A new study into the impact of major conditions on a dog’s health and wellbeing has revealed the top three biggest issues affecting dogs today.

The VetCompass study was conducted by analysing data from 455,557 dogs seen by veterinary surgeons in practice in the UK. They examined eight common canine conditions and by taking frequency of the disorder, duration of the condition and severity together, they discovered that the conditions with the highest welfare impact on dogs overall are: dental disease, osteoarthritis and obesity.

The team behind the study hope that these results can help vets to target conditions that have the greatest impact on dogs they treat.

Dr Dan O’Neill, Senior lecturer in epidemiology at the RVC and co-author of the study said:

“During my 20 years as a first opinion vet, owners constantly asked me to advise them about the most important conditions that they should try to prevent in their dogs. At that time, I could not answer this as it was unknown to science. We now have this answer; and we can now advise owners to focus on dental health, monitoring for joint disease and to pay special attention to their dogs body condition score. Finally, we have the key to prioritising long-term health in dogs overall.”

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