Vets have urged dog owners to find out if their pet is at higher risk of health issues because of its breed, as research revealed that breed-specific illnesses cost an estimated £1,144 over the a dog’s lifetime.

Golden retrievers cost their owners the most, with the average claim for a predisposed illness coming in at £816, according to data from Direct Line Pet Insurance.

Cocker spaniels ranked next, with each claim typically costing £804. 

Research found that more than half of veterinarians thought owners didn’t know what health problems their pet was likely to develop or how expensive they might need treatment. 

There are a number of popular dog breeds that sadly suffer with predisposed conditions

Many popular breeds of dog have predisposed diseases.

76% of vets reported an increase in breed-related conditions in the last five years. 

Over four million Britons have rescued or purchased a dog from lockdown since its inception. This accounts for approximately 24 percent of dog owners worldwide. Vets may soon see a greater demand to treat breed-specific problems. 

According to vets, 56 percent of the illnesses that pets suffer from are directly related to their breed. 

The list does not include any other conditions dogs could have in their lives. 

After golden retrievers and cocker spaniels, border collies racked up the highest bills for predisposed conditions, with the average claim coming in at £793, and cavalier king charles spaniels at £791. 

By comparison, the average claim for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is £744, and for a Labrador, £770. 

Ear infections are common in many breeds including Cocker Spaniels, daschunds with intervertebral disk disease and labradors with obesity.

Cockapoos are more likely to inherit liver disease and cataracts, while french bulldogs may develop respiratory issues and other joint problems.

Jack Russell Terrier's are most predisposed to having eye conditions and lacking co-ordination

Jack Russell Terriers tend to be more susceptible to eye conditions, and are less likely than others to lack co-ordination.

Breed Average Claim Cost
Staffordshire Bull Terrier  £744
Labrador   £770
Jack Russell Terrier  £774 
Boxer  £783 
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  £791 
Border Collie  £793 
Cocker Spaniel £804
Golden Retriever £816
Source: Direct Line Pet Insurance   

Staffordshire bull-terriers can develop eye and skin conditions in staffordshire, while german shepherds may be at high risk for skin allergies or hip dysplasia.

Even so, only 20% of dog owners believed it necessary to find out if their dogs are susceptible to any health issues. 

Another 19 per cent did not think they needed to know if the dog’s parents had any known conditions, and 23 per cent did not think it was important to know about susceptibility to certain behaviours.

However, 36% said that they have seen their dog suffer from breed-related conditions.  

Madeline Pike from Direct Line Pet Insurance, said that while it is always thrilling to get a new pet, it’s equally important to select the most suitable breed.

Border collies will often suffer from eye conditions and epilepsy which could be costly

The common eye condition and epilepsy that border colts will have can lead to costly complications.

Breed rank Dog breed Predisposed conditions
1 Labrador retriever Hip, elbow, and obesity
2 Cockapoo Liver disease, cataracts
3 French bulldog Problems with the respiratory system and joint problems
4. Cocker spaniel Eye conditions and ear infections
5. Dachshund Hip dysplasia/Intervertebral disc Disease/Hip Dysplasia
6 Staffordshire Bull Terrier Conditions of the skin and eyes
7. Jack russell Terrier Poor coordination, eye conditions
8. Border collie Epilepsy and eye conditions
9 Chihuahua Joint disorders, heart disease
10 German shepherd Skin Allergies, hip dysplasia
Source: Direct Line Pet Insurance   

It’s important to determine the breed of dog and how often it will exercise.

It can be costly to own a dog. Knowing what problems your dog will face throughout its lifespan can help you plan for the future. Also, it can give you insight into what you can do in order to keep your dog as healthy and happy as possible. 

Before you sign up for pet insurance, make sure to double-check any exclusions or limits. 

Direct Line conducted a survey of 2,000 people and 100 veterinarians in the UK during August 2012. 

German shepherds suffer from skin allergies which owners should be aware of before owning

German Shepherds are susceptible to skin allergies. Owners should know this before purchasing.

Staffordshire bull terriers are a popular dog breed that can suffer with skin and eye conditions

Staffordshire bull-terriers, a dog that is popular with people due to their skin and eye issues can be a good choice.

Here are some facts about the health and well-being of “designer” crossbreeds 

There has been an increase in popularity for so-called “designer” crossbreeds like cockerpoos, labradoodles, and puggles over the years.

Although crossbreeds are more health than pure breeds in general, veterinarians advise that puppy owners be cautious when selecting a puppy. There is the possibility that the dog could be predisposed to certain conditions that were passed down from other breeds.

Direct Line Pet Insurance provides the following information on the health of these cross-breeds.  

• Early on, ‘designer dogs’ were a mix of two dogs that have fewer health problems. Now they’re a breed, and as such, have many of the same genetic problems, or even more than their ancestors.

• There are breed-specific issues in cross-breeds too, so owners need to be careful about understanding the potential predisposed conditions in both breeds their dog is bred from.

• Health problems can occur in both pedigree and designer dogs, it all depends on the ancestry and what health issues were common with the breeds in the ‘mix’.

• It is not fair on the dogs or their owners to recklessly breed animals without prior research. Proper screening can improve the quality of life for crossbreeding dogs.

• Only professional dog breeders with sufficient medical knowledge should breed animals with potential health risks, so source a reputable dog breeder to avoid an avalanche of health issues and expensive vet trips. 

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