance, underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, offers robust pet healthcare coverage benefits, including reimbursing 100% of your eligible expenses after meeting your deductible. We offer flexible medical insurance plans that can be customized especially for your dogs and cats.

Beyond that, our accident and treatment coverage extends worldwide, at any licensed veterinarian, veterinary specialist, or emergency pet hospital. Plus, the seamless digital experience of our exclusive Figo Pet Cloud app can connect you to even more pet-friendly people and places as well as to our 24/7 Virtual Vet in case of emergencies.

You can’t plan when an illness or accident might happen to your pet, but you can count on Figo Pet Insurance to make paying for unexpected trips to the veterinarian easier. Get started today.

Last updated: Feb 9, 2022 / 7: 20am CST