There’s no denying that purebred dogs are adorable, but the selective breeding process can also lead to certain hereditary health problems.
Selecting a breed that’s less likely to develop serious genetic disorders and diseases can give you peace of mind as your dog grows older. Here are some dog breeds that have a reputation for being relatively healthy and long-lived.
Beagles are a wonderful breed to own as long as you keep them well-fed, exercised, and have plenty of opportunities for outdoor play. However, like most dogs, they can suffer from some health issues.
Obesity: Beagles are very prone to obesity, so it’s important that you feed them properly and measure each meal. They’re also food thieves, so keep all foods and treats out of their reach at all times.
Ear infections: The Beagle’s floppy ears make them prone to ear infections, which can lead to permanent damage and hearing loss if not treated. Regular ear inspections and follow-up visits with your veterinarian will help to ensure that your Beagle’s ears stay healthy.
Cherry eye: Beagles are prone to a prolapsed tear gland, known as cherry eye, which occurs when the tissue that holds the gland in the third eyelid weakens and pops out. If this happens to your Beagle, you should contact your vet as soon as possible so that he can schedule surgery.
Boston Terriers are one of the most popular breeds for families. They make excellent companions and are loyal and affectionate. However, they are prone to certain health problems that can affect their quality of life and longevity.
Their flat face, or brachycephalic syndrome, puts them at risk for life-threatening breathing issues that may require surgery to correct. They’re also at risk for seizures, and some have deafness in one ear or both.
These are heritable disorders, so if you are considering adopting or purchasing a Boston Terrier from a breeder, ask about their health history.
They’re prone to luxating patellas, which are kneecaps that slip out of place. These conditions can be painful and require surgical repair.
Boston Terriers have a lot of energy, so regular exercise is important to help them maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems like diabetes and arthritis. A long daily walk and sessions of play in the yard will keep them happy and healthy.
French Bulldogs have the least health issues among all the “bully” breeds, largely due to their genetic makeup. They are often bred for their cute appearance, but breeding solely for that can lead to undesirable traits, such as breathing problems and hip dysplasia.
They are prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can result in severe respiratory distress, especially when they are exposed to extreme heat or humid weather. Their short snouts mean their soft palate is too long, which blocks the wind pipe, and their narrow nostrils prevent them from taking in enough air to breathe.
Consistent bouts of diarrhea are also common in French Bulldogs, so monitor their stools for signs of an intestinal problem, including a wet, runny, or tarry poop, foul smell, and blood in the stools. If these symptoms persist for a period of time, your vet may recommend an elimination diet and antibiotics.
Newfoundlands are one of the oldest breeds, and they’ve earned their reputation for being docile, patient with children, and loyal to their families. They’re also excellent swimmers, and they’re a great addition to an active family.
They’re also very devoted and affectionate, and they get along well with other dogs. But like all large dogs, they’re prone to bloat, a condition that can quickly kill them if not treated right away.
Cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes an enlarged heart, is another major concern in Newfoundlands. It’s a genetic disease, and no dog should be bred with a history of it.
Another serious health problem affecting Newfoundlands is a disorder of the spinal cord called cervical vertebral instability (CVI). It’s not known why this condition occurs, but it can cause weakness and difficulty in coordination in the hindquarters. It can also lead to paralysis and death. It’s a very difficult disease to diagnose, and it doesn’t respond well to treatment.