Everyone wants their furry friends to be one of the healthiest dog breeds, but unfortunately, many breeds have a lot of common health concerns. After all, we want our dogs to live long and happy lives, so it’s difficult to think about anything bad happening to them. Luckily, there are plenty of breeds with very little health concerns. So, having one of the healthiest dog breeds might ease your worries a bit.
What Makes a Dog Breed Healthy?
Some dog breeds are considered healthier than others because of their common health concerns, activity levels, and lifespans. Ideally, the healthiest dog breeds should have minimal health problems, high activity levels, and long lifespans. There are many breeds that have all those qualifications, which is why many people consider them more desirable. After all, we all want our dogs to live as long as possible.
However, there have been many studies that actually prove that mixed breeds are less prone to medical problems than purebred dogs. The exact reason is unclear, but scientists have discovered that there are 10 genetic disorders that are more likely to appear in a purebred dog than in a mixed breed. Therefore, even though many people prefer a purebred dog over a mutt, it’s possible that a mixed breed is actually the better choice.
Before you worry about your own dog’s health, it’s important to remember that all individual dogs are different. In fact, most of your dog’s health has to do with how well you care for them, not what breed they are. The best way to keep your dog healthy is to feed them a high-quality diet, make sure they get plenty of exercise, and take them to the vet for regular checkups. Never take any shortcuts when it comes to your dog’s care because they deserve to live a long, healthy life.
What are the Healthiest Dog Breeds?
If you want a dog that’s more likely to be healthy, then there are a few great breeds to choose from. All the following dogs are prone to very few health concerns and they generally live a long life for their size.
#1 – Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is often referred to as a “Blue Heeler”. They weigh about 30 to 35 pounds, but they have a long lifespan for a medium-sized breed. Oftentimes, these dogs live 13 to 15 years, but they can easily live longer with proper care. In fact, the oldest dog on record was an Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey, who lived for 29 years and 5 months.
It’s likely that the main reason their lifespan is so long is because they’re very smart and active. They were bred to herd cattle, so they love getting plenty of exercise to keep themselves busy. However, they will only stay healthy if you allow them to get the exercise and mental stimulation that they crave.
Australian Cattle Dogs also have very few common health problems. They can get hip and elbow dysplasia like most dogs can, which would likely need to be treated through surgery. However, they have very few problems beyond that, and luckily, they are rarely susceptible to life-threatening diseases.
#2 – Chihuahua
Chihuahuas might be small, but they’re the longest living dogs, which also makes them one of the healthiest dog breeds. They only weigh about 4 to 6 pounds, but they can live anywhere from 12 to 20 years old. While the reasons behind it are unclear, it’s common knowledge that small breeds live longer than large breeds. This makes sense considering that Chihuahuas are about as small as it gets.
These little dogs might not need a ton of exercise, but they still have plenty of energy. Most people are quick to judge them based on looks, but they’re often very intelligent. They are curious and love to explore, but they only need a few shorter walks throughout the day to satisfy their needs.
The main reason Chihuahuas live so long is because they are prone to very few serious health problems. However, like other breeds, they can often have problems with their joints, teeth, and weight. After all, if you don’t give your Chihuahua the proper amount of exercise or if you give them an unhealthy diet, they could easily face obesity. On the other hand, if you work them too hard, that could be painful for their joints. Therefore, you need to make sure you meet all their necessary health requirements to keep them as happy and healthy as possible.
#3 – Australian Shepherd
Like the Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherds were bred as herding dogs. This means they are athletic and intelligent, which helps them lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle. As cute as they are, they aren’t suitable for every person though. They need a family that can keep up with their high exercise needs. These dogs also need plenty of training to keep them entertained.
Australian Shepherds usually live to be 13 to 15 years old. Since they are a bit larger, weighing anywhere from 35 to 70 pounds, that’s actually a long time for them to live. They make great companions if their family is willing to put extra work into caring for them. They are easy to train, and they are also very protective over their loved ones.
As for health concerns, Australian Shepherds also have very few genetic problems. Their concerns are minor, and they’re similar to the Australian Cattle Dog’s health concerns. So, it’s possible that they’ll develop problems with their joints and eyes.
#4 – Border Collie
The Border Collie is another popular herding breed that is one of the healthiest dog breeds. They can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years, but it varies based on how well they’re care for. They generally weigh between 30 and 45 pounds, so they have a long lifespan for a medium-sized breed.
While they don’t usually get serious health concerns, they are prone to eye problems and seizures. Most health concerns that Border Collies face can easily be treated or prevented, so it’s unlikely that they’ll develop a life-threatening condition. Border Collies are energetic and playful, so if you ever notice them acting out of the ordinary, you should find the root of the problem right away.
