As Crufts drew to a close this weekend, Vets have listed the top 6 factors they believe would impact a dog’s health and welfare. 448 small animal and mixed practice vets were asked “Thinking about the dogs that you see and treat, what impact would the following have on their health and welfare?”
- 95% felt better weight control would have a significant impact on canine health and welfare
- 88% felt that providing more exercise would have a significant impact on canine health and welfare
- 82% felt that better early socialisation would have a significant impact on canine health and welfare
- 75% felt better selective breeding for improved conformation would have a significant impact on canine health and welfare
- 64% felt a change of diet would significantly impact on canine health and welfare
- 43% felt that more screening for inherited conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye problems would have a significant impact on canine health and welfare
The BVA and Kennel Club Canine Health Schemes help breeders to make informed decisions when selecting dogs for breeding, and help to reduce the risk and incidence of inherited disease. It’s also worth remembering that it’s not just pedigree dogs that can inherit disorders such as hip and elbow dysplasia or hereditary eye disease. There is a misconception that crossbred dogs are protected from hereditary problems but that’s not the case. Anyone thinking of breeding from their dog or thinking about buying a puppy should ask their vet about health screening and how it can be used to inform their decisions
The culture at the Kennel Club has changed greatly over the last few years. There is now much more focus on breeding for health rather than appearance. The Assured Breeder Scheme requiring certain breed-specific health tests as part of registering puppies from Assured Breeders is a major step in the right direction but there is certainly more that the kennel club could be doing.
At Donaldsons, we want to work with owners to improve the health and welfare of pets and we are more than happy to give advice and guidance. From help on selecting the right diet and quantity of food for your dog to advice about training and behaviour, owners should talk to their vet to get sound advice and to be confident they are doing the best they can for the animal’s health and welfare.