The Healthiest Dog Breeds
Is your dog one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world? Check out these top 10 in the world and find out if your dog’s breed is included.
Vet’s bills can run into thousands so if you’re just about to choose a new best friend you might want to add one of these healthiest breeds to your selection criteria as a precaution.
By the way one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world is the mixed breed. Just pop along to your local dog shelter and you will probably find many of the cutest and healthiest mixed breed dogs there waiting for their forever home!
Your Dog Could Still Be One Of The Healthiest
Don’t worry though if your dog isn’t featured in our top 10 healthiest breeds. The tender loving care you give your dog in terms of affection, diet, exercise and regular visits to the vet for check ups and vaccinations still remains the key determinant of your dog’s health.
The Havanese is a small dog that makes the perfect lap dog because it's just loves to love and be loved. Also it doesn't need much exercise to maintain its health. The Havanese can live up to 13 years of age.
The Siberian Husky is one of the most high energy dogs you'll find. They are not a breed for a couch potato or for an inexperienced dog owner. They are however very loving, loyal and affectionate. The Siberian Husky is also very sociable and one of the healthiest dogs in the world with a life span of about 14 years.
The Australian Shepherd is akin to the Australian Cattle Dog in that they have a similar life span of around 13 years. They also share the same interest, a love of the outdoor life and herding and the same high energy level and playfulness.
The Labradoodle is an exciting mix of Labrador and Poodle. Look into the eyes of a Labradoodle and you will see a that it just lives to play and have fun. They are just so cheeky and have such a zest for life that you can't help but love them and their antics! The Labradoodle has a liFe span of around 12 years.
The German Shepherd is almost legendary as a fearless police dog that usually gets their man! They also make great pets being good with children and fiercely protective towards its human family. They have a lifespan of about 11 years.
The Australian Cattle Dog holds the record for the longest life. Bluey passed away at 29 years old so obviously they can live to a ripe old age. Typically though this breed lives to around 13 years old. Just shows you what you can expect when your really looked after a dog with the same amount of love and care you bestow on your children - awesome! As their name suggests they were bred to herd cattle and just love being outdoors!
The Foxhound is another great family dog choice since it gets along with children and other pets. Since this is a scent hound they need to kept in a secure location or else they may go walkabout . They like to play and have fun and live to about 14 years old.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a fun loving, free spirited bundle of joy. Seemingly tireless I had one called Florence; an escape artist that loved to roam. On one occasion she was discovered by a farmer 5 miles from home. This breed lives to about 14 years of age.
The Border Collie lives to around 15 years. They are a joy to be with or to work with as anyone will attest that has seen them herding sheep. This breed are very easy to train even for people who have never owned a dog before. They are also renowned for their ability to withstand both hot and cold conditions.
The Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds. It has a big heart and makes an excellent lap dog being loyal and loving. They can live to around 20 years old.
How to Keep Your Dog Healthy, Safe and Happy
We are caretakers of our dog’s health. This means it is up to all of us to take that responsibility seriously by carrying it out to the best of our ability. Here are the essentials of sharing your life with a dog.
Make Sure Your Home Is A Safe Place For Your Dog To Be
You need to make absolutely certain that your home is safe for your dog. This should be done before you bring your dog home for the first time. If you already have a dog and have never checked now is a great time to check!
Types of Checks Home Checks You Need To Do
- Check that you have no power wires or cables they could chew. An electric shock can be fatal so don’t let this happen to yours.
- Make sure that household cleaners and any drugs are kept in a dog proof cupboard or location. Swallowing any of these substances can prove fatal.
- Put all human foods out of reach of your dog. Some human foods are toxic to dogs and although they might not prove fatal they can make your dog ill with symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Some dog breeds are not good swimmers and of course all puppies need to learn how to swim so make sure your dog does not have access to your indoor or outdoor pool.
- Keep all toilet doors closed when not in use. My wife blamed me for missing the toilet and peeing on the floor until one day she spotted Findlay, our Italian Spinone cocking his leg and peeing down the toilet!
Give Your Dog The Food He Really Needs
The general human rule of calories in versus calories out here also applies to dogs in maintaining a healthy weight.
In other words give your dog too little exercise and/or too much food he will put on weight which can lead to conditions such as diabetes, pancreatitis and arthritis. On the other if you give him too much exercise and/or not enough food he could suffer from malnutrition and associated conditions. However it’s fair to say that like humans the majority of dogs nowadays are overweight and in some instances clinically obese. The only dogs I have personally seen that are suffering from malnutrition are homeless dogs!
There is also the question of the right nutrition. You need to make sure you are providing food that is complete and balanced.
