Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Otterhound puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Otterhounds, the best dog food diet for feeding Otterhound puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Otter Hound dog breed

Otterhound Health Problems and Raising an Otterhound Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Otterhounds:

The Otterhound Club conducted a health survey that included 109 dogs. They report that the average lifespan in the breed is 9 years.

The most serious orthopedic disease is hip dysplasia, which is rampant in Otterhounds. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 245 Otterhounds and found 51% dysplastic – the 4th worst rate of all breeds. And the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Other orthopedic concerns are elbow dysplasia and osteochondritis.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Otterhounds are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

Three out of every four Otterhounds develop non-tumorous growths or tumorous growths (benign or malignant) as they grow older.

Epilepsy is a growing concern in Otterhounds.

Blood-clotting diseases were a serious problem in Otterhounds in the past, and are still a minor concern. These include thrombocytopathia, factor II deficiency, and von Willebrand's disease.

Hypothyroidism has also been reported in Otterhounds.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Otterhound?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Otterhounds today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an Otterhound puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems 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 prevent environmental health problems by raising your Otterhound puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Otterhound puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz 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.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Otterhound lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Otterhound
The best diet for feeding your Otterhound is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Otterhound. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Otterhound
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Otterhound. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Otterhound puppy really need? Does your adult Otterhound need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Otterhound. 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.


Information on spaying your Otterhound. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Otterhound.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.