Skip to Main Content

Is Your Dog Prone to Cancer?

Written by PETA | October 12, 2010
Greg Westfall/CC by 2.0

Here’s yet another good reason to give breeders a wide berth and adopt a mutt: Some of the most common breeds of dog are the most prone to cancer, if you go by claims filed with the companion animal insurance company Trupanion. Boxers rank first on the cancer scale, followed by German shepherds, golden retrievers, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers.

Many other health problems plague “purebreds,” including crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, epilepsy, difficulty breathing (in pugs, bulldogs, and other breeds with unnaturally short noses), and screamingly painful disc disease (common in dachshunds, who have long spines). Breeders’ common practices of mating dogs who are related and breeding dogs for specific, distorted physical features are to blame. We can lessen our chance of losing a beloved companion too early (and save a life!) by adopting a hardy Heinz 57.

Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

Commenting is closed.
  • james says:

    I think it would be best if we eliminated pets from our lives altogether, I mean, surely these animals are not happy being segregated from their own species, scolded when attempting communication with a brother or sister, allowed outside, on a leash once a day, twice if you are lucky…rest of the time they are playthings for humans also fulfilling some asthetic need, rather sick if you ask me

  • PETA says:

    Approximately 6 to 8 million animals are handled by animal shelters in the United States each year. Some are reclaimed or adopted, but nearly 4 million unwanted dogs and cats are left with nowhere to go. The births and deaths of millions of homeless animals could be reduced and prevented through spaying and neutering. Yet countless numbers of puppies are born every day, thanks to breeders who often breed closely related dogs in order to retain certain breed characteristics. Not only does this contribute to the overpopulation crisis, it has also led to genetic diseases in virtually every breed. As long as there are dogs dying in shelters, there is no such thing as a responsible breeder.

  • Alexa says:

    I have a pure-breed English Staffordshire Bull Terrier who I got from a registered breeder in NZ – and I think that if you are are wanting a ‘pure bred’ dog – make sure you are getting it from a registered breeder, like mine is from the NZKC – kennel club – this way all paperwork is kept from both parents and you can know that your pup has been bred properly from different, healthy lines. Although I volunteer at the SPCA here locally and there are some gorgeous furry friends here that need a loving home, my next dog will be a rescue pup.

  • Ashley says:

    Not entirely sure how true this is….

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    Nothing beats a Heinz 57 dog for unique looks! My dog is a border collie/black lab mix who looks like a tall, black border collie when his winter coat is grown in, and a black lab after he has had his summer shave down…

  • Karan says:

    Many dogs get cancer for the same reason people do, their diets consist primarily of artificial food. If owners began feeding their pets only those dry, canned and dehydrated foods recommended by The Whole Dog Journal in their winter issue(s), there’d be a whole lot fewer animals not only with cancers but with allergies and other maladies as well. We have a 6.5 year old Spinone Italiano we got as a puppy from guy who bred his female for the first time (he now has three of them). We’ve fed our dog nothing but whole food, dried kibble and dehyrdrated mixes from The Honest Kitchen – both of the latter recommended by The Whole Dog Journal. We see our neighbors purchase the crap full of fillers, questionable meat and artificial colors and preservatives one can find at the grocery store and watch as their dogs visit the vet five or six times a year with one malady after another. Garbage in, garbage out people .. for people as well as for dogs.

  • Dawn says:

    Although it doesn’t prevent cancer if it is in the genes, doing your best to avoid foods with preservatives and by-products is giving them that extra chance at good health. I feed holistic food to all of mine, and although it is pricey, their health and lives are worth every penny

  • Tiny1!!! says:

    My dog was born the same day as me and he is now 16. He is a bully staffie X. He is getting put down because he is losing control of his bladder. He also has lots of lumps on him that me and my mum think are cancerous. he also is practically blind and deaf. so you have to be crawl to be kind. it will be sad for him to go but have to put him out of any pain he in before it gets worse.

  • sandy tate says:

    My boxer is a rescue and currently has cancer, but without a doubt, I would rescue this “purebred” again in a minute!!!

  • Jan says:

    Our last 2 Pure Bred German Shepherds both passed away at the ripe old age of 15! They never had a sick day in their lives one had a stroke when she was 11 but recovered fully and lived another 4 years. Go figure

  • Mary says:

    We lost a Lab (a dog shelter adoption) to bone cancer.  We have an old beagle who has had two cancerous tumors removed but is doing okay now.  There is a lot of cancer in this area in humans also. We live on the Ohio River in an area of a lot of chemical plants.  Just wonder…..   I love my dogs and wouldn’t trade them for anything but if you figure you start getting dogs at age four or five and have dogs as long as you are able – age 70-80 – with a life expectancy of 10-12 years for the dogs, you could lose 7-8 dogs in your lifetime!  THAT is the hardest part of having pets.  Loving them is the EASY part!!  Parting, not so much…

  • Shani says:

    My two dogs are Thai street dogs. No “purebreeds” for me! I think it is a shame people buy expensive dogs and buy into the hype of these designer “purebreeds”. They are no more pure than any other dog. Actually my Thai dogs are more “pure” than they are! These “purebreeds” are manufactured breeds made by man to look a certain way or act a certain way. My dogs are just dogs, plain and simple. They are better than any manufactured dog any day. I think is is ridiculous that people think they have to purchase a dog. What a joke! Animals are not a commodity! My dogs were given free to me, and one of them was found homeless on the street. There are so many dogs out there that need to be loved, why buy some over priced dog that has possibly been in a puppy farm or worse! Street dogs are the way to go.

  • lisa says:

    my dog is shar-pei,german shepherd and great dane, I got him from the vancouver wa humane society when he was 7 weeks-there were 5 puppies-he is 8 years now and has a very bad digestive system, which his vet says is common to shar peis-I have to be careful what I feed him-he has not shown any of the hip stuff of the sheperd or dane mix but that scares me that he will someday be in pain-they say if you get a mutt or cross breed that they will be healthier than a purebred-I can only hope for this with my boy, I will never adopt a  purebred for so many reasons, they are inbred, they are sold for alot of money-they are sold to pet shops-why do these even exist in the 21st century? and certain people look at these dogs as income-not as living creatures-hey if you have 200 dollars take this puppy and do whatever-what they do in india with little girls-but in america with baby girl and boy puppies-especially pit bull babys-they  and get them used to pain while they’re young-teach them that there is no life other than pain and pain with the cures-rubbing alcohol-more antibiotoc shots-ok rambiling-but need to find the dog fighting rings and rescue the dogs!!!!!…be afraid, we will find you…….signed…a native oregonian

  • Lily says:

    When I was 11 I got my first dog. My mom and I didn’t know any better when we bought a cute chihuahua puppy from a friends friend. Apparently my dogs mom was being used just for breeding from a backyard breeder. Now my dog is 8 years old and we have been dealing with her epilepsy which is really sad to watch when it happens. It breaks my heart to see her in pain. I have learned my lesson. I will no longer buy a puppy without meeting both parents.

  • Vanessa says:

    Although I fully support adopting a dog from a shelter, I query the information given from an insurance company…. Are people who purchase a dog from a breeder not more likley to insure their dog than those adopted from a shelter? I believe this is so as I would assume it would be extremely expensive or may not even be possible to insure a dog with an unknown history.

  • vania says:

    Save the animals(L)

  • Brit says:

    Both of my dogs are purebred, a German Shepherd and a Papillion… and both of them were rescues… so this article just kind of makes me really sad. So I did the right thing and saved my pups but they have a high chance of cancer and other things… Awesome. Plus side, Papillions on average are the longest living dogs!