The 15 Most Unhealthy Dog Breeds of 2021: Is your dog one of them?

While your vet may have a bill, your friendship with your dog is priceless. These unhealthy dog breeds need love and care.

Before I begin, I’ll clarify: this list is about dog breeds that are very prone to illness, not about unhealthy dog breeds to have around humans or children. If you’re going to have a dog as your pet, you need to be careful and informed about their health! We’re going to cover the most unhealthy dog breeds year-round. This list of facts should help prepare you to take care of your fuzzy friends, much like our guide on when to vaccinate your pets that you can find here.

When caring for unhealthy dog breeds, take them for regular walks, be good friends with your vet, and feed them high-quality dog food.

Most Unhealthy Dog Breeds:

1. Doberman Pinscher:

Doberman are great dogs, but they come with their own problems. Some of the most common health issues related to them are gastric torsion, cancer, hypothyroidism, hepatitis, dilated cardiomyopathy and Von Willebrand’s disease.

2. English Bulldogs:

English bulldogs are unfortunately prone to infectious diesaes due to their massive skin folds. They’re also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as mitral valve defects. Many of their health issues are believed to stem from genetic manipulation, which results in congenital and hereditary problems.

3. Bernese Mountain dog:

It is a medium-sized dog breed which suffers a lot from both elbow and hip dysplasia. Regular exercise can help these fuzzy guys, just don’t let them get complacent on the couch.

4. Bloodhound:

This popular dog breed from the UK can have a variety of eye-related issues, such as dry eyes and eyelid deformities. Overall, they fall into a medium level of health concern.

5. Weimaraner:

Weimaraner dogs are known to be energetic, but are plagued by minor health problems. Among these are Von Willebrand’s disease, which results in decreased blood clotting abilities for your pup. Blood clotting is the sensation most mammals rely on for closing open wounds, so if these dogs suffer a laceration it can pose significant problems for them.

6. Chow Chow:

The breed originating from china is very popular all over the world now. Unfortunately, these big cuties suffer from a whole range of orthopedic issues. We recommend looking for a breeder with a certification in CHIC. You can read more about this certification on

7. Rottweiler:

Rottweilers are super active and reliable, but they can suffer from epilepsy and osteochondrosis – a degenerative bone disease.

8. Labrador Retriever:

Labradors are extremely popular due to their high intelligence and their socially affable nature. This dog breed is very prone to cancer and EIC (exercise induced collapse). Thankfully, this is a screenable genetic syndrome. Talk to your vet if your fluffy friend experiences such issues.

9. Basset Hound:

This French-originated dog is a purebred one and they are very gentle and friendly. They mainly suffer from a wide range of genetic diseases such as bloating and Von Willebrand’s disease. Always go for responsible breeding when getting one of these dogs. To keep this breed healthy, take them for regular exercise.

10. Saint Bernard:

Saint Bernard is known as a large breed of dog and has a very low average life expectancy. They can suffer from bone cancer and cardiac disorders. Train them well and take them for a regular exercise as they are very good eaters.

11. Golden Retriever:

This dog breed needs no introduction as it ranks high among the most popular dog breeds around the world. They are mainly known to suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia and a minor health concern for allergies. They need a lot of exercise, but are quite resilient to cold weather.

12. German Shepherd:

German Shepherds have a great name for being police and military dogs and they are very strong and intelligent. They have a very high health concern level, unfortunately, as they are prone to hip dysplasia. This can be prevented through careful breeding and screening.

13. Cocker Spaniel:

Though they are very friendly in nature, many will remark the cocker spaniel is the most unhealthy dog breed. They face a lot of health issues. They are prone to heart disease, liver disease, epilepsy and also a variety of orthopedic issues. Keep them in regular activity. Really, that tip applies to a lot of dogs in this list.

14. Pug:

This small and cute dog breed have a very high chance of heart stroke. After a certain age, they also suffer from breathing problems, hemivertebrae and pug dog encephalitis. Pugs suffer a variety of unique health concerns because of the nature of their breeding.

15. Chihuahua:

This miniature dog mainly suffers from hereditary problems. Luxation of Patella, Elongated Soft plate and Hypoglycaemia are the three main problems. Most of the diseases are spotted as they increase in age.

I hope this list was helpful to you. Take some basic precautions and you can protect your dog from all these health hazards. While not every dog is going to be unhealthy just due to being on this list, a regular visit to the vet and a daily walk will do your pups a lot of good.