So providing the right amount of nutritious and balanced food can be tricky. So tricky in fact that some companies such as Tails.com go to the trouble of making dog food tailor-made for your dog!
Don’t be tempted to feed your dog raw meat or raw eggs. Bacteria in these foods such as E.coli can cause serious health problems.
By the same token never give your dog bones since they can puncture your dog’s intestines and stomach.
Keep Your Dog Up To Date With His Vaccinations
To safeguard your pet against potentially fatal diseases such as distemper, rabies and parvovirus you need to make sure they are always up to date with their vaccinations.
Which jabs your dog will need depends on where you live and any health problems your dog suffers from. Ask your vet to provide a vaccination schedule that’s appropriate for your dog and put it in your diary to make sure you don’t forget.
Have Your Dog Spayed Or Neutered
Have your dog spayed or neutered and help prevent an exploding population of dogs. Every year millions of homeless dogs end up in shelters. Not all homeless dogs find forever homes. Terribly sad to say – many are killed!
Having your dog spayed (females) or neutered (males) involves a minor operation that carries little or no risk and many health benefits. For more information contact your vet!
Spayed females benefit from a reduced risk of breast cancer and uterus infections whilst neutered males benefit from a reduced risk of testicular cancer and prostrate disease.
Ensure Your Dog And You Get Enough Exercise
Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog means regular exercise! Taking your dog for a walk every day is good for your dog and good for you. And it’s not just about the weight. Exercise is good for you and your dogs mental stimulation.
Many dogs’ bad habits such as barking, chewing furniture and digging can be due to insufficient mental and physical stimulation. In other words the dog is bored!
Playing with your dog using activities such as fetching a ball can eliminate these bad habits. You might also like to consider activities such as flyball that most dogs love or even dog agility classes.
Clean Your Dog’s Teeth Every Day
Don’t rely on dog chews to clean your dog’s teeth. By and large and certainly on their own dog chews are insufficient to maintain your dog’s teeth and gum health.
Get yourself and your dog into the habit of cleaning his teeth everyday. You can get special dog toothbrushes and dog toothpaste that’s beef or chicken flavoured to make it more palatable.
Failure to clean your dog’s teeth properly can result in a build up of plaque, bad breath, gum disease and tooth loss. And this can lead to more serious issues such as liver or heart disease!
If you allow the plaque to build up the only way to get rid of it is under general anesthetic at your vets. A general anesthetic given to a dog always carries a risk. This procedure can also be very expensive. The cost is largely based on the amount of anesthetic needed which increases with the weight of your dog. So you can expect a large bill if you have a large breed!
Prevent Parasites From Making Your Dog Sick
Ticks, fleas and heartworm apart from irritating your dog can seriously compromise your dog’s health. Seek help from your vet on how best to prevent these parasites.
Ticks can cause Lyme disease and tapeworms and fleas can lead to anemia. “Heartworm disease is a serious disease that results in severe lung disease, heart failure, other organ damage, and death in pets, mainly dogs, cats, and ferrets. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis.The worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito.”
Protect Your Dog From The Heat And The Cold
Protect Your Dog From The Cold
In extremely cold winter conditions it’s best to keep your dog indoors as much as you can. When you do take them out for a walk in freezing conditions make sure they are well wrapped up in a warm winter dog sweater. Also put special dog boots on their paws to protect them from the cold.
Many dogs like to eat snow. Don’t allow this since it reduces their temperature and may contain unseen objects or toxins such as antifreeze that can be fatal to dogs. Once back inside wipe the snow off their paws too.
Protect Your Dog From The Heat
During the hot summer months try to walk your dog in the shade and avoid pavements because they can be so hot they’ll burn your dog’s paws. Don’t venture out with your dog in the midday sun when the temperature is at its highest and take a supply of water with you to quench your dog’s thirst.
Never ever leave your dog in your car. Many dogs die every year due to owners leaving them in their cars. The temperature in a car can rise way above 100 degrees very quickly when it’s perhaps 20 degrees less outside. You have probably discovered this when you gripped your steering wheel and it burned the palms of your hands!
Prepare For Your Dog Swallowing Toxic Substances
Prevention here is much better than having to deal with the potentially fatal consequences of your dog swallowing food, drugs or plants that are poisonous to them. However with the best will in the world accidents do happen so be prepared.
Keep the emergency phone number for your vet ready and be ready to whisk your dog off to the vet since time is of the essence in preventing a fatality.
Look Out For The Signs Your Dog Is Sick
The following are the most common signs your dog is unwell and if you see any of them you will need to contact your vet for advice….
- Biting, licking or scratching
- Mood changes
- Poo or pee changes
- Unpleasant smells
- Weight increases or decreases
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