Written by: Emma Lunn
Predisposed health conditions for certain breeds cost dog owners an average of £ 831, which increases to an estimated £ 1,144 over the dog’s lifetime, according to Direct Line Pet Insurance.
Many veterinarians believe that some owners have a lack of awareness of the diseases and conditions that their beloved pets may be predisposed to. Direct Line research estimates that more than half (53%) of owners are not fully aware of the potential health conditions their dog could experience later in life.
Veterinarians also estimate that approximately 56% of all diseases that appear in pets are directly breed-related, with three-quarters (76%) reporting an increase in the number of breed-specific conditions they have treated over the past five years.
Common conditions in popular breeds include ear infections in Cocker Spaniels, disc disease (IVDD) in Daschunds, and hip dysplasia and obesity in Labradors.
However, a fifth (20%) of dog owners (3.6 million people) didn’t think it was important to know if their dog was prone to certain health conditions in advance or if the dog’s parents had known illnesses (19%). Almost a quarter (23%) didn’t think it was important to be aware of susceptibility to certain behaviors.
Yet more than a third (36%) of dog owners across the country have found their dog to have chronic or persistent breed-related illnesses. Skin and hair problems (28%) are common in dogs with diseases, as are behavioral problems (24%) and ear problems (21%).
With more than four million Britons bought or rescued a dog since the lockdown began, veterinarians could soon see even greater demand for treating breed-specific ailments.
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 to make sure you choose the best breed for you. It is important to check how big the dog will be, how much exercise it will need, and what training requirements it will have.
“Owning a dog can be expensive. So knowing what problems the dog will face throughout its 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. “
In recent years, so-called designer crossbreeds such as cockerpoos, labradoodles and puggles have become increasingly popular. While crossbreeds can traditionally 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.