CHIGWELL, England — Owning a dog often winds up being far more expensive than one might expect. To that point, a British vet is sharing the dog breeds he wouldn’t have as a pet — because they have a history of health problems and land owners with massive bills.
Ben Simpson-Vernon, 31, says in a TikTok video that he would never own a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He dubs them as one of the unhealthiest — and consequently most expensive breeds out there. That’s because heart problems are common among them with over 50% developing mitral valve disease by the age of five and almost all by the age of 10.
Other dog breeds the vet also says he’d avoid are dachshunds, due to their history of back problems, and Chow Chows because temperament problems are common. Shar Peis are off his list because of their problems with excessive wrinkly skin. Similarly, any flat-faced dogs like pugs and bulldogs would not be his choice of pet due to breathing problems.
Simpson-Vernon says ultimately all dogs have some health problems to some extent, however steps can be taken to make sure owners are buying from the right place. “If you have got your heart set on a dog that might potentially come with more health problems, make sure to use The Kennel Club assured breeder scheme,” he explains. “It’s also worth having genetic tests done of the parents to see if they’re more or less likely to develop any problems. You can also look for alternatives of the same family.”
Ben also made a video talking about the five dog breeds he recommends for people interested in a pup of their own. His list includes the greyhound, Border Terrier, vizsla, Labrador and a mongrel.”I wanted to raise awareness on both dogs to get and not to get. A Labrador and Border Terrier are not bad choices for first time owners, greyhounds as well,” he says. “There’s something for everyone.”
Ben says these are some of the best dogs, in his opinion.
“People often pick dog breeds based on how they think the experience will be within their family. So, if anyone is thinking of getting a dog, speak to as many people as possible, vets, family, breeders,” he adds. “They’ve all got different qualities. Border Terriers are quite cuddly, whilst the vizsla’s are very high energy breeds and mongrels have diverse genetics and are less prone to health problems because they’re less inbred.”
South West News Service writer Jake Meeus-Jones contributed to this report.