15 Most Unhealthy Dog Breeds You Should Think Twice About

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While we all adore our furry friends, it’s important to know that some breeds are more prone to health issues than others. By being aware of these potential concerns, we can take proactive measures to ensure our dogs live long and happy lives. So, let’s explore dog breeds that are most likely to encounter health problems. We’ll shed light on the common diseases they may have and provide valuable insights to help you navigate their care more effectively.



These tiny bundles of energy can be prone to dental problems, including retained baby teeth and tooth decay. Chihuahuas have small mouths, which can lead to overcrowding and dental misalignment. Retained baby teeth can cause gum inflammation and increase the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, routine dental check-ups and professional cleanings may be necessary to maintain their oral health.



Unfortunately, these beautiful dogs are susceptible to urinary tract problems, including kidney and bladder stones. These stones can cause urinary blockages, discomfort, and frequent urinary tract infections. So, it’s essential to provide Dalmatians with a well-balanced diet that is low in purines, the substances that can contribute to stone formation. Regular veterinary check-ups, including urine analysis, can help detect early signs of urinary tract issues and allow for timely treatment.



Bulldogs are predisposed to several health conditions, including respiratory issues, joint problems, and skin allergies. Also, they often have trouble breathing, especially in hot weather or during exercise. It’s important to monitor their breathing and provide plenty of rest and shade to avoid heatstroke or respiratory distress. Additionally, Bulldogs are prone to joint problems, such as hip dysplasia and arthritis, which can cause discomfort and mobility issues. Gentle walks and swimming, combined with a balanced diet, can help alleviate these issues.

German Shepherd


German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Providing a comfortable living environment, such as orthopedic beds, and avoiding activities that put excessive strain on their joints, such as jumping or strenuous exercise, can help manage these hereditary conditions. In addition, regular exercise, controlled weight management, and joint supplements recommended by your veterinarian can also help support joint health and alleviate symptoms.

Great Dane


Great Danes can encounter serious health issues such as heart problems, bloat, and hip dysplasia. Regular cardiac exams and screenings are recommended to minimize the risk of heart problems. Bloat is a severe, life-threatening condition characterized by the bloating of the stomach and twisting of the intestines. Feeding small, frequent meals and avoiding vigorous exercise around mealtime can help reduce the risk of bloat. Additionally, Great Danes are also prone to hip dysplasia.



Boxers are energetic and playful pups, but they are prone to certain cancers, including mast cell tumors and melanoma. Regular vet visits are vital for early detection and treatment of any suspicious lumps or growths. It’s important to be aware of any changes in their skin or behavior and notify your veterinarian promptly. Along with regular veterinary care, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and avoiding exposure to harmful substances can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


This affectionate toy breed can develop heart conditions such as mitral valve disease. it affects the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently, leading to symptoms such as coughing, fatigue, and exercise intolerance. Regular cardiac exams, including echocardiograms, can help monitor the condition and allow for early intervention if necessary. In addition to veterinary care, maintaining a low-stress environment, a balanced diet, and engaging in appropriate exercise can help support heart health in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Saint Bernard


Known for their impressive size and kind temperaments, Saint Bernards are at risk for developing hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as eyelid abnormalities. You should provide Saint Bernards with a balanced diet, controlled exercise, and joint supplements to support joint health. Additionally, some pups may develop eyelid abnormalities such as entropion or ectropion, where the eyelids turn inward or outward. Regular eye examinations and consulting with a veterinary ophthalmologist can help manage these conditions and prevent further complications.



With their unique wrinkled skin, Shar-Peis can be predisposed to skin problems, including allergies, infections, and skin fold dermatitis. The folds in their skin provide a perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive, causing infections and irritations. Cleaning and drying of their skin folds, especially in hot and humid weather, are essential to prevent discomfort and the risk of infection. Using hypoallergenic shampoos and avoiding harsh chemicals can help maintain skin health.

Cocker Spaniel


Cocker Spaniels can develop ear infections due to their long, floppy ears. The shape and structure of their ears can hinder proper air circulation, making them susceptible to yeast and bacterial infections. Regular ear cleaning using a gentle ear cleanser recommended by your veterinarian can help prevent diseases and maintain ear health. Also, you should always dry their ears thoroughly after bathing or swimming to reduce moisture that can promote the growth of organisms causing infections.

Basset Hound


These droopy-eared dogs are at higher risk of having back problems, such as intervertebral disc disease. Their long spines and short legs put them at risk for disc herniation or rupture, leading to pain and potential paralysis. Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for the overall spinal health of Basset Hounds. Additionally, activities that involve excessive jumping or strain on their backs should be avoided. Providing supportive bedding and avoiding rough play or activities that can strain their backs can help minimize the risk of spinal issues in Basset Hounds.



These dogs are prone to respiratory issues due to their flat faces and short noses. This condition, known as brachycephalic syndrome, can cause difficulties in breathing, especially during exercise or in hot weather. Pugs should be protected from excessive heat and should not engage in heavy exercise that can strain their respiratory system. Also, consuming a healthy diet is crucial to avoid additional stress on their airways.

Labrador Retriever


Labs are popular family dogs, but they can develop obesity-related health conditions like hip dysplasia and diabetes. It’s important to provide them with a balanced diet and appropriate portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise, such as daily walks and mentally stimulating activities, is crucial to keep them physically active and mentally stimulated. Also, annual veterinary check-ups, including monitoring their weight and blood glucose levels, can help detect and manage any potential health issues early on.



Dachshunds are susceptible to spinal problems, including intervertebral disc disease. The elongated shape of their spine puts them at higher risk for disc herniations, which can result in back pain, nerve damage, and neurological issues. Ensuring their weight is healthy and providing proper support for their backs, such as using ramps instead of stairs and avoiding activities that involve jumping or excessive strain on their spines, is essential for their spinal health.



Sadly, these lovely dogs can be prone to certain eye conditions, like progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. Progressive retinal atrophy is a genetic disorder that causes degeneration of the retina, leading to vision loss. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary eye specialist can help detect this condition early and allow for appropriate management. Cataracts are also common in Poodles and can lead to clouding of the lens, leading to vision impairment.


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