The Pit Bull is a strong, muscular dog, with good skeletal formation, but nonetheless faces some serious health concerns. Learn more about this breed and their health needs.
The Pit Bull has been subject to a great deal of scrutiny and controversy in the past few years, regarding its aggressive nature. Some uphold that this dog is an especially aggressive breed toward humans and other animals, while others maintain that the dog is friendly, loyal, and gentle when properly cared for. Ultimately, if you own a Pit Bull you should be certain to train and socialize them early so that they act as friendly with others as they do with you. The breed is generally healthy, but can have problems with hip dysplasia, cataracts, and heart disease. This dog usually lives from 11 to 13 years.
PRIMARY HEALTH CONDITIONS OF THE PIT BULL
The Pit Bull is a strong, muscular dog, with good skeletal formation, but like all dogs can be prone to hip dysplasia, a hereditary defect in the joint between the hip and hind legs. Dog’s with the condition may experience pain or discomfort and exhibit an uneven gait. This problem is at times addressed by surgery and is treated by proper weight management. The Pit Bull can also be susceptible to cataracts, the thickening and clouding of the eye lens. In older dogs the condition is often left untreated, although surgery is an option if eyesight becomes particularly impaired.
SECONDARY HEALTH CONDITIONS OF THE PIT BULL
The Pit Bull is prone to various forms of heart disease and congenital heart defects, including valve malformations and irregularities in heart rhythm. Some of these problems are minor and can be left untreated in an otherwise healthy dog, while some may require surgery and the medication. This breed may also be subject to various allergies, with some dogs sensitive to grass. Allergies can be treated with antihistamines and skin irritations with shampoos and ointments.
PIT BULL EXERCISE AND WALKING NEEDS
The Pit Bull is an energetic, agile, muscular dog and as such needs a good deal of exercise to keep its muscle tone and to prevent problems with weight gain. This dog enjoys a moderately long walk and plenty of play with its owner. Because of the breed’s strength and powerful jaws, early training and socialization is required to prevent problems related to overaggressive play with other humans and other dogs.
PIT BULL NUTRITIONAL NEEDS
Considering its muscular body and high activity levels, the Pit Bull is a hearty eater. As such, this breed should be given a high quality, high protein diet with plenty of nutrients and vitamins. Pit Bulls readily accept table scraps and human food, but owners should refrain from sharing their food as this breed is prone to obesity. A properly proportioned diet will help prevent onset of hip dysplasia in the Pit Bull and promote overall good health and longevity.
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