To those outside of the complex world of dog breeding, the obsession with purebred dogs can seem confusing. Though we may all have our individual preferences in canine breeds, most dog lovers can agree that all pets deserve love and care, regardless of their pedigree. However, there is some science behind why purebred dogs need some extra attention from their owners as well as from veterinary specialists. As purebred pets are often bred very close together in order to keep their lineage pure, these dogs often suffer from genetic issues that make them prone to sickness, from increased occurrences of colds and parasites to higher risks of cancers and other fatal illnesses. For this reason, owners must be sure to give their purebred pets more attention, and practice preventative care to compensate for their increased risk of illness.
The Science Behind Purebred Dogs
Though we have only begun to understand the science behind genetics over the last 100 years, humans have been working with strategic breeding techniques for centuries, if not millennia, to produce domesticated animals and plants that best serve their needs. Dogs have been bred for a variety of reasons, leading to very distinct features within breed categorizations. Whether the appearance of a dog, or the mental or physical traits of the dog, the breeding has produced very useful and loyal dogs in the hundreds of internationally-recognized purebred dog varieties that are available today.
However, the very same genetics that have been manipulated over the centuries to produce these dog breeds are the same that can lead to lots of defects within a dog. When gene pools are mixed, the likelihood that bad mutations within the structure of the DNA is greatly reduced, and traits of strength and resiliency within “outside” breeds can be introduced into a particular breed’s offspring. Mixing breeds counters the entire essence of controlling the lineage of dog breeds, however. As the gene pool is reduced over time through interbreeding, many “flaws” in the genetic structure – such as decreased resistance to illness, or mutated genes that can lead to the development of tumors – are reproduced at an increased rate. As a result, the health benefits provided by mixing breeds are lost within purebred dogs.
Medical Care for Your Canine: How To Identify Likely Health Issues
From the moment you first take your puppy home, it is important to continually perform research to know what kinds of threats are known to face your particular dog’s breed. Some breeds are known to have higher risks of cancer and other tumours as a result of the successive coupling that has been necessary to produce that breed. Other breeds are known for strange cases of immune system deficiencies, neurological deficiencies, and joint and bone disorders. Many dog breeds that have been kept pure have been documented to have increased eye and heart disease problems as well. Many of these defects are manageable through proper preventative care. Regular check-ups with a local vet can help you to keep an eye on these health issues, and dog breeding clubs can also offer insight about particular treatments that have helped their purebred dogs stay healthy despite the risks.
Looking After a Purebred Puppy: The Basics of Everyday Care
Purebred dogs, especially those that are bred to hunt, run, and otherwise perform at top physical levels, should have the space and time necessary to obtain the exercise they need. Whether making time to exercise with your dog as an owner, or hiring a pet care specialist who can walk, run with, or otherwise play with your dog throughout the day can keep your purebred pet in peak physical condition. This exercise is not only important for managing weight and building muscle, but for maintaining a balance for the mental and emotional health of your pet as well.
Fuelling the body of a purebred pet is critical to helping them maintain their health. Food should be available in small portions throughout the day, within the frame of a diet that is approved by a veterinarian who is familiar with the specifics of your dog’s breed. Furthermore, owners should take special care to find brands of dog food that are extremely high in nutritional value, especially in terms of providing complex carbohydrates, proteins, and the vitamins and minerals that keep a purebred dog strong and healthy. For more information on how to properly care for your canine, you can work with your veterinarian to design a special care plan that will help to prevent disease and increased illness while keeping your pet happy, healthy, and strong.
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger and a full time pet lover. When she is not working she likes to travel and read as much as she can. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.