Designer cross-breeds face disease as new trend fuels shameless backyard breeders

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  • Thousands of dog face serious health issues at the hands of latest cross-breed trends
  • Mixed-breeds battle genetic disorders and disease caused by poor breeding conditions 
  • Animal experts say rates of sick pups will soar as more people favour illegal breeders

Made famous by celebrity owners in recent years, Labradoodles are now one of the most popular breeds in the UK. Photo Credit: JD

The UK’s latest canine trends have seen the most-loved breeds to change from tiny handbag dogs, to fashionable cross-breeds in just a few years.

Loved for their adorable looks and trendy names, the likes of the labradoodle (labrador and poodle),  shorkie (shih tzu and Yorkshire terrier) and cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle) have captured the hearts of thousands of dog-lovers across the nation.

But as these designer dogs continue to take over from traditional breeds, thousands of puppies are now facing huge risks of life-threatening health problems.

Whilst the new cross-breed trend may be creating cuter dogs, far more puppies are at serious risk of suffering from painful genetic disorders, caused by mixing the traits of two different dogs.

There are also concerns that the huge demand for trendy mixed-breeds is now causing thousands of owners to contact illegal online and backyard sellers instead of licensed breeders.

Cute cross-breeds like the Cockpoo, Labradoodle and Shorkie are now huge favourites amongst dog-lovers. Photo Credit: Pixabay

But before they are snatched up by owners for huge sums of money, many of these mutts spend their early days packed together in small, dirty cages, without any interaction with their mother.

And experts are now warning that puppies bought from unscrupulous breeders are extremely vulnerable to deadly diseases like parvo virus and giardia.

But with more people buying dogs for their looks without knowing if it is healthy or even if it will suit their lifestyle, the rates of sick ‘mail order’ puppies are expected to soar.

In our first ever ‘Pupcast’, we speak to qualified veterinary nurse, Kate Warwick about the dangers of this latest canine craze, and why it’s crucial for owners to do their research before buying a puppy.

Kate, who works at the Barn Animal Hospital in Basingstoke warns of the designer breeds most at risk of health issues, and what owners can do to keep on top on their dog’s illness.

Listen to the Q&A below.

Danielle White

A dog-lover and investigative journalist always on the look out for the latest social media trends. Find her on Twitter at @daniellel_white

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