Q: Are Purebred or Mixed-Breed Dogs Healthier?
HAS: “While any breed of pet can become ill, some purebred dogs are closely inbred and can have a greater risk of developing genetic diseases or congenital issues that come from inbreeding,” said Dr. Liff. While every pet’s health is unique, purebred dogs have less genetic diversity than mixed-breed dogs and are generally at a higher risk for genetic or inherited medical conditions.
Mixed-breed dogs have a more diverse genetic pool, so if one dog has a health issue, the chances are higher it will disappear in the next generation. Responsible breeders can reduce the risk of some of the most prevalent genetic diseases by doing specific disease testing before breeding a dog, but not all breeders invest the time and money to do this. Only buy from reputable breeders who test for common genetic diseases to ensure your puppy is healthy.
Q: What Health Problems Do Purebred Dogs Have?
HAS: Purebred dogs are at a higher risk for a variety of hereditary and congenital conditions. “Some examples are that Cavalier King Charles spaniels have a higher risk of heart disease, as do boxers, Great Danes and Doberman pinschers,” said Dr. Liff. “Doberman pinschers also often have a blood clotting disorder called Von Willebrand’s disease. Purebred poodles can have increased prevalence of epilepsy and Addison’s disease.”
Hereditary conditions are genetically inherited, and may not appear until later life. Congenital defects develop while the pet is still in utero, and while these conditions are present at birth, they may not be apparent without a veterinary examination.
- Common hereditary conditions — Hip and elbow dysplasiaheart disease, epilepsy and certain eye conditions
- Common congenital conditions — Heart defects, liver abnormalities and cleft palate
Q: Are Purebred or Mixed-Breed Dogs More Expensive To Own?
HAS: Owning any pet is a big financial commitment. While the cost of owning a dog varies, popular breeds, such as french bulldogs, are expensive to purchase and are more prone to certain genetic disorders, which can increase their healthcare costs. Breed-related conditions can range from mild to severe and may require costly lifelong medical management (ie, medication, rehabilitation or weight management) or surgical correction.
Q: Are Purebred Dogs More Expensive To Insure?
HAS: While breed is factored into the cost of coverage, pet insurance premiums are based on multiple other factors. “Insurance is typically based on the pet’s age, breed and size and the location in which you are seeking insurance, so it may not be as price sensitive by breed,” said Dr. Liff. “For example, a 100-pound, mixed-breed dog living in New York City would cost more to insure than a Havanese living in Cleveland, Ohio.”
Q: Which Insurance Plans Are Best for Purebred Dogs?
HAS: Dr. Liff recommends that all pets have accident and illness coverage with an 80% to 90% reimbursement rate and a minimum annual coverage limit of $25,000, whether they’re purebred or not. additional wellness coverage can often save you money on preventive care, which can help keep your purebred dog healthy. When investigating pet insurance plans for your purebred dog, research hereditary or congenital conditions common to your pet’s breed, consider their health history and review each policy carefully to ensure your dog is well-protected.
Q: Which Insurance Plans Are Best for Mixed-Breed Dogs?
HAS: While mixed-breed dogs have a lower risk for genetic or inherited medical conditions, quality veterinary care, especially for unexpected illnesses and injuries, is expensive. The right pet insurance plan can cut the cost of all your mixed-breed dog’s health needs, from routine veterinary services to emergency care. Coverage and plan options — as well as cost — can vary widely depending on the provider and the specific policy, so it’s important to spend time researching your options to help you find the best pet insurance plan for your mixed-breed dog.
Q: What Tips Do You Have For Owners of Purebred Dogs?
HAS: “All pets — regardless of breed — need regular care to stay healthy,” said Dr. Liff. She advises following your veterinarian’s recommendations regarding your pet’s preventive care and annual diagnostics to monitor your pet’s health and identify problems before they become more serious. She also recommends keeping your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations and parasite screenings, and administering year-round flea, tick and heartworm preventives to protect your pet.
Q: What Tips Do You Have for Owners of Mixed-Breed Dogs?
HAS: Many pet insurance providers cover pets as young as 8 weeks old, so purchase pet insurance for your mixed-breed dog when they are young and healthy. Most pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditionsand purchasing coverage for your young pet means your plan will likely cover future health conditions.
Regardless of whether you bring a purebred or mixed-breed dog into your home and heart, you want to ensure they live a long, healthy life by your side. Purchasing a health insurance policy can help you provide for their medical needs, from routine to unexpected, so they stay in excellent health.