|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