There is no alternative to maintaining a canine’s health through regular physical activity, proper diet and frequent trips to the vet. Sometimes, even that falls short for certain dog types as some breeds are simply less immune to diseases, while some are generally healthier than others. Here, we shall highlight some of the healthiest dog breeds.
1. Australian Cattle Dog
This breed can be considered a mix between Border Collies and Dingoes and leads an active lifestyle. It is particularly good at herding livestock and can be considered a cattle herder’s best friend. While the size of the dog is somewhat diminutive, its drive and enthusiasm mean it is more than capable of handling large herds.
Although these dogs do face certain ailments, most of them are non-fatal. The active lifestyle of this breed means it can often hurt itself during physical exertion. Therefore, small muscular and bone injuries are quite common.
Reportedly, the normal lifespan for the Australian Cattle Dog is said to be around 12 to 16 years. However, if taken care of, it is not uncommon for it to live well after the 16-year mark. In fact, the oldest Australian Cattle Dog managed to live for over 29 years, after which he was eventually euthanized.
2. Australian Shepherd
The dog’s name indicates that it is a favorite of Australian herders. However, ironically, it is the United States where the dog really earned its reputation as a fine livestock caretaker
It is famous for working as hard as its owner on the ranch. In fact, it prefers to be kept busy and does not thrive in domesticated households. It is imperative for it to get regular exercise. If it does not remain in shape, it automatically gets depressed.
Similar to the Australian Cattle Dog, a healthy Australian Shepherd usually manages to live for around 12 to 15 years, depending on its care.
Again, this breed is not susceptible to many fatal diseases. However, it does often fall victim to hip dysplasia. This ailment can be treated with either physical therapy or, in more serious circumstances, surgery.
Furthermore, while the eyes of this dog are one of its more beautiful features, it is also prone to developing eye diseases and blindness. Hence, owners should be wary of any signs that indicate eye infections.
3. Border Collie
This dog is famous for featuring in and frequently winning dog contests and similar beauty pageants. However, it should not be mistaken for a spoiled, lazy breed. On the contrary, it is one of the most active breeds. Its happiness is directly proportional to the amount of exercise it gets.
Border Collie families display feats of noticeable intelligence and are deemed as one of the sharpest breeds, especially in terms of decision-making. Sufficient exercise and appropriate diet will lead to an average lifespan of 15 years.
4. Siberian Husky
Huskies are probably the most beautiful breed on this list. They prefer solitude, are able to make their own decisions and are quite active in general. Therefore, their owner or trainer should keep them busy. Otherwise, they may turn to mischievous acts in order to obtain the mental and physical challenge they so desperately require.
If treated and trained correctly, they are easily one of the most loyal and affectionate breeds. Additionally, they are not prone to hip dysplasia unlike the other breeds that have been mentioned thus far. They do have a history of developing cataracts at a very young age, but effective breeding has resulted in a significant decrease in this disease.
Huskies have terrific stamina and can run at max speeds continuously for a significant amount of time. Their sheer willpower and endurance managed to save an entire town, as portrayed in the movie Balto, which is based on a true story
Beagles were trained by the English to be hunting dogs. They operate best in small teams. Their small feet do not allow them to maintain good speeds, but this allows hunters to keep up with them. However, what sets them apart and makes them a particular favorite of hunters is their ability to track down scents of their prey. This also allows them to keep focused on the hunt itself and are not easily distracted.
Their diminutive size is quite misleading as they are deceptively strong. They are also famous for their barks and howls, which allows hunters to detect that they have latched onto a scent. Ironically, the power of their vocal cords is quite disproportionate to their size.
On the other hand, they are malleable enough to be trained as domestic pets. They are playful by nature and are loyal family members when domesticated.
On average, this breed has a life expectancy of anywhere from 10 to 15 years. The most common ailments that these dogs face are ear infections. Fortunately, it can be treated with simple ear drops for dogs. Equally troublesome are cherry eyes, which can often lead to blindness if not treated timely. Of the more serious diseases, they quite often can suffer from hypothyroidism and epilepsy. Thankfully, adequate medical treatment of both these conditions is available.
Beagles will display absolute glee when they are given an adequate amount of exercise without which they can face problems like obesity and depression.
Basenjis are not the most famous of breeds, but they are one of the oldest breeds alive on the planet. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs often depict these magnificent beasts, which is a testament to their longevity as a species. This makes them one of the oldest, if not the healthiest, dog breeds alive.
Like the beagle, they too are diminutive dogs with an average weight of 25 pounds and a height of approximately 15 to 17 inches.
The Basenji is particularly vulnerable to a kidney disease known as Fanconi syndrome and progressive retinal atrophy, which can quite often lead to blindness and extreme discomfort. On average, a Basenji will live up to 14 years.
Basenjis are very hygiene-conscious and can often be found licking themselves, much like cats. Perhaps that is why they were favorites of Ancient Egyptian royalty.