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I'm a Veterinarian and These Are the Top 5 Neediest Dog Breeds

These pups require a lot of time and energy.

Of course, all dogs require love and attention. But some breeds take it one step further by needing more than simple belly rubs and snuggles. Adam Christman, DVM, chief veterinary officer for dvm360, says five dog breeds, specifically, are the neediest, based on veterinary visits, insurance claims, and breed predispositions. Keep reading to find out more about them.

RELATED: Vet Reveals the Top 5 Most Expensive Dog Breeds.


dachshund puppy, top dog breeds
Shedara Weinsberg / Shutterstock

In a TikTok video, Christman begins his list of the neediest dog breeds with Dachshunds. He says these dogs have a "Napoleon complex" and are prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease, which can cause severe and prolonged pain if not treated properly.

While these dogs are small and can live anywhere between 12 and 16 years, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), they need proper exercise to maintain their muscle tone. It's important to keep them from becoming overweight as well as to constantly monitor their activities so they don't hurt themselves.

Great Dane

Great Dane

Christman puts the Great Dane in fourth place. He says they make great family dogs but also "eat a lot of food" and are prone to cardiac disease and cancers. "But they're also prone to stealing your heart," he adds.

In terms of maintenance, these big dogs don't shed a ton, but weekly brushing helps keep their coats smooth and shiny. According to the AKC, Great Danes also need their nails trimmed regularly to prevent pain or walking problems. And like most dogs, they need daily exercise to stay stimulated and healthy.

RELATED: 14 Hardest Dog Breeds to Own, Doggy Daycare Worker Says.

Labrador Retriever

small chocolate labrador retriever puppy combats itching by scratching with its hind leg

"These goofballs at number three can get into things," says Christman about the Labrador Retriever. Known for their enthusiasm and endless energy, it's not surprising that these dogs are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. However, their health may cause them to be a little needier than other breeds.

"Like the Great Dane, they can also have orthopedic issues, such as tearing their cruciate ligaments," explains Christman. And that's where the vet visits or insurance claims can be frequent and costly.


Light brown chihuahua lying on couch. Pet. Home comfort. Cozy

Don't mistake Chihuahuas' small bodies for small personalities. This breed is sassy and confident and will get you to do exactly what they want. Christman says that one minute they'll want you to pick them up, only to change their mind instantly once you do.

In terms of health, they could have potential heart problems and eye diseases, but according to the AKC, as long as they are screened and taken for check-ups, they'll remain in top-notch shape.

RELATED: The 10 Best Dogs for Beginners, Vets Say.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog Splooting Off-leash dog park in Northern California.

French Bulldogs require a lot of maintenance to stay healthy, so it's not surprising that Christman named them the neediest dog breed. "Neck problems, back problems, heart issues, respiratory, heat stroke, knee issues, and skin," Christman lists in the video.

As a flat-faced breed, they're more prone to breathing problems than other dogs. They also require special grooming products or food to keep their skin in good condition, notes the AKC.

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Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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