Why it’s important to know before deciding whether or not a dog is right for you
While we can agree that all dogs deserve a loving home, decades of irresponsible breeding practices have resulted in several breeds that are more prone to health issues than others.
And while that is no reason to avoid them as pets, it is important for prospective dog parents to know what they could be getting into if they opt for one of the following breeds:
Poodle – Poodles of all sizes have long life expectancies, but that life is often filled with health issues that might require vet visits. Most poodle problems are eye-related; they are prone to conditions like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal degeneration. Poodles are popular due to their non-shedding coat, which is particularly great for allergy sufferers, but be prepared to pay a lot of attention to their eyes throughout their lifetime.
Saint Bernard/Newfoundland – Large breeds like these are often prone to joint and muscle issues such as spinal degeneration and hip dysplasia from carrying a lot of weight around under all that fur. These larger breeds are also more likely than small breeds to develop heart diseases such as cardiomyopathy. Sadly, big dogs tend to have shorter life spans, but that just means you have to pack a lot of love into the years you’re blessed with!
Bulldog/Pug – The compact faces of these breeds were unfortunately caused by bad breeding practices, which leaves them vulnerable to a host of breathing issues and eye problems. Their squat build also puts pressure on their hips, which can cause mobility problems as they get older. Variations of the bulldog are trendy at the moment—but you’ll need to be willing and able to be more cognizant of their behavior changes as they age.
Basset Hound – While iconic dogs, bassets are also prone to a variety of health problems due to their physicality. Lameness and kneecap dislocation can occur because of their short little legs, and bloat is common in the breed, meaning that owners need to closely monitor their digestion to prevent a life-threatening escalation. Canine thrombopathia is a blood disorder that is almost exclusive to Basset Hounds and that can cause internal bleeding, so regular blood tests are recommended.
These ‘high maintenance’ dogs also come with a lot of great features too, including their unique personalities and kind nature, so don’t be intimidated! But our time with our dogs is far too short as it is, so if you decide to adopt one of these breeds, make sure you’re ready to go that extra mile if needed to keep them healthy.