Choosing a pet is for some a simple thing, while for others a more than a serious endeavor. Usually, the pick of the pet can be based on location, family situation, intent, are there children, or various other factors. Where it gets complicated, or intense, is when one has to take into consideration potential health issues. And one of the more relevant issues is the propensity for hip problems. Certain breeds are more likely to develop joint issues.
Probably the most simple question when looking at a new puppy is to ask ” Did the parents, or any other pups in any of their litters ever show signs of joint issues?”. And before I start, I would recommend talking to a vet about exercises to maintain mobility, activities to be avoided, and the need or recommendation of adding supplements to a dog’s diet.
Here is a list of 9 breeds that have been shown to have a predisposition to joint problems.
1. German Shepherds: It’s well known that Shepherds are predisposed to hip dysplasia and other joint issues.
2. Labrador Retrievers: With a propensity towards obesity, amplify stress on joints.
3. Dachshunds: With their long, low bodies, they can develop back problems, especially if they become overweight.
4. Rottweilers: Have a genetic propensity to develop hip and elbow dysplasia and even arthritis.
5. Newfoundland Retrievers: Like other big breed dogs, they can hip dysplasia /arthritis partially due to rapid growth rate.
6. Great Danes: Huge frames and rapid growth tends to lead to hip/elbow dysplasia and even arthritis.
7. Saint Bernards: Huge, fast growth can cause stress on the joints leading to hip issues.
8. Old English Sheep Dogs: Suffer the same fate as other large breeds.
9. Mastiffs: Also prone to hip/elbow dysplasia, as well as candidates for arthritis.
Don’t think I’m down on any of these breeds. I had a Black Lab for quite a while. He was my best hunting partner. He loved to be out goose hunting. He was always active. He never got overweight. He never had any of these issues. I think knowledge is the greatest tool in preventing or treating conditions as best we can.
Veterinarians sometimes recommend supplements with glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin when a dog is a young as one year, or at the time when they quit growing. This is something you, as the owner, and your veterinarian needs to talk out. After all, your dog deserves to live the best life possible. And my final advice is “Choose wisely, and enjoy your best buddy”.