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The Top 15 Healthiest Dog Breeds
All dog owners want their furry friend to live a long, healthy life. But did you know that some dog breeds are inherently healthier than others? You can enjoy years of worry-free living with your pup by selecting a breed with fewer medical issues and diseases. You’ll save money on vet bills, too. Here are 15 of the healthiest dog breeds that are less likely to have significant illnesses but no less likely to give your family unconditional love.
The 15 Healthiest Dog Breeds
1. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is a strong, energetic breed built for endurance and among our top picks for healthiest dog breeds. These dogs are relatively resistant to genetic and acquired health problems and live to be 12–16 years old on average. The longest-lived dog ever recorded was an Aussie named Bluey, who died at 29!
These active dogs stay relatively healthy and are medium-sized in stature, making them ideal dogs for many homes. The Aussie is also a highly energetic breed that needs lots of exercise and attention, which makes them best suited for families that can provide those things.
2. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are gentle, loyal dogs that make great family pets. They are relatively low-maintenance in terms of grooming and exercise and have an average lifespan of 10–12 years.
The Basset Hound is a scent hound originally bred to sniff out prey for their hunting masters. The tracking abilities of this breed are almost unparalleled to any other type, and they’re known as one of the healthier and longer-lived dog breeds. Their only health concern might be skin-related issues like eczema or allergies. Still, these can be quickly resolved with treatment from your vet.
Beagles are active, playful dogs that enjoy spending time outdoors. They always make the American Kennel Club’s top ten most popular dog breeds list because of their gentle nature, adaptability, and friendliness. Beagles are healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 13–15 years.
Although they are among the healthiest breeds, Beagles are prone to obesity. Keeping them on a healthy diet and exercise regimen is essential to prevent future health issues.
4. Belgian Malinois
The Malinois is a handsome, tough dog that can do it all. He’s intelligent, loyal, and eager to please his human partner in every way. This dog tends to forge an unbreakable bond with his owner, leading to a deep companionship based solely upon mutual respect.
The Malinois is amongst the healthiest dog breeds if responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia. This breed has a lifespan of 14–16 years.
5. Bichon Frise
Bichons are lovely, energetic dogs that love to be part of the action. They have cheerful personalities and thrive in households with lots going on. The Bichon Frise is a people-pleaser who will go to great lengths to make their owners happy. They have an above-average intelligence level and are highly trainable.
This adorable dog can live up to 16 years, but they are prone to some genetic conditions. Early detection is vital for a Bichon to live a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups with your vet.
6. Border Collie
Border Collies are intelligent, hardworking dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Because they are so smart, they are among the most trainable dog breeds. They are relatively resistant to health problems and have an average lifespan of 13–15 years.
The Border Collie is one of the hardiest and healthiest breeds, so long as the breeder has screened purebred dogs for inherent health conditions, which is essential. These conditions include hip dysplasia, progressive renal atrophy, deafness, epilepsy, and collie-eye. Reputable breeders will work on breeding Border Collies with no genetic history of these issues.
The Chihuahua is a wonderful, loyal dog that will adapt to almost any situation. This small breed is eager for life and just wants to be loved unconditionally. They are enthusiastic, and if trained and socialized correctly, they make long-lasting companions.
Chihuahuas are a healthy dog breed that consistently outlives most other canines. They are remarkably resilient to illness and can live up to 20 years of age.
Dachshunds are an adorable breed of dog known for their long, low bodies, big personalities, stubborn nature, and bravery. They are bred to be watchdogs and devoted family members. While they might not back down from anything, Doxies fiercely love everyone in their family.
The Dachshund is a healthy breed that can live 12–16 years with proper care and enough exercise. Any genetic issues occur if the Doxie doesn’t get regular exercise or gains weight due to a poor diet.
The Havanese dog is a bright, friendly, and playful little pup who loves being with you. His long coat can vary in length and texture from silky to fluffy. The Havanese needs company because the breed is prone to separation anxiety, and being with his people is what makes him happy.
The Havanese is a healthy dog that requires some care to maintain good medical conditions. As with any other breed, the Havanese is prone to inherent medical issues. However, you can avoid those problems by getting your pup from a reputable breeder registered with the Havanese Club of America. The Havanese have a lifespan of 14–16 years.
