Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Rat Terrier 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 Rat Terriers, the best dog food diet for feeding Rat Terrier 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

Rat Terrier dog breed

Rat Terrier Health Problems and Raising a Rat Terrier 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 Rat Terriers:

The Rat Terrier Club conducted a health survey of all sizes of Rat Terriers: Toy (under 10 lbs), Miniature (10-18 lbs), and Standard (18-28 lbs). They report that the most common health problem in Rat Terriers is allergies, which cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

Another common skin disease, especially in Toy and Miniature Rat Terriers, is demodectic mange, which strikes Rat Terrier puppies and adolescents.

A third skin disease is color dilution alopecia, which can appear in blue or fawn Rat Terriers.

Epilepsy and heart disease are becoming concerns in Rat Terriers.

Orthopedic diseases in Rat Terriers include elbow dysplasia (7% rate), luxating patella (4% rate), hip dysplasia (3% rate), and occasionally Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

Eye diseases are not common, but include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and entropion.

Hypothyroidism occurs in Rat Terriers, and hernias are fairly common in Toys and Miniatures.

Rat Terriers have large teeth that sometimes don't fit properly in their mouth, leaving them vulnerable to dental disease.

Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Rat Terrier?

Yes, often you can.

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

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

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

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

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