Common wisdom suggests that mixed-breed dogs are healthier than purebreds, but is it true? It is, although it’s a bit less cut and dry than you might think. This article explains why mixed-breeds are usually healthier than purebreds and what it means for pet owners looking to protect their pups with an insurance plan.
Which Are Healthier: Purebred or Mixed-Breed Dogs?
In general, mixed-breed dogs are healthier than their purebred counterparts. While this is true on average over the entire canine population, exceptions exist in individual dogs. Many purebred dogs go their whole lives without significant health problems, and some mixed-breeds are constantly at the vet with severe health issues.
A recent study also suggests that some disorders are actually more common in mixed-breeds, although purebreds are more affected by a wider variety of health issues.
Why Are Mixed-Breed Dogs Healthier?
Mixed-breed dogs are healthier due to genetic diversity. Purebred dogs are susceptible to genetic disorders that get passed from one generation to the next, making it possible for one dog with bad genes to derail a generations-long breeding family.
On the other hand, mixed-breeds don’t have long, controlled bloodlines and therefore don’t have to worry as much about genetic conditions. Mixed-breed parents are less likely to have the wrong combination of genes to create an unhealthy puppy since they aren’t the same breed and are prone to different health conditions.
What Health Issues Are More Common in Purebred Dogs?
Purebred dogs are more likely to have certain genetic conditions than mixed-breed dogs. The most common genetic disorders purebreds suffer from are:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Knee problems
- Spinal disorders
This is not an exhaustive list and the specific health issues your dog may be prone to depend on its breed.
Does Pet Insurance Cover These Issues?
The majority of pet insurance plans cover genetic disorders, although they don’t usually cover pre-existing conditions. Most Lemonade pet insurance reviews — for example — explicitly state that coverage does not include pre-existing conditions, making it essential to get your dog covered early in its life before it develops any health issues.
Make sure you understand the coverage you’re getting before you choose a pet insurance plan since some companies have breed-specific coverage exceptions and won’t cover certain common ailments. Many people don’t realize that their pet insurance doesn’t cover specific conditions until their claim gets rejected. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on the company’s website, don’t hesitate to call and ask.
If you’re adopting a dog, make sure you go through reputable channels and ask if the shelter or adoption agency has health records available. Even if you ultimately decide to adopt a dog with a pre-existing condition, it’s helpful to know so you can make sure your finances allow you to care for the dog properly.