The Healthiest Dog Breeds (Or Why You Shouldn't Get a French Bulldog Unless You're Flush With Cash)

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Doctor Hearing a Dog Heart Beat

In Good Health

French Bulldogs have officially become the most popular dog breed in America. In fact, they’re so hot right now that they’re a target for theft, and sell for thousands of dollars on average.  

But dognapping isn’t the only risk of owning a Frenchie. These pups can have a whole host of health issues, which can lead to escalating vet bills throughout their lifespan. Some groups even want to ban the breeding of French Bulldogs, claiming it’s cruel to create a creature with so many physical problems. 

Frenchies aren’t the only breed that you should think twice about owning if you aren’t prepared to part with hard earned dollars. Read on for five breeds known to have health issues, and five that are typically the healthiest dog breeds.

Related: The Most Expensive Pets Money Can Buy

German shepherd

Least Healthy: German Shepherd

This stately breed can have hip issues if poorly bred. You’ll often see German Shepherds that look like they’re dragging their back legs a bit, a sign that the dog may be more prone to degenerative myelopathy, a spinal cord disease.

Related: Best Guard Dog Breeds for Keeping Your Home Safe

A bernese mountain dog on the grass

Least Healthy: Bernese Mountain Dog

They’re furry and friendly, but the Bernese tend to have a shorter lifespan due to their bulky body. Additionally, all that mass can create knee and hip issues.

Related: Dog Breeds That Live the Longest

Happy dog on the walk

Least Healthy: King Charles Cavalier

They're gentle, calm, and sweet — and also prone to health problems. They have a tendency to develop eye problems like cataracts, as well as heart disease and kneecap issues. 

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Two English Bulldogs dog puppy outdoors meeting

Least Healthy: Bulldog

Those squished faces, while cute, can be problematic. Bulldogs need to be watched for breathing, skin, and eye problems. The breed has a tough time breathing in hot, humid conditions, so you have to be careful about exercising them too hard or owning them in a warm climate.

Black and tan French Bulldogs
Tatyana Consaul/istockphoto

Least Healthy: French Bulldog

As mentioned, this popular breed runs the risk of giving you extremely high vet bills. Its brachycephalic face means these dogs suffer from narrower airways and possible breathing problems. French bulldogs can also have spinal issues and skin conditions. And with everyone and their mother trying to make a buck off this breed, sadly these types of issues may become even more prevalent. 

Brown dog beagle sitting on path in autumn natural park location among orange yellow fallen leaves, looking and posing at camera. Summer, autumn time. Extra wide banner and copy space.
Maria Levkina/istockphoto

Healthiest: Beagle

Beagles are tough little dudes. They aren’t prone to any particular health issues, though their floppy ears may be more likely to get infections than some other breeds. They also can become obese if overfed, which is common amongst any dog. 

brown chihuahua sitting on floor. small dog in asian house. feeling happy and relax dog.

Healthiest: Chihuahua

Never cross a Chihuahua. They may be the smallest of all the dogs on this list but they may just be one of the longest lasting. These dogs are generally pretty healthy, but don’t forget to exercise them and not just carry them everywhere. Too much weight can lead to a host of health issues. 

Australian Cattle Dog

Healthiest: Australian Cattle Dog

This active working breed is notorious for living a super long life, averaging up to 16 years. A famous Aussie Cattle Dog named Bluey went down in the Guiness Book of World Records for living to 30! 

Is that the lunch bell I hear?

Healthiest: Australian Shepherd

What is it about Australia? Much like the cattle dog, these very active beauties can live a long time. They are hard workers and aren’t particularly prone to specific health issues.

Group of Crossbreed dogs sitting together in a row

Healthiest: Mixed Breed

Because their genetics are so diverse, mixed breed dogs may have longer lives than purebred dogs. They may not be as susceptible to certain health conditions that plague various breeds.