Predisposed Health Conditions Could Cost Dog Owners £1,144 Over A Lifetime

Veterinarians have urged dog owners to find out if their pet is at higher risk of health problems because of their breed, as research has shown that breed-specific diseases are estimated to cost an estimated £ 1,144 over the course of a dog’s life.

Golden Retrievers cost their owners the most, with the average claim for a predisposed disease, according to Direct Line Pet Insurance, at £ 816.

Cocker Spaniels ranked next, with each claim typically costing £ 804.

The study found that more than half of veterinarians felt that owners weren’t fully aware of their dog’s health issues or how much they could cost to treat.

There are a number of popular dog breeds that unfortunately suffer from predisposed medical conditions

About 76 percent of veterinarians said they had seen an increase in the number of breed-related diseases treated over the past five years.

With over four million Britons buying or rescuing a dog since the lockdown began, accounting for around 24 percent of all dog owners, demand from veterinarians for treating breed-specific ailments could soon increase even more.

Veterinarians estimate that approximately 56 percent of all diseases in pets are directly breed-related.

This does not include the other illnesses dogs can have during their lifetime.

After Golden Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels, Border Collies scored the highest bills for predisposed disease, with the average claim being £ 793 and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels £ 791.

By comparison, the average claim for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is £ 744 and that for a Labrador is £ 770.

Common conditions in popular breeds include ear infections in Cocker Spaniels, disc disease in Daschunds, and hip dysplasia and obesity in Labradors.

Cockapoos often inherit cataracts and liver disease, while French bulldogs face breathing problems and joint diseases.

Jack Russell Terriers are most susceptible to eye diseases and a lack of coordination

Breed Average claims costs
Staffordshire bull terrier € 744
Labrador £ 770
Jack Russell Terrier £ 774
boxer £ 783
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel £ 791
Border collie £ 793
Cocker spaniel £ 804
Golden retriever £ 816
Source: Pets Direct Insurance

Meanwhile, Staffordshire Bull Terriers frequently develop skin and eye conditions, and German Shepherds are at risk of skin allergies and hip dysplasia.

Even so, 20 percent of dog owners didn’t think it was important to know if their dog is prone to certain health conditions.

Another 19 percent didn’t think it was necessary to know if the dog’s parents had any known medical conditions, and 23 percent didn’t think it was important to know the susceptibility to certain behaviors.

However, 36 percent of dog owners across the country said they had seen their dog suffer from chronic or persistent breed-related illnesses.

Madeline Pike, Veterinary Assistant at Direct Line Pet Insurance, said, “Choosing a new dog for the family is always very exciting, but it is important that you choose the best breed for you.

Border collies often suffer from eye diseases and epilepsy, which can be expensive

Border collies often suffer from eye diseases and epilepsy, which can be expensive

Rank of breed Dog breed Predisposed Conditions
1 Labrador Retriever Obesity, hip and elbow dysplasia
2 Cockapoo Cataracts, liver disease
3 French bulldog Breathing problems, joint problems
4th Cocker spaniel Ear infections, eye diseases
5 dachshund Disc disease / hip dysplasia
6th Staffordshire bull terrier Skin and eye diseases
7th Jack Russell Terrier Eye disorders, lack of coordination
8th Border collie Eye diseases, epilepsy
9 Chihuahua Joint problems, heart disease
10 German shepherd dog Skin allergies, hip dysplasia
Source: Pets Direct Insurance

“It is important to check how big the dog will be, how much exercise it will need, and what training requirements it will have, but it is just as important to check to see if it is predisposed to any illness or disease.

“Owning a dog can be expensive. So knowing what problems the dog will face throughout their life will help you plan your budget better and also understand what you can do to ensure that your dog is as healthy as possible.

“Always review any restrictions or exclusions from any condition before purchasing pet insurance.”

Direct Line surveyed 2,000 adults and 100 veterinarians across the UK this August.

German Shepherds suffer from skin allergies that owners should be aware of before ownership

German Shepherds suffer from skin allergies that owners should be aware of before ownership

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a popular breed of dog that can suffer from skin and eye conditions

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a popular breed of dog that can suffer from skin and eye conditions

What you should know about ‘designer’ hybrid health

In recent years, so-called designer crossbreeds such as cockerpoos, labradoodles and puggles have also gained popularity.

While traditionally crossbreeds can be healthier than pure breeds, veterinarians caution that owners still need to be careful when choosing a puppy, due to the risk of inheriting predisposed diseases from two different breeds.

Direct Line Pet Insurance has offered the following information on the health of these hybrids:

• “Designer dogs” used to be a mix of two dogs with fewer health problems. Now, however, they are a breed of their own and have as many, if not more, genetic problems as their ancestors.

• Breed-specific issues also exist with crossbreeds, so owners need to be careful to understand the possible predisposed conditions in either breed from which their dog is being bred.

• Health problems can occur in both pedigree and designer dogs, it all depends on the parentage and what health problems were common among the breeds in the “mix”.

• It is not fair to dogs or their owners to ruthlessly breed animals without prior research. When properly screened, it can greatly improve the lives of designer dogs that have been properly crossbred.

• Only professional dog breeders with adequate medical knowledge should breed animals with potential health risks. So, seek out a reputable dog breeder to avoid an avalanche of health problems and expensive veterinary visits.

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