PET ADVICE: Choosing a Healthy Breed

dog #5Whether you purchase or adopt a dog, it is a lifetime commitment. And when you end up with one with a myriad of health problems, it can be a financial burden you had not planned on. So, is there a way around that? Can you opt for a breed that is less apt to bring on unending vet bills?

Possibly. However, there are no guarantees.

When you ask veterinarians what the healthiest breed of dog is, their answers may vary. But one thing most will agree on is that mutts are, by far, your best bet for having a healthy dog.

If your mind is set on a purebred pooch, by all means, avoid puppy mills! There is so much irresponsible breeding going on in puppy mills that you can almost bet on your dog having more health, and behavior, problems than you bargained for.

According to an article in Woman’s Day by Amy Whittle, here is a list of the top ten healthiest breeds:

  • Basenji
  • Shiba Imu
  • Chihuahua
  • Bichon Frise
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Poodle
  • Beagle
  • Border Collie
  • Greyhound
  • Doberman Pinscher

However, the list differs depending on who is compiling it. For instance, here is the top ten list from Lanh Ma, an eHow contributor:

  • Portugese Podengo (#1 and not even on the above list!)
  • Shiba Inu
  • Chihuahua
  • Border Collie
  • Puli
  • Basenji
  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Greyhound
  • Poodle
  • Maltese

As you can see, these two lists only agree on seven out of the ten breeds. And, regardless of the breed, if you do not purchase your dog from a reputable breeder, you can, and should, expect your share of health problems with your new pup.

Even if you do pick one of the above breeds and carefully research the breeder, your dog will not be healthy if you are not feeding him or her the proper diet. When your veterinarian recommends a premium dog food, it is not because he is getting a kickback from the dog food company. It is because he knows how vitally important proper nutrition is for the health of your dog. Canines are no different from humans when it comes to this – a healthy diet leads to better health. Period.

Having a healthy pet involves more than just choosing a traditionally healthy breed. Proper diet, exercise and preventive veterinarian care will help your dog live a long and happy life.

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