Dog Breeds Vets WORRY About Most (with Photos)

When it comes to our beloved canine companions, health and happiness are top priorities. However, certain dog breeds are more susceptible to specific health issues that can cause concern among veterinarians.

Knowing which dog breeds are at a higher risk for health problems can help potential pet parents make an informed decision when choosing their furry family member.

Some breeds have been selectively bred over many generations, which has led to an increased risk of hereditary health conditions.

Veterinarians often have to keep a close eye on these breeds to ensure they receive the proper care and monitoring. While all dogs deserve love and attention, being aware of these potential issues can better prepare pet owners for the responsibility of caring for a dog with higher health risks.

dog breeds vets worry about most
Dog Breeds Vets Worry About Most: Top Concerns Unveiled

In this article, we will explore some of the dog breeds that vets worry about most, discussing the specific health issues they’re prone to facing. This information serves to help educate pet owners and prospective dog adopters, ensuring they can provide the best possible care and environment for their canine companions, making them happy, healthy, and part of the family for years to come.

Dog Breeds Vets Worry About Most


Bulldogs are adorable, but their cute appearance may mask some health concerns. Vets worry about this breed due to their flat faces and stocky bodies, which can lead to breathing issues and joint problems. Additionally, Bulldogs are prone to skin fold infections and eye conditions.

three English Bulldogs together
The three English Bulldogs sits together on a red background.

German Shepherds

These loyal and intelligent dogs make great companions, but they can face health challenges too. Vets often see German Shepherds with hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and other joint issues. They can also experience epilepsy, vision problems, and digestive disorders.

two German Shepherds
Two German Shepherds lying on the grass after a training.

Great Danes

Great Danes might be gentle giants, but their size can contribute to health problems. Vets often notice these dogs experience bone and joint issues like hip dysplasia, and they are susceptible to heart conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy. Their life expectancy is also shorter than many other breeds.

do Great Danes bark a lot
Do Great Danes bark a lot? [Help]


Don’t let their small size fool you – Chihuahuas pack a punch when it comes to health concerns. Vets often see dental problems and patellar luxation (kneecap dislocation) in this breed. Chihuahuas are also more prone to heart issues and require dental maintenance throughout their lives.

three Chihuahuas enjoys sun at the beach
The three Chihuahuas enjoys the sunlight at the beach.

Pit Bulls

Although Pit Bulls are strong and muscular, they can suffer from health issues too. Vets often encounter joint problems, skin allergies, and a genetic condition called cerebellar ataxia. They can also be prone to heart disease and cancer.

Pitbulls run at the beach
Pitbulls run at the beach with their owner!

French Bulldogs

Much like their Bulldog cousins, French Bulldogs are brachycephalic, meaning they have a shortened snout that can cause breathing difficulties. Vets often treat these dogs for overheating issues and spinal disorders, as their unique structure can lead to disc problems.

French Bulldog playing
French Bulldogs play with their guardian at the park.


These powerful dogs are no stranger to health problems, despite their robust appearance. Vets worry about Rottweilers because they often suffer from joint issues like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, as well as eye and heart conditions.

three Rottweilers swimming together
The three Rottweilers enjoy swimming together at the lake.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers might be America’s sweetheart, but they come with their fair share of health concerns. Vets often see these dogs experience hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as genetic eye disorders. They may also be prone to certain types of cancer.

Golden Retrievers three colors
Golden Retrievers with different colors in snow!

Their luxurious coats can lead to skin allergies and require regular grooming.

Common Health Problems in At-Risk Breeds

Bulldogs, for example, are known for their adorable wrinkled faces and stocky builds. However, those same features can also lead to a variety of health problems. Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems due to their brachycephalic (short-nosed) facial structure.

Chihuahua lying on the floor
The Chihuahua has some health conditions that a pet owner should know about.

It’s like running a marathon with a stuffy nose – not ideal!

In addition to breathing issues, Bulldogs can also experience eye problems, as their eyelids often don’t close entirely or roll inward. Think of it as constantly wearing a pair of ill-fitting goggles, which can cause irritation and other issues.

Cancer is another common health problem among many dog breeds. For instance, some large breeds like Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds have higher rates of developing cancer compared to other breeds. Moreover, epilepsy is another concern for breeds like Beagles and Dachshunds, leading to seizures and requiring special care.

Degenerative myelopathy, a progressive disease affecting a dog’s spinal cord, is sadly quite common in breeds like Boxers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. This condition can gradually lead to loss of coordination and muscle strength, eventually rendering the dog unable to walk.

When it comes to joint-related issues, hip dysplasia is a major concern for larger breeds like Rottweilers and Labrador Retrievers. This condition affects the hip joints and can cause lameness and arthritis. You could think of it as feeling like you have a rusty hinge that no amount of oil can fix.

