As dog owners, there’s nothing we won’t do to keep our dogs healthy and happy. But like many pet parents, we are often unaware of the common health issues prone to popular dog breeds.  Although, some of the issues are genetically ingrained within the breeds. We can take certain measures to ensure they live a long and healthy life.

Knowing this might help what type of dog to choose and how your family can best care for.

Here are 10 of the Most Common Dog Breeds and Their Health Issues.


Yellow Labrador Retriever

Rightfully known as ” gun dog”. This remarkable breed is America’s most popular dog for a reason. Active, outgoing and loyal family companion. Although Labradors are healthy dogs, they are prone to certain conditions.

Some of the experiences you may encounter among the breed are hip and elbow dysplasia. This prevents the joints from any sort of normal movement. Causing severe pain and disability.
While you can’t prevent dysplasia you can reduce the pain with a well – balanced diet and high-quality food. Also, make sure to regularly exercise and maintain your dog’s weight.

Another common health problem like in most dogs, including Labradors, is Obesity. As pet owners, we love to spoil our dogs. And this can lead to, most often overfeeding them. Which causes a fatal disease known as “bloat”. This happens due to a twisted stomach or a swollen abdomen.
Thankfully, it is quite easy to curb the problem. Monitor and portion your dog’s food habits. It helps to minimize the risk of developing the condition.


Beagle Puppy in a backyard

An ever-curious, clever and an excellent family dog. Beagles are well sought after hound dogs because of their keen sense of smell. Overall Beagles are generally quite healthy. But there health conditions that can affect them.

A common eye problem that occurs in Beagles is Glaucoma. Usually happens when there’s too much pressure on the inner eye. Leading to canine blindness. The pressure causes an excess build-up of liquid in the aqueous humor. When the fluid can not drain it causes pressure and eventually damaging the structure of the eye.

The symptoms for this are swollen eyes, tearing, cloudy cornea and squinting. However, this is easily treatable with conventional or holistic remedies. But, if surgery is necessary you can get a laser treatment. Though this will require to seek an eye specialist.


German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds are a confident, intelligent and gentle family dog. Originally bred in Germany to guard and herd sheep. This working-class dog is ideal for police and military services. Even though they’re versatile these dogs do have some health issues.

Unethical breeding German Shepherds can cause Degenerative Myelopathy. A genetic disorder affecting the nervous system. Which progresses to cervical and lumbar regions of the spinal cord. Eventually leading to paralysis. A veterinarian can point out the symptoms after ruling out other conditions. As of now, the only cure for this is supportive care. Maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise. Preventing pressure on the spine or any other discomfort to the dog.
German Shepherds have a high risk of possessing Panosteitis. This condition causes lameness and limping in the legs. There’s no way for telling when it can occur. And can last up to several weeks or longer.

Painful inflammation in the bones makes it difficult for your dog to walk. While attacking both the front and back legs. Your dog may also show signs of fever, depression and weight loss. The underlying cause of this disease remains unknown. But with the right medication and treatment can help reduce the inflammation.


Dachshund Dog

Dachshund or sometimes also known as ” doxie”. Has playfully earned it nicknames like hot dogs, sausage dog or Weiner dog. No matter what name you call them, it’s unmistakably long body comes with a big personality. Active, loyal and fiercely protective dogs will keep you on your toes. However, they do come to certain problems.

One of them being to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). It occurs when the cushioning of the intervertebral discs. Between the vertebrae become displaced, rupture or herniate into the spinal cord. This causes severe pain and sometimes paralysis.

Dachshunds with IVDD take a few years for the symptoms to appear. The more specific signs are loss of appetite, lack of activity, stiffness in the neck and back, tremors, dragging of the legs. Dealing with this depends on how severe the problem is. Some dachshunds can live a normal life and some with pain and arthritis.


Bulldog Playing with a ball

Bulldogs are one breed that stands out. The furrowed brow, wrinkly skin, squishy nose and an undershot jaw with hanging cheeks on either side. Unfortunately, this dog often suffers from respiratory and joint difficulties.Because of their ” pushed in” features.

Bulldogs belong to the Brachycephalic breed. Known for their short head and nose. Other members of the Brachycephalic breed are pugs, Shih-Tzu and Boston Terriers. The Bulldog’s narrow nostrils and elongated soft palate cause severe breathing problems. Particularly when the dog is overexcited or overheated. With heat being the main concern, Brachycephalic breeds have a harder time panting. Requiring extra work bringing in oxygen to the lungs. Which leads to irritation and swelling of the throat. Heatstroke is very common in these breeds.

