Is a Newfoundland dog a healthy dog?

Have you ever seen a Newfoundland dog, or “Newfie” as their fans affectionately call them? These giant, teddy bear-like dogs are as hard to miss as a parade float—they can weigh up to 150 pounds and reach almost 30 inches in height. But did you know that despite their huge size, Newfies have a reputation for being “gentle giants”? They’re friendly and patient, making them excellent pets even for families with children.

But the question remains: are Newfoundland dogs a healthy breed? To answer that, it’s crucial to understand both the unique aspects of their health and the steps needed to maintain their wellness throughout life.

While all dogs have their own specific health considerations, Newfoundland dogs come with their own unique concerns and considerations. Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news! Of course, as with any pet, your Newfoundland dog will bring you endless joy, boundless love, and maybe a few unwelcome surprises on your living room rug. However, as a responsible pet owner, it is important to be aware of the specific health concerns and common issues of the breed.

One of the most concerning health issues for Newfoundland dogs is heart disease, specifically a genetic condition known as subaortic stenosis (SAS). SAS is a common health condition among large dog breeds and it can lead to sudden death. On a positive note, responsible breeders typically check for SAS, along with other genetic diseases. Therefore, it’s critical to do your homework when selecting a breeder to ensure they’re testing for these disorders.

Enter: hip and elbow dysplasia. This condition affects the joints of the dog and can lead to painful arthritis later on in life. However, like SAS, dysplasia is also a condition that can be screened out by responsible breeders, so obtaining your Newfoundland dog from a reputable source significantly reduces this risk.

Enough with the gloom and doom! It’s not all scary health disorders for these gentle giants. Newfoundland dogs are known for their incredibly strong and robust constitution. They have a double-layered coat that is water-resistant enabling them to handle both cold and wet environments exceptionally well.

Newfoundlands were bred as working dogs. They are powerful swimmers, a trait that was once used to haul nets for fishermen and rescue drowning people. Today, they may not need to perform such extreme tasks, but they still need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. A fun fact—exercise also helps these dogs maintain their mental well-being!

Even with potential health concerns, many Newfoundland dogs live long, happy lives, especially with responsible pet parenting. Regular exercise and training contribute to a Newfie’s mental and physical health. Also, feeding them a balanced diet and regular vet check-ups maintain their overall health. Newfoundland dogs are prone to obesity, so avoid overfeeding—they may give you the “puppy dog eyes”, but resist the temptation of falling for their ruse.

These massive dogs also come with massive hearts, both in the literal and figurative senses. Not only are they incredibly loving and protective dogs, but their hearts also work overtime to pump blood around their sizeable bodies. Regular cardiological check-ups are recommended to mitigate any inherent heart ailments.

When it comes to maintenance, Newfies can prove to be a handful. These dogs are notorious droolers and can quickly turn your house into a slimy mess without regular clean-up. Their thick double coat also sheds a lot, meaning you might have to invest a good deal of time (and lint rollers) to keep your home fur-free.

In conclusion, Newfoundland dogs, like all breeds, have their own specific set of health considerations to bear in mind. However, the joy, affection, and companionship a Newfie offers significantly outweighs the challenges. As long as you are prepared for and attentive to their health needs, you and your Newfoundland dog will be able to make the most of your precious years together.