Bloat, or twisted stomach, is another worrying condition, especially for deep-chested dog breeds like Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers. Bloat can be life-threatening, as it causes the stomach to twist on itself, cutting off blood supply. It’s like living with a ticking time bomb in your belly!

Lastly, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart condition that affects breeds like Doberman Pinschers and Cocker Spaniels. DCM causes the heart muscles to weaken and become enlarged, reducing the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. It’s as if your heart wants to throw in the towel after one too many rounds.

In summary, knowing the common health problems associated with specific breeds can help dog owners take appropriate precautions and monitor their furry companions’ health. A healthy dog is a happy dog, after all!

Veterinary Care and Prevention

Providing proper veterinary care is crucial in maintaining the health and well-being of our furry friends. Veterinarians often worry about certain dog breeds due to particular health issues that affect their lifespan and quality of life.

French Bulldog being vaccinated
A French Bulldog being vaccinated at a vet clinic.

For instance, Dr. Marty Becker, a renowned veterinary expert, highlights the importance of preventive healthcare for pets, especially among breeds susceptible to specific health concerns. Some breeds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, are known to face respiratory issues due to their flat faces and constricted airways, requiring extra attention in terms of their healthcare.

It’s essential to keep up with regular veterinary visits, vaccinations, and physical exams, ensuring your pet receives comprehensive care. Veterinary professionals will generally recommend the following:

  • Annual check-ups
  • Vaccination schedules based on age and risk factors
  • Dental care and cleanings
  • Parasite control, including heartworm and flea prevention

The implementation of preventive measures also contributes to the enhancement of a dog’s lifespan. Taking care of your pet’s dental health, for example, can forestall issues like tooth decay or gum infections. Dental care, particularly for toy breeds or those suffering from dental problems, can make a world of difference in the pet’s overall health.

Balancing a healthy lifestyle that includes proper nutrition and exercise is equally essential as adhering to veterinary guidelines. For example, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are prone to weight gain, which can lead to health issues like diabetes or joint problems. By focusing on a balanced diet and a consistent exercise routine, you can help your pet stay fit and healthy while also enjoying quality time together.

In conclusion, getting to know your dog’s breed-specific concerns and committing to preventive veterinary care can significantly impact their health and happiness. So, be sure to shower your canine companion with love and care while keeping their breed’s unique needs in mind.

Genetics and Purebred Dogs

When it comes to purebred dogs, their genetics play a substantial role in the health concerns that veterinarians may worry about. The breeding process often involves selecting specific traits and appearances, which can sometimes result in a higher prevalence of health issues.

Boxer on his soft dog bed
A Boxer on his soft dog bed looks hungry!

Take the Staffordshire Terrier, for example. This breed is quite popular, but with that popularity comes an increased chance for certain genetic health problems to arise. Some common concerns among these terriers include hip dysplasia, heart defects, and skin allergies.

This doesn’t mean that every Staffordshire Terrier will face these issues, but it certainly gives vets a reason to keep a closer eye on them.

Genetics in purebred dogs can become a tricky business. For example:

  • Breeding for specific traits can inadvertently lead to the inheritance of health problems.
  • Homozygous recessive traits (i.e., when a dog inherits the “aa” genotype) can lead to potential health risks, as these will be expressed if both parents carry the recessive gene.

Here’s an amusing analogy: Imagine you want to bake a delicious cookie with extra chocolate chips. The only issue? Every time you add more chocolate chips, you also add extra salt.

While the cookie still looks scrumptious on the outside, the taste might leave something to be desired. In a similar manner, breeding for specific traits can bring about unintended genetic consequences.

To admire the uniqueness and diversity of dogs, let’s create a little table showcasing some potential purebred health concerns:

BreedHealth Concerns
BoxerBloat, cancer, eye ulcers
BulldogBreathing difficulties, hip dysplasia
French BulldogEar infections, spinal issues
Staffordshire TerrierHip dysplasia, heart defects, skin allergies

Remember, these health concerns are not a guarantee for every dog, but merely potential issues that vets may monitor more closely with certain breeds.

In conclusion, genetics play a vital role in the health of purebred dogs, sometimes leading to complications that veterinarians worry about. Nevertheless, pets—whether purebred or mixed breed—bring joy and companionship to our lives. So, let’s love them and care for them the best we can.

Genetic quirks or not, they are truly paw-some!

Small Dog Breeds and Health Issues

When it comes to small dog breeds, these pint-sized pups have plenty of love to give, but they can also face their fair share of health issues. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common health problems found in small dog breeds.

