Why (Dog) Health Is Important When Choosing A Dog

When we choose a dog we expect it will be happy, well adjusted and healthy.  This is something we take for granted.  But it can easily not work out that way.

Obviously you wouldn’t choose a dog based on which breed was the healthiest.  Choosing a dog has to be made first and foremost on lifestyle questions.   Questions like:

  • How much time do I have for walks, exercise and playtime?
  • Which dog breeds are good with children?
  • Do I need a non-shedding/hypoallergenic/low allergy dog?
  • How big is my house – how much space do I have?
  • What kind of climate do I live in – hot, cold or medium?
  • Do I need a dog that’s easy to train?

Once you have all your lifestyle questions listed, you can work out the answers.  In some cases there will be more than one dog breed which would suit you. 

That’s when the issue of health can be a deciding factor.  If choosing between a few breeds, all equally matched for your lifestyle, you might choose the one which you felt was the healthiest. 

Let’s use a fictional case study to illustrate this:

All About Mary

Mary is 65 and retired.  She lives on her own in a medium-sized house with its own garden.  She’s in the city suburbs.  Now the children have grown up she wants a dog for companionship. Mary is still active, and is happy with the idea of 2 x 45 minute walks a day.  She has other outside interests and goes out quite a lot with friends.  There are regular visitors to the house including her children and grandchildren.

First of all, Mary’s best option is to find a small or medium sized dog which will settle quickly and not require too much intensive support.  This means ideally choosing an older dog from a breeder or rescue centre of say 6+ years old.  A puppy would not be a good choice.

Mary’s had a look at dog breeds which are small to medium, low-ish activity and people friendly.  She likes the King Charles Spaniel, Whippet, Yorkshire Terrier and Papillon.  They all have the ‘right stuff’.

Researching the health of these different breeds she finds that the Papillon has a long life expectancy of about 15 years.  The King Charles is on average about 11 years, the Whippet around 13 years and the Yorkie about 13 years. 

When Mary looks at health, she finds the Yorkshire Terrier has a lot of potential and well documented health problems.  Though she knows this can be overcome by good breeding, she doesn’t want that level of risk. She decides this breed is not for her.  

Though she loves the idea of a long-lived dog she decides the tiny Papillon might not work so well with her active young grandchildren.

She is left with the Cavalier King Charles or the Whippet, both of which will work for her, and both of which are relatively healthy dogs.  She finally chooses the Whippet because it’s expected to live slightly longer.


Dog breed health is only one of many issues which you need to consider when choosing a dog.  Hopefully this small example shows how you might use health to decide between several equally ‘right’ dog breeds.

Choosing A Dog The Right Way

It’s a fact that 50% of all people who get a dog have to rehome it in less than 12 months.  It’s also a very sad truth that a huge number of puppies bought are from puppy farms – raised in appalling conditions without adequate care, veterinary treatment, food or socialisation.  Many have health problems and behavioural issues.  And these contribute to the problems you as owners face when you get them home.

Failure HURTS.   The emotional and financial cost of choosing the wrong dog can be hard to recover from.   Learning to choose a dog the right way takes a long time. You have to know all the questions before you know if you have the answers.  Missing even a small piece of the puzzle can cause serious problems.

That’s why this site was set up.  My mission in life is for everyone who is right for a dog to have a dog they love to live with.  To get rid of as many puppy farms as possible, and rescue centres, by making sure you choose right first time.

You can choose to get it right.  The tools on this site give you all the opportunity you need to choose the right dog.  Not everyone has lots of money to splash about so there’s everything from free to a serious investment.  However if you’re spending $800 or more on a pedigree puppy then just a little bit extra invested now could make all the difference later on.

Get Your Free Guides!

Most people make a mess of choosing a dog.  50% of all dogs fail with their new families in less than 12 months.  That’s 6.5 million discarded dogs per year, just in the USA alone.  So fast track your success with the best tips around.  Get your Free Guides today by clicking this link    Send article as PDF   

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