Although, Bulldogs do not require a ton of exercise. They do, however, need their daily walks. Because of their physical features, bulldogs need to be under supervision. Especially when the weather is hot and humid. Plenty of water and an air-conditioned room makes the perfect environment for a Bulldog.


Boxer Dog Breed

Bred as hunting dogs, Boxers are energetic, playful and protective. Making them a great addition to the family. Despite their goofy nature, boxers have a high risk when it comes to certain health issues. The breed is especially prone to developing certain types of cancer. Mainly lymphoma, brain tumor, and mast cell tumors. Regularly check for bumps or lumps. Contact your vet if you have further questions or concerns.

Boxers and White Boxers need to be indoors. Because they’re extremely sensitive to heat. Direct sunlight can cause skin cancer and sunburn. If you have a light-colored boxer always apply sunscreen to their coat, ears, and nose before going out.

Other health conditions regarding Boxers include Hip Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, and Cardiomyopathy.


Yorkshire Terrier Dog in Rocking Chair

Yorkshire Terriers also are known as “Yorkie”. It is a small toy dog with a feisty personality. One of the most popular dogs who have earned a reputation of being brave, loving and affectionate. Sadly, toy breeds run into several diseases and conditions. A common problem among YorkShire Terriers is a collapsing trachea. It occurs when the tracheal cavity narrows during breathing. Some of the signs are abnormal breathing, chronic and dry cough, difficulty vomiting.

Another frequently observed problem with Yorkshire Terriers is Patellar Luxation. This happens when the Patella (knee cap ) dislocates. Causing sudden lameness and occasionally hobbling. Patellar Luxation occurs because of genetic malformation or trauma.
For severe cases, surgery is the best option. It will help realign the structure and movement. Freeing the dog from lameness and discomfort.


White Poodle Dog Outside

Don’t let their looks fool you. They may look dainty and spoilt, but Poodles are one of the smartest breeds in the world. Behind the magnificent hairdos, blue ribbons and proud attitude. You’ll find an energetic, eager and clever dog. They are easy to train and willing to do any task you want them to do. Poodles are overall healthy dogs. But they are prone to certain health issues.

Most Poodles are genetically predisposed to having seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy is the most common one. Seizures exhibit behaviors such as falling on one side, becoming stiff, frantically moving all four paws. This might be scary to watch but the long term prognosis is good. Also, to remember is that seizures can happen by brain tumors, head trauma, exposure to toxins, genetics and many other reasons. If you suspect your dog may be at risk make sure to take him to the vet as possible.


Rottweiler Dog

Rottweilers are descendants from mastiffs used by Romans. To drive cattle and as guard dogs to protect the butchers from robbers. Because of their inheritance Rottweilers are extremely loyal and protective. Therefore, they need to be properly trained and socialized. Despite what you may have heard, Rottweilers are not aggressive and ferocious. A properly raised Rottweiler can be playful, calm, gentle and extremely affectionate.

This breed suffers from major health concerns. One of the leading health diseases that affects Rottweilers is Von Willebrand’s Disease. The most common genetic bleeding disorder in dogs.Where the blood does not clot. In cases of injury or trauma, excessive blood loss can be life-threatening. Signs for this include bleeding gums, nose, bruising of the skin, anemia. There isn’t a cure for VwD. In the case of bleeding, the dog can give transfusions, fresh or frozen plasma to increase the supply of vWD to the blood.


Golden Retriever adult and puppy

If your planning on getting a “Perfect Family Dog” than Golden Retrievers are the ones. They are easy to train, playful and eager to please attitude. Golden retrievers enjoy high energy and active lifestyle. Bred to hunt these dogs excel at tracking, fetching and sniffing out contrabands. Like many working breeds, Golden Retrievers are used to guide dogs, search and rescue, therapy dogs and law enforcement.
There are several inherited diseases found in Golden Retrievers. Top on the list is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). A term used to describe retinal degeneration which causes blindness.
The most general type of PRA is a progressive rod-cone degeneration of PRCD. A mutation of the rod cells in the dog’s eye. It occurs between the ages of 1,3 or 5. Symptoms include cloudy eyes, night blindness and several changes in behavior. Before getting a pup, perform an eye exam from a certified ophthalmologist.


When you’ve decided to bring home a pup or an adult dog.
It is important to only work with a reputable breeder who’ll be open about the breeds health line. Or if you choose to adopt, get a check-up by a vet as soon as possible.
Remember once you’ve brought home a dog, you have the responsibility to protect him. From the most common health problems.


Avi Contractor is a certified freelance Content Marketer and Graphic Designer who loves designing, creating relevant content that drives action. She’s also a dog lady, food enthusiast, and a bookworm. Connect with her on LinkedIn.