Pug on the floor
A Pug looks sad on the floor.

Congenital Breathing Problems

It’s not uncommon for small dogs, like the beloved Pug and the feisty French Bulldog, to experience breathing difficulties. Known as brachycephalic airway syndrome, this is the result of their adorably smooshed faces and short snouts. While their looks might win hearts, it can also cause snoring, overheating and even breathing difficulties in more severe cases.

Say it with me now – inhale-exhale.

Vision Problems

“What’s that, Fido? Trouble seeing?” Some small dog breeds, such as Shih Tzus and Cocker Spaniels, have a higher risk of vision problems. For instance, they are more prone to developing cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

The good news? These issues are mostly treatable, ensuring that these little pups can continue to enjoy the sights while out on their walks.

Bleeding Disorders

Small breeds like Miniature Schnauzers and Dachshunds may face bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand’s disease. This is a genetic condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot, making even minor injuries potentially dangerous. But fear not, with proper care and regular check-ups, these little guys can still lead normal and happy lives.

Digestive Problems

Small breed dogs like the Chihuahua and Maltese sometimes struggle with digestive issues. Don’t be fooled by their size, their delicate stomachs can be quite sensitive. Mild cases may just need a change in diet, but for more severe cases, seeking veterinary help is essential to keep their tiny tummies in tip-top shape.

In conclusion, while small dogs may face various health issues, it’s important to remember that with the right care and attention, they can lead healthy and joyful lives. So make sure your petite pup gets regular visits to the vet and cuddles galore!

Adoption and Responsible Breeding

When considering adding a new furry friend to your family, it’s important to think about adoption and responsible breeding practices. With so many dogs in shelters and the ongoing issue of overpopulation, taking the time to find the right companion can make a world of difference.

question and answer portion
A dog breeder and a prospect owner talks about dog adoption.

For starters, did you know that mixed breed dogs (or mutts) are often less likely to have inherited health issues than purebreds? Plus, they have an undeniable “je ne sais quoi” that makes them unique! So don’t be afraid to fall in love with a one-of-a-kind shelter pup – your vet might just thank you for it.

Sadly, not all breeders are created equal. Puppy mills are notorious for overcrowding, poor living conditions, and lack of proper healthcare. These factories churn out puppies like they’re producing socks, often resulting in sick and genetically unstable pups!

Be prepared to do your homework and ask plenty of questions when dealing with breeders. Remember, adopting from a responsible breeder means you’re also helping shut down those puppy-producing socks factories, one loving home at a time.

Here are a few pointers to guide you towards responsible breeding:

  • Choose a breeder who prioritizes health, temperament, and ethics above profit
  • Look for breeders who are members of reputable breed clubs
  • Meet the prospective furry parent(s) to get an idea of their health and personality
  • Choose a breeder who’s transparent about the dogs’ lineage and health history
  • Avoid impulse purchases from pet stores, as many source their pets from puppy mills

In conclusion…wait – scratch that! We’re keeping it brief here. (That’s the tl;dr for the new generation.)

Just remember, adopting a dog is a serious commitment, and responsible breeding matters. It’s all about doing your research, asking the right questions, and having the patience to find the perfect companion – be it a purebred, a mutt, or a quirky mix of both! You, your new furry friend, and your vet will be happier for it.

Dealing with Negative Press

As a dog lover, it’s important to know that certain breeds often get negative media attention and it’s crucial to understand this press may not always be warranted. Sometimes, these reports are based on misconceptions, sensationalism, or a simple lack of understanding.

Pitbull runs fast at the park
A gray Pitbull runs fast at the park.

For example, Pit Bulls often face negative press as they are portrayed as inherently aggressive. This comes from their history as fighting dogs, which has led to some people to associate them with violence. However, it’s essential to recognize that aggression is not a trait that is exclusive to any particular breed.

Humorously, the Chihuahua, a tiny dog breed often seen as cute and harmless, has been shown to display more aggressive behaviors than some larger breeds. Surprised? It just goes to show that public perception may not always line up with reality.

To deal with this negative press effectively, we can:

  • Educate ourselves and others: Learn about different dog breeds and their characteristics before sensational headlines sway our opinions. Share your knowledge with friends and family to help combat misconceptions.
  • Promote responsible dog ownership: Regardless of the breed, responsible dog ownership plays a vital role in preventing accidents and incidents that may contribute to a breed’s negative press.
  • Celebrate the positive aspects of each breed: Highlight the good qualities that each breed brings, such as their loyalty, intelligence, or companionship, to help counteract the negativity.

The key takeaway? Don’t judge a dog by its breed. Understand that negative press may not always reflect the reality of a breed’s true nature and behavior.