Mixed Breed Dog Health and Raising a Mixed Breed Puppy To Be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
Over 300 genetic health problems occur in dogs – genetic meaning inherited from parents. There are orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, disk disease, loose kneecaps that pop out of their sockets.....heart diseases....epilepsy (seizures)....eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma, that can result in blindness....all kinds of inherited cancers....diabetes and hypothyroidism....inherited kidney and liver diseases....digestive diseases like colitis, pancreatitis, and bloat....all manners of skin diseases and allergies....
Fortunately, the risk of these health problems occurring in a mixed breed dog is lower than in a purebred dog.
Why is this so?
- First, mixed breeds usually have a normal dog shape, whereas in many purebred breeds, breeders are deliberately perpetuating unnatural and unhealthy shapes.
We see purebreds with squashed faces that can't breathe, pop eyes vulnerable to injury, short bowed legs prone to joint diseases, loose skin folds and wrinkles prone to bacterial infections, long backs with weak vertebrae, long narrow ear canals prone to ear infections, tiny mouths without enough room for healthy teeth, massive bodies that break down in less than 10 years.
- Second, geneticists tell us that greater genetic diversity (more varied genes) is one of the best predictors for good health, while limited genetic diversity leads to physical and mental defects and declining health. And mixed breed dogs typically have FAR more genetic diversity than purebred dogs.
In purebreds, to make each individual within that breed look and act as similarly as possible, varied genes have been eliminated and all dogs within each breed share the same limited set of genes, which keep getting recycled. Geneticists say this leads to physical and mental defects, overall weakness and susceptibility to illness, and a greater likelihood of hereditary health problems spreading rapidly through an entire breed.
However, there is some bad news for mixed breeds. Responsible breeders of purebred dogs do pre-breeding health tests that can detect certain health problems. If found, those parent dogs would not be bred. But most people who breed crossbreeds and mixed breeds don't do these pre-breeding tests, which means your mixed breed could still have inherited a genetic health problem. And other health problems in dogs are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog.
My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to avoid environmental health problems by raising your mixed breed puppy or adult dog in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy mixed breed puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your mixed breed dog lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Mixed Breed
The best diet for feeding your mixed breed dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Mixed Breed
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your mixed breed puppy really need? Does your adult need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what some vets aren't telling you....
The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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