6 Breed-Specific Conditions Dog Owners Should Know About
March 08 2023
There’s something special about canines that the popular phrase “A dog is a man’s best friend” perfectly captures the essence of our four-legged furry companions. They’re smart, cute, funny, playful, and loyal – what more could you ask for? While it is in every dog owner’s best interest to maintain their pooch’s health at an optimal level, sometimes, our little friends end up in situations that involve less-than-perfect health conditions.
Depending on your dog’s breed, they may be more likely to suffer from particular conditions compared to their canine counterparts. Below, six breed-specific conditions dog owners should know about – ideally, before deciding which breed they should get.
Skin allergies in Golden Retriever
One of the most popular dog breeds across the U.S., Golden Retriever is an amazing choice for owners with families. Affectionate and playful, they get along well with other pets as well as children, and are one of the most intelligent dog breeds out there.
But underneath the lush golden coats, these pooches tend to develop an itchy skin condition called Atopic Dermatitis. From pollen to mold to dust, there’s a wide variety of allergens from the environment that can potentially trigger this condition in Golden Retrievers. Left untreated, atopy could lead to yeast and bacterial infections. Although these golden doggos are genetically predisposed to suffer from skin allergies, it is possible to manage their condition by monitoring their skin health and treating atopy with anti-itch medications.
Hip dysplasia in German Sheperd
Although they can occur in smaller dogs, hip and joint issues are generally more common in larger breeds. One of these breeds is America’s favorite – German Shepherd. Like Golden Retrievers, these pups make wonderful additions to owners with families, but they also make for great guards. While this breed is great at taking care of its owner, it is vital that the owner does the same for his pup.
Providing plenty of exercise along with watching their diet is particularly important for this breed since they are at higher risk of suffering from walking problems and pain due to the condition known as hip dysplasia – a joint issue they’re genetically predisposed to along with other breeds such as Irish Setters, Newfoundlands, and Great Danes. By taking proactive steps, owners can help ensure the health of their GSDs and prevent these issues from becoming severe.
Arthritis in Mastiff
Massive, miraculous and mighty, a Mastiff is a breed that’s been around since ancient times. Back in the day, these giant puppers often took on the role of guardians and hunters, and they have retained their popularity ever since. Despite their formidable look, Mastiffs are a loving breed with a big heart but also a big possibility of suffering from arthritis. Full checkups are vital for recognizing this condition in your pet.
Once diagnosed, your vet may suggest treatment options such as dogs arthritis supplements for managing this hereditary condition. They may also suggest you try other treatments simultaneously, including low-impact exercises, the use of NSAIDs, and in some cases, surgery. Other breeds that are more prone to developing arthritis at some point in their life include:
- Springer Spaniels
- Bernese mountain dogs
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepherds
Obesity in Labrador Retriever
Like humans, dog breeds are also prone to developing obesity, which could potentially lead to an array of chronic health conditions. Although any dog breed can become obese, Labrador Retriever is one of the breeds that’s at a particularly high risk. Fortunately for Lab owners though, it is possible to prevent your pupper from becoming overweight.
One way to do it is to provide them plenty of opportunities for physical activity. Another way – and arguably the more important one – is to keep an eye at your pet’s diet on the daily. Instead of excess pet food, reach for healthy snacks such as apples and raw carrots to give them something to munch on and satisfy their cravings in a healthy way.
Eye problems in Pugs
Although their bulgy eyes are their most recognizable feature, they’re also a source of worry for Pug owners. Due to the position of their eyes, which are very prominent, and, of course, their flat face – a feature they share with breeds like Shih Tzu and French Bulldog – pugs are at especially high risk of developing eye problems at some point in their life.
There’s always a possibility of their eyes popping out of the socket, which could potentially lead to vision loss. This usually happens as a result of a dog fight or an accident. In that case, it is best to rush your pup to the vet as soon as possible while keeping their eye covered with a damp cloth.
Other eye problems Pugs often suffer from include:
- eye dryness
- cherry eye
- progressive retinal atrophy
Ear infections in Cocker Spaniels
Like their canine counterparts Pugs who struggle with eye problems, Cocker Spaniel breed is also genetically predisposed for certain eye disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts. While their flowing coats paired with their furry and floppy ears are the hallmark of this dog breed, these very features come at a cost.
The lengthy hair covering their ears traps moisture, which often causes them to get ear infections. This only highlights the importance of keeping their ear canals dry as well as regularly cleaning their ears. Cocker Spaniels’ coats also require daily brushing, along with frequent bathing, thus making them one of the most high-maintenance dog breeds around. Take into account things like these before you decide what dog breed suits you the most. Certain breeds require more care than others, so informing yourself is vital before commiting to a particular one.
Optimal pet care helps ensure optimal pet health
Purebred pets come with their own benefits, but each breed is sensitive to particular health problems. As a dog parent, making sure your Fido stays in good health for as long as possible is your top priority.
Fortunately, many of the conditions are preventable and manageable should they occur. Prevention is still the best cure though, so keep track of your pupper’s health and you’ll ensure a longer, happier, and more (p)awesome life for your furry friend!