Sorry, I just sent an ask about what healthy breeds there, but I see you've answered a similar question in the past. I guess an alternative question would be, is there anything specific to look for or avoid when trying to pick a dog with minimal health problems to adopt? What are the main things that should be checked?
Keeping in mind that you should always be considering your available space, time and lifestyle when adopting a dog, and while no dog is ever going to remain free of medical issues its entire life, you should only be taking on a dog with known or suspected medical issues that you are prepared to manage.
Personally, there are a few things I would be looking at if I was adopting an adult dog:
- Neat eyes, no squinting or rolling in/out of the eyelids.
- A muzzle, not a completely flat face
- Ease of breathing
- Are any teeth diseased to the point that require extraction?
- Front limbs that don’t bend underneath or away from the body
- Patellas that stay in joint
- Not too much hair in the ear canals.
- Manageable nails
- Evidence of a good coat, or a regrowing coat.
In addition to a general check up for heart murmurs and any masses. The less extreme the anatomy the less likely you are to have anatomical issues.
Puppies are harder to assess, but I would be very particular about eyes and knees. There’s not much else you can predict from a young puppy, and hernias I can deal with relatively easily.
Now, i hypothetically might be more included to adopt a dog (or cat) with medical problems I can deal with, but the range of conditions I’m willing and able to deal with are probably different to yours. This comes back to my first point about taking on conditions you are prepared to manage.
This is especially true in an adoption scenario. There are lots of dogs in shelters that get surrendered for medical or behavioral reasons when their humans just aren’t able to cope. If you can provide for their special needs you might consider taking them on anyway, even if they’re not by definition ‘100% healthy’. Diabetics are an example. It’s not a problem for me, at all, to give injections twice a day, but for somebody else it might be.