The Pomeranian is an intelligent and alert breed that enjoys being the center of attention. This dog trains quickly, making it an excellent companion for families with children. They’re active, but if you take them on short walks or indoor playtime, they will content themselves happily in both city life and suburban areas. The Pomeranian also has excellent humor and will happily entertain his family and friends.
The Pomeranian is a small, healthy dog with some pre-existing conditions. Responsible breeders screen their stock for these health problems to avoid passing them on in later generations, such as luxating patellas (kneecaps that slide) and hypothyroidism. If a reputable breeder breeds your Pom, he’s likely to be a healthy pup who lives 12–16 years.
The Poodle is a high-energy, versatile breed that comes in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. The Poodle is one of the world’s greatest dogs. They have sleek bodies, curly hypoallergenic coats, and a drive for success in whatever job they are given. A world-class athlete, the Poodle is also an intelligent breed and a loving family member.
The Poodle is one of the healthiest and longest-lived breeds because dedicated breeders test their breeding stock to eliminate genetic diseases such as hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Poodles can live between 10 – 18 years.
12. Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is a small-to-midsize dog that can adapt easily to various lifestyles; they’re perfect for anyone looking for an active companion. This breed is good-natured, with a sturdy, muscular body and fox-like traits. However, it has an independent streak that requires strong leadership from the owner. Confident, feisty, and friendly, the Shiba Inu is a loving, adventurous companion.
The Shiba Inu is a healthy dog that typically lives between the ages of 13 and 16. This breed is prone to inherent medical issues. However, a responsible breeder will test their dogs to ensure that their puppies are not likely to develop any genetic problems.
13. Shih Tzu
Few people can resist the “lion dog” with its big eyes, small stature, and winning charm. The Shih Tzu is a popular dog that is excellent with children. Weighing between 9 and 16 pounds, the Shih Tzu would much rather sit in his pup parent’s lap and watch TV than run around outside. This dog’s smaller size and laid-back attitude make it ideal for families in apartments or homes that lack a large yard.
The Shih Tzu is a generally healthy dog, living between 10 – 18 years, but with one caveat. These dogs are not good swimmers and should never be left outside for an extended period during the summer because they cannot tolerate heat well. The breed’s short, flat faces and thick fur make warmer conditions a danger for heatstroke.
14. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a thick-coated, muscular, lean dog, originally bred as a sled dog. This dog breed is a naturally friendly, clean dog that loves to play with children and other pups. Siberians are athletic, active dogs who require lots of exercise. They’re a working breed, so giving them something to do every day is essential. Huskies also love to play with their owner, building a solid bond between man and dog.
The Siberian Husky is a healthy dog with a life expectancy of 12–14 years. Responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for potential health problems such as juvenile cataracts. Additionally, the Siberian Husky Club of America has strict guidelines to help reduce instances of inherent diseases.
The Whippet is a healthy dog breed that lives 12–15 years on average if they are cared for by their owners, with proper diet and exercise. This dog breed doesn’t suffer from the same ailments as many other breeds, which makes them an excellent choice for owners who want a long-term companion.
Whippets enjoy spending time with their owners. They’re active and friendly and love cuddling up on the sofa after a day of playing outside or going for walks. Whippets are excellent companions for people who want a loyal friend. They form strong bonds with their owners but can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone all day. This dog does best with an owner who has plenty of time to spend with them.
When choosing a dog breed, it’s essential to consider which breed best suits your lifestyle and which is likely to stay healthy throughout its lifetime. Some breeds require more exercise or grooming than others, and some are more prone to health problems than others. However, some dog breeds excel in both categories—making both great family pets and less likely to develop health problems later in life. If you’re looking for a healthy dog breed that will be a loyal companion for many years, consider one of the fifteen healthiest dog breeds listed above.
Remember, even the healthiest dog breeds can experience costly medical emergencies and unexpected illnesses. No matter the breed, your dog (and your wallet) can benefit from a pet health insurance plan. And with so many affordable options available, you’re sure to find one that fits your budget.
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