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The 10 healthiest dog breeds that make great companions and shouldn’t need many vet trips

When considering welcoming a dog into the family, there are a number of factors that are worth thinking about.

Will you be getting a big or a small dog? How active is the breed? Do their needs match your lifestyle?

But one of the most important questions prospective owners ask is they susceptible to health issues?

While French Bulldogs commonly suffer from respiratory issues, German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia.

But there are some breeds that are much less likely to need frequent vet visits, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The last thing new pet owners want to learn is that their newest member of the family is likely to need regular trips to the vets.

So our sister site TeamDogs has compiled a list of the 10 ‘healthiest’ breeds according to the AKC.

From beagles to border collies – these are the breeds less likely to leave you with a hefty vet bill.

1.Australian Cattle Dog

An Australian Cattle dog

One of the world’s oldest dogs was Australian Cattle Dog, Bluey, who lived to the incredible age of 29.

The Australian Cattle Dog are described by the AKC as ‘resilient’ and ‘intelligent enough to routinely outsmart their owners’.

While the breed isn’t all that common in the UK, they are said to be ever alert and extremely loyal.

They’re a very active, high-energy breed that do well working on farms and running every day.

2. Chihuahua

A seven-year-old Chihuahua
A seven-year-old Chihuahua

Tiny dogs, big personalities. Chihuahuas are a small but mighty breed, described by the AKC as ‘compact and confident’.

Chihuahuas make for ideal city pets, and it’s not uncommon for them to live until their late teens.

The little dog that played Bruiser Woods in Legally Blonde – Moonie – lived until he was 18!

The American Kennel Club said: “Chihuahuas possess loyalty, charm and big-dog attitude. Even tiny dogs require training, and without it, this clever scamp will rule your household like a little Napoleon.”

Chi’s are unlikely to develop specific health issues, but like many older dogs, they may suffer eye and cardiac issues in later years.

3. Greyhound

A four-year-old Greyhound
A four-year-old Greyhound

The 45mph couch potato – greyhounds are champion sprinters, but when they’re not running around, they’re snoozing on the sofa.

The AKC describes them as ‘gentle, noble and sweet-tempered’.

Companion dogs by nature, greyhounds are generally healthy, but can be susceptible to bloat and gastric torsion.

They can also develop a condition called neuropathy, which ‘seems to be isolated in the breed’ – but are otherwise a very healthy breed.



Beagles have a life expectancy of 10-15 years, with few health issues likely to arise.

Like with all breeds, the AKC recommends checking ears weekly, and brushing teeth regularly. They suggest breeders should test for hip dysplasia and dislocated kneecaps, too.

Beagles are hunting dogs and loyal companions, described as ‘happy-go-lucky’ and ‘funny’.

The American Kennel Club said: “Beagles are loving and lovable, happy, and companionable, all qualities that make them excellent family dogs. These are curious, clever, and energetic hounds who require plenty of playtime.”


A poodle is prepared for showing during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show
A poodle is prepared for showing during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show

Be it standard, miniature, or toy, poodles can live up to 18 years old and stay in pretty tip top health.

The AKC said: “Most Poodles live long, happy, healthy lives thanks to the efforts of dedicated, responsible breeders who routinely test all breeding stock. As with all breeds, however, some health issues can occur, including hip dysplasia and several eye disorders.”

Poodles are very active dogs who love all kinds of activities, from playing fetch to taking a swim.


TeamDogs is a community for dog lovers who want to get the most out of their relationship with their best pal.

Make sharing the cutest photos of your dog your first job on the website and after you’ve done that, leave a tip to help fellow dog owners live their best lives as a proud pooch parent.

Search through hundreds of recommended walks, treats, toys and places to stay when you’re on an adventure together.

From dog-friendly pubs to product reviews and the latest news, you can sniff it all out at TeamDogs.

6. Havanese

A Havanese dog during judging stages on day three of Crufts
A Havanese dog during judging stages on day three of Crufts

Havanese are the only dog ​​breed native to Cuba, and are generally healthy, as well as fairly long-lived.

These ‘cheerful little dogs’ are very social dogs, and don a sleek, silky coat.

Havanese can be prone to liver and kidney problems, as well as eye issues and deafness.

The American Kennel Club said: “Their small but sturdy bodies, adaptable nature, and social skills make Havanese an ideal city dog, but they are content to be anywhere that they can command the attention of admirers young and old alike.

“Havanese, smart and trainable extroverts with the comic instincts of a born clown, are natural trick dogs. Havanese are also excellent watchdogs and take the job seriously, but will usually keep the barking to a minimum.”

7. Siberian Husky

A Siberian Husky
A Siberian Husky

These graceful sled dogs are not only particularly healthy, but also naturally clean with ‘little doggy odor’.

These powerful pack pups can occasionally suffer eye and hip problems, but it’s unlikely to happen until later in life.

These working dogs can live between 12 and 15-years-old, and are a ‘generally healthy breed’.

8. Border Collie

A Border Collie
A Border Collie

“The Border Collie is generally a very hardy and healthy breed,” says the American Kennel Club.

The athletic working dog previously suffered a number of genetic issues, but DNA testing from responsible breeders has helped eliminate many of these.

Deafness and epilepsy may still cause issues to these dogs in later life, but they are otherwise healthy.

The AKC added: “A remarkably bright workaholic, the Border Collie is an amazing dog – maybe a bit too amazing for owners without the time, energy, or means to keep it occupied. These energetic dogs will settle down for cuddle time when the workday is done.

“Having a job to perform, like agility, or herding, or obedience work is key to Border happiness.”

9. Airedale Terrier

airedale terrier
airedale terrier

The AKC said: “Airedales are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will test for health concerns such as hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint.”

This fabulous breed is nicknamed ‘King of Terriers’, and is a hunter, athlete and companion dog.

The kennel club added: “Airedales are docile and patient with kids but won’t back down when protecting hearth and home. Thanks to their famous do-it-all attitude, Airedales excel in all kinds of sports and family activities.”

10. German pinscher

german pinscher
german pinscher

Living up to 14 years, German pinschers are among Germany’s oldest breeds.

The agile dogs are typically robust.

The American Kennel Club said: “There are a few conditions that the breed can be prone to. These include hip dysplasia, eye disease, and von Willebrand’s disease. There is a small incidence of heart problems, and some delayed post-vaccine complications have also been reported within the breed.

“This energetic, super-intelligent dog was at first used as a rat catcher but can be trained for all types of canine work.”


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