Breed-Specific Health Risks

by Pawlicy Advisor
Pet Care Terms
Breed-Specific Health Risks

What are Breed-Specific Health Risks?

Breed-specific health risks are health problems that are a result of a smaller gene pool. To maintain a specific dog or cat breed, they must be mated with another dog or cat of the same breed. This limits their offspring’s gene pool, putting them at a higher risk of inheriting common breed-specific health risks.

For example, large dogs, like German Shepherds, are at an increased risk of developing hip dysplasia. After many generations of German Shepherds being bred, their offspring’s potential to develop hip dysplasia still remains because their gene pool is only made up of German Shepherds, who are all at risk for hip dysplasia due to their specific size and build.

How Breed-Specific Health Risks Work

Breed-specific health risks are a risk for all purebred dog and cat breeds. They often show up in health issues related to how the breed is built, like skin conditions, different types of cancer, or respiratory issues due to conditions like brachycephalic syndrome, which many dog breeds have severe forms of (i.e. French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, or English Bulldogs).

Many breeders work diligently to limit genetic health issues by only breeding the healthiest dogs within a breed, but all dogs and cats, regardless of their breed, will still be at some risk of breed-specific health problems.

Key Takeaways

  • Breeding creates a smaller, limited gene pool which puts their offspring at a greater risk of genetic health issues.
  • Different breeds are prone to specific issues based on their build, coat, and size.
  • All breeds are at risk of developing genetic health problems, but purebred dogs and cats are at a higher risk of developing them due to their smaller gene pool.

Continue Reading

A breeder is an individual who mates dogs or cats of a specific breed and standard together to produce and maintain certain qualities and characteristics.
Read More.
Cancer refers to a large group of diseases that all have uncontrolled, abnormal cell growth.
Read More.
Cremation is a process that many pet parents choose as an alternative to burying their deceased.
Read More.

See related articles

Wondering when your Pug puppy will stop growing? These pug growth & weight charts show you how much bigger they may get and how to make sure your Pug puppy is healthy.

7 minute read

Pug Growth & Weight Chart: Everything You Need To Know

Mangoes are a healthy snack for your pup, but like most human foods, there are some precautions you need to take. It's best to consult your vet before changing your dog's diet.

5 minute read

Can Dogs Eat Mango? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Need affordable pet care? Want to find low-cost alternatives? Let's explore financial assistance programs and learn how pet insurance can save you money on vet bills.

11 minute read

How to Get Affordable Pet Care in 2024

If you're a pet parent (or soon to be one), these 35 dog care tips will cover everything you need to know when it comes to keeping your dog healthly and happy.

18 minute read

39 Dog Care Tips: The Ultimate Pet Parent’s Guide

Girl holding dog

Your New Puppy Checklist: The Essential 2021 Guide

A family with pets that are insured by Pawlicy Advisor
Pawlicy Advisor is the leading independent marketplace for finding the best coverage for your pet at the lowest rate.
Join 2,438,795+ insured dogs and cats across the US.
Get a Quote
Our pet insurance partners
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Logo
Pets Best Pet Insurance Logo
Embrace Pet Insurance Logo
Pumpkin Pet Insurance Logo
MetLife Pet Insurance Logo
Prudent Pet Insurance Logo