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Dogs make excellent companions. They are loyal, affectionate, playful, and hardworking. Besides these perks of owning a dog, you also face a lot of expenses. Dog food, toys, accessories, daycare appointments, and grooming are the most common expenses a dog owner faces. There is, however, another rather expensive aspect of owning a dog – vet bills.
Just like humans, dogs are prone to various illnesses. And since they are our best friends, we would like to provide them with the best care possible. While annual vaccinations and check-ups are already quite expensive, chronic health complaints can shoot vet bills through the roof.
Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to health problems to others. It is in their genetics. Here are seven dog breeds that are known to have the most health problems.
- Labrador Retriever
This breed has been voted the most popular breed in the US, but that does not exempt it from being prone to illnesses. Labradors are susceptible to various health problems that can eventually give them a reduced lifespan. The most common health issues include bone disorders such as hip or shoulder dysplasia and arthritis, cancers, muscular dystrophy, gastric torsion, diabetes, retinal dysplasia, and cataracts.
- German Shepherd
Although a stocky large breed, German Shepherds are commonly affected by conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, cataracts, dermatitis, cardiomyopathy, spinal cord disease, cancers, and skin allergies. Most of these conditions are caused due to inbreeding or improper breeding practices to produce purebred puppies.
Rottweilers are one of the strongest breeds of dogs, but they are prone to bone disorders like elbow and hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, arthritis, and bone cancer. Other common health problems include epilepsy, cataracts, and heart disease.
Poodles come in different variations, but they are all equally prone to various illnesses such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal atrophy, epilepsy, kneecap dislocation, bone degeneration, and heart conditions. These dogs, however, have a longer life expectancy compared to other breeds.
- Saint Bernard
These giant dogs have a relatively short lifespan of about 9 years, which is about half the life expectancy of smaller breeds like Pomeranians and Chihuahuas. Saint Bernards are prone to cardiomyopathy, arthritis, osteochondritis, elbow and hip dysplasia, diabetes, gastric torsion, dermatitis, and epilepsy.
- Golden Retriever
Almost as popular as the Labrador, these long-haired dogs commonly suffer from cancers, elbow or hip dysplasia, cataracts, cardiomyopathy, retinal atrophy, gastric torsion, epilepsy, and dermatitis.
This breed is a result of genetic manipulation, which has resulted in these dogs being prone to a lot more health issues compared to others. They have brachycephalic or “flat-nosed” faces, which makes them vulnerable to congenital conditions like elongated soft palate, collapsed nostrils, and breathing problems. They are also prone to hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and arthritis.
Before you choose the type of dog you want to welcome into your home, consult with a dog expert or veterinarian so you can understand possible healthcare treatments and expenses. The more aware you are, the better chances you give your dog of living a healthier, happier life.