The last few years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club has seen dog ownership soar to record levels.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thought that goes into choosen your pawfect pup – whether you want a large dog, family-friendly dog, or crossbreed. There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One thing to bear in mind when looking for a new dog is that certain breeds are predisposed to certain health conditions which, in some cases, may shorten their life.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t make great pets – in fact some are amongst the most popular and loved dog breeds in the UK – but it’s important to know that there are potential issues so you know what symptoms to look out for so you can make sure your pooch gets the best possible early treatment.
Here are 10 of the breeds that suffer from the worst health problems, according to the Kennel Club.
1. Cocker Spaniel
Owners of friendly and loyal Cocker Spaniels should be aware that their pet is susceptible to a range of health issues, including a variety of orthopaedic issues, epilepsy, heart disease and liver disease. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Bassett Hound
Basset Hounds are utterly adorable but are prone to a range of joint issues, digestive issues including bloating and the serious blood clotting condition Von Willebrand. Taking out health insurance on this breed is essential and regular vet visits for checkups recommended. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Pugs are brachycephalic dogs (flat-faced) meaning they are liable to develop health issues that others are not - particularly breathing problems. These bundles of fur can also have problems with dermatitis and eye infections. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. German Shepherd
Obtaining a German Shepherd from a good breeder should hopefully minimise the risk of getting a dog with hip dysplasia - a painful condition that affects puppies that can be prevented through careful screeninig. German Shepherds are also more likely to develop cataracts, cardiomyopathy, and skin allergies than most other breeds. Photo: Canva/Getty Images