Since they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, it’s important that you keep them entertained. They love training and learning new tricks, so you’ll need to spend plenty of time with them. They also need plenty of space to run around and play, so don’t deprive them of that. They’re great dogs to have around, but you should only bring them home if you’re willing to put in all the hard work that the breed requires.
#5 – Beagle
Beagles are great companion dogs, and they’ll be by your side for a long time. They are a medium-sized breed, weighing 20 to 25 pounds, but they can live about 12 to 15 years. It’s no wonder that this breed is often seen in movies and shows because they have an incredibly loyal and friendly personality.
Like the other dogs on this list, Beagles don’t have many health issues. Some major ones are glaucoma and epilepsy, but even those don’t happen too frequently. The main concern for your Beagle’s health should be their weight. Since they’re smaller, it’s easy to forget that they need exercise. So, make sure you walk them frequently and feed them high-quality food.
This breed was bred as a detection dog. This is because they have an exceptional sense of smell. They are great at using their noses to sense trouble, so as friendly as they are, they’re also very protective. Training is also exciting for them, so make sure you spend plenty of time practicing new tricks and skills.
#6 – Poodle
Poodles can range anywhere from 6 to 70 pounds depending on the type you get. Luckily, Poodles of all shapes and sizes are generally healthy. They typically live between 12 and 15 years, but they can live much longer if properly cared for. They might look like pretty dogs that are only for show, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite popular belief, Poodles are extremely intelligent and friendly. Standard Poodles need lots of exercise while Toy Poodles prefer to spend their days cuddling with you. Believe it or not, Poodles were initially bred for hunting, but over the years, they adjusted to life as a companion dog.
In general, Poodles suffer from few major health concerns. However, similarly to many other breeds, they can easily get joint problems, especially if you have a large Poodle. If you give them joint supplements or serve them food that can benefit joints, you might be able to avoid it though.
#7 – Dachshund
The Dachshund is one of the shortest dog breeds. They’re often adored for their stubby legs and long body, but there’s so much more to them than meets the eye. They are friendly with just about everyone they meet, even with kids. Despite being so small, they were initially bred to hunt small animals due to their strong sense of smell.
These little dogs can weigh anywhere from 16 to 33 pounds, and they often live 12 to 16 years. They can be very playful, and they love to spend lots of time with their humans. Because of their structure, they don’t need any intense exercise sessions. Just a few short walks throughout the day are just fine.
Sadly, the main health problem Dachshunds face is obesity. They can often become lazy, which is a problem if you don’t walk them regularly. Also, feeding them a high-quality food can help keep them a healthier weight. If they gain weight, they can easily get related problems such as diabetes.
#8 – English Springer Spaniel
This dog is another one of the healthiest dog breeds with a medium-sized weight and long lifespan. They typically weigh 40 to 55 pounds, but live to be 12 to 14 years old. They were initially bred as gun dogs, so they are fairly active despite their beautiful appearance.
While English Springer Spaniels are active and intelligent, they also have a soft side. They’re affectionate toward their family members, but they also have a natural instinct to protect their loved ones. They are often eager to please you, so they are always willing to try new things and work on training.
The only common health concern that these dogs usually face are minor eye problems. To help prevent this, you should check their eyes often to make sure nothing gets caught in them or irritates them.
#9 – Greyhound
You might not expect these tall, skinny dogs to be one of the healthiest dog breeds, but they actually rarely suffer from health problems. Some hereditary conditions they might have are heart disease and epilepsy, but beyond that, they usually live happy lives. They can be very active, which is great for keeping them in good condition.
Greyhounds are usually about 60 to 85 pounds, and they can live 10 to 14 years. For such a large dog, that’s actually a lot of time that you get with them. Many people assume they’re not good companions because they were used for racing, but they actually make great family dogs.
While Greyhounds love to run, they only do it for short periods of time. Most of their days consist of way more naps than anything else. So, you need to have space for them to run freely, but you shouldn’t expect them to always have that much energy.
#10 -Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terriers are another breed that’s beloved for their looks, but they also have barely any genetic health problems. Most dog breeds have a high chance of getting hip dysplasia, but only about 10% of Airedale Terriers usually get it. That number might still sound high, but many breeds have a 70% chance of getting it.
These curly-haired dogs were originally used to hunt and protect, so those instincts still stick with them to this day. They are confident in their skills, so if they suspect something is wrong, they will let you know. They are always on the lookout for danger, but that’s only because they love their family so much.
Airedale Terriers typically weigh 40 to 60 pounds. While most larger dogs shed often, Airedale Terriers shed very little. They usually live about 10 to 12 years, which is about average for a dog. However, their limited health concerns are what makes them so healthy.
All the dogs mentioned in this article are generally some of the healthiest dog breeds. However, it’s important to remember that every individual dog is unique. Some of these breeds won’t be as healthy while breeds that aren’t on this list could be much healthier. It really depends on your individual dog, so make sure you give them the care they need.