Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Papillon 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 Papillons, the best dog food diet for feeding Papillon 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

Papillon dog breed

Papillon Health Problems and Raising a Papillon 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 Papillons:

The Papillon Club conducted a health survey that reports the average lifespan of the breed is 11-13 years. That's not all that high compared to other toy dogs.

The leading health issue in all toy dogs is INJURY. You must keep Papillons under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these small creatures in the blink of an eye.

  • Bone fractures or a concussion can occur from jumping off furniture, or falling or leaping from your arms, or being hit on the head by a thrown or falling object, or being stepped on.
  • Papillons can choke on the tiniest object and it takes very little to overdose them with anything toxic.
  • Papillons can squeeze through the smallest crack of a door or fence and be gone.
  • If you allow them to act foolishly aggressive toward larger dogs, their neck can be broken with a single grab.
  • If you let them off-leash, their excitable chasing instincts may send them under the wheels of a car.

The most serious eye disease in Papillons is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which appears at 3-4 years old. Cataracts can appear between 6 months old and 8 years old. Eyelash abnormalities, tear duct disorders, and persistent pupillary membranes have also been reported.

Heart disease (mitral valve disease) is a growing concern in the breed, as is epilepsy.

The most common orthopedic problem is luxating patella (loose knees). Occasionally intervertebral disk disease occurs in Papillons.

Blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's) occurs in Papillons. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available so you can find out at any time whether your Papillon has von Willebrand's, carries it, or is clear of it.

Digestive diseases include colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) and pancreatitis.

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism, and occasionally Addison's disease.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma). A rare skin disease in Papillons is follicular dysplasia.

Inherited deafness can occur in Papillon puppies with a lot of white on their head. Also hydrocephalus is occasionally seen in Papillon puppies.

Other health issues that occur in Papillons are hypoglycemia (in Papillon puppies or very small adults), collapsing trachea, urinary stones, liver shunt, and hernias.

Papillons are prone to dental disease and harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Papillon?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Papillons today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Papillon 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 Papillon puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Papillon 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 Papillon lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Papillon
The best diet for feeding your Papillon 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 Papillon. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Papillon
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Papillon. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Papillon puppy really need? Does your adult Papillon 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 Papillon. 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 Papillon. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Papillon.


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