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10 Dog Breeds Prone to Bloat (With Pictures)

Written by: Adam Mann

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Basset Hound lying down on the grass

10 Dog Breeds Prone to Bloat (With Pictures)


Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo


Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While it’s not always in our control, nobody wants to buy a new puppy only to deal with health problem after health problem. Bloat is a very serious condition that can be life-threatening, and while any dog can get it, some breeds are more prone than others. You need to know when to remain extra vigilant, which is why we took the time to highlight 10 dog breeds that are the most likely to develop bloat.

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What Is Bloat?

Bloat, also called gastric dilatation, is a condition where a dog’s stomach fills with food, gas, or fluid. It can be very uncomfortable until the pressure is released. Sometimes it can develop further into gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) where the bloated stomach twists around itself, potentially cutting off blood supply to the organ. Both conditions can develop without any warning signs and are always considered an emergency.

When a stomach gets filled with gas, fluid, or food, it then puts pressure on the other organs and blood vessels, potentially decreasing blood flow to tissues and in return to the heart. This can result in tissue damage and shock. Every minute without treatment increases the risk of further damage.

Large, deep chested breeds are more prone, and it most commonly occurs when a dog exercises after eating a large meal. While large breeds are more likely to be affected, it can occur in smaller breeds as well.

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The 10 Dog Breeds Prone to Bloat

1. Great Danes

great dane dog standing on grass
Image Credit: belu gheorghe, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
Height: 28 to 32 inches

The larger the dog, often the more likely they are to develop bloat, so it’s no surprise that the Great Dane is one of the dog breeds most likely to develop this condition. These are some of the largest dogs in the world, and while they’re incredibly lovable, bloat is just one of the many potential health conditions that lead these pups to have much shorter lives. Even if they don’t get bloat, they generally live shorter lives than other breeds, but it’s hard to find a more lovable companion!

2. Saint Bernards

saint bernard dog in winter snow
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock
Origin: Switzerland
Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
Height: 26 to 30 inches

While the Great Dane might be the tallest dog on our list, the Saint Bernard just might be the heaviest. These dogs are massive, and like most other large dogs, it makes them far more susceptible to bloat.

They’re the definition of a lovable giant and are often great family dogs that don’t make much noise, but it’s important to train them early on. This is because they can be a bit stubborn, and if you don’t tackle this early, their large size ensures you won’t be able to muscle them into listening.

3. Weimaraners

weimaraner dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: MylosArtworks, Pixabay
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Height: 23 to 27 inches

The Weimaraner isn’t quite as tall as the Great Dane or as heavy as the Saint Bernard, but that hasn’t saved them from an infamous reputation for developing bloat. They’re another amazing family dog, but with their almost non-stop energy drive, you better have more than enough space for them!

In fact, it’s best if these dogs have an activity to keep them busy, making them one of the best working dogs around. They need a bit of training, but with a non-stop energy drive and a desire to work and please, they can make the perfect helper.

4. Irish Setters

irish setter in mountains
Image Credit: Kseniia Kolesnikova, Shutterstock


Origin: Ireland
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Height: 25 to 27 inches

Irish Setters are amazing companions that also get along great with other pets, making them an outstanding choice for most families. However, they do have a ton of energy, so it’s best if you have plenty of space for them; otherwise, you might find it extremely challenging to meet their exercise needs.

Their deep, long body and energy level may also lend itself to developing bloat, so be sure you are aware of the warning signs and get them to a vet should you suspect anything is wrong.

5. Standard Poodles

black standard poodle dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Danica Chang, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 10 to 18 years
Height: Over 15 inches

Poodles come in all sorts of sizes, but it’s the Standard Poodle that is most susceptible to bloat. Their larger size also makes it more likely that they’ll have shorter lifespans, but compared to other large dog breeds, they can have much longer lifespans, sometimes exceeding 15 years!

Another perk of the Standard Poodle is that they’re extremely intelligent and considered hypoallergenic (although no dog is truly hypoallergenic), making them highly trainable and the perfect choice for people with mild pet allergies.

6. Doberman Pinscher

doberman pinscher dog in the forest
Image Credit: Daria Shvetcova, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Height: 24 to 28 inches

The Doberman Pinscher is another amazing family dog that, unfortunately, suffers from bloat all thanks to their deep and narrow chests. They’re also great guard dogs, and because of this, they’re not always the best with other dogs in the home.

Just know that you’ll need to take the time to train them early on, and even then, it often takes an experienced hand to train them properly. They can also have a fair amount of energy, so we recommend having a fenced-in yard before getting one.

7. Gordon Setters

Gordon Setter dog standing
Image Credit: Anna Tronova, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 12 to 13 years
Height: 23 to 27 inches

A Gordon Setter might not be as well-known as a Great Dane or a Poodle, but they’re amazing dogs that are very loving. They’re not always the best family dogs, but if you need a working dog that can keep up with any task, the Gordon Setter is your pooch.

These dogs tend to bond strongly with one person, and they can make amazing guard dogs if you train them properly. They’re not the best choice for first-time dog owners, but if you want a beautiful pup and are up for a challenge, they’re a good choice!

8. Irish Wolfhound

Gray Irish Wolfhound dog in a spring garden
Image Credit: Radomir Rezny, Shuterstock
Origin: Ireland
Lifespan: 6 to 8 years
Height: 30 to 32 inches

Another pup that’s shockingly large is the Irish Wolfhound, thus making them another dog prone to bloat. They’re absolutely massive, and they’re also one of the breeds with an unfortunately short lifespan. Still, that doesn’t mean that these dogs don’t deserve just as much love as any other breed, although you’ll have to be especially careful about bloat.

9. Basset Hound

basset hound dog sitting outdoors
Image Credit: Maria Symchych, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Lifespan: 12 to 13 years
Height: Up to 15 inches

When you think of large dogs, you really don’t think of the Basset Hound since these dogs are so short-short but heavy and large chested. This increases their propensity for developing bloat. Bloat isn’t their only health concern, as those long ears can attract ear infections and other issues and those crooked legs can have more joint problems.

Like some of the other breeds on our list, they’re loving and their low energy levels lean more towards snoozing on the couch than playtime in the park.

10. Old English Sheepdog

old english sheepdog bobtail
Image Credit: Svetlana Valoueva, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Lifespan: 10 to 12
Height: Over 21 inches

If you want a big, lovable oaf with tons of fur, the Old English Sheepdog is the pooch for you. They have a unique appearance that you simply don’t find with other dogs, but like many other large breeds, they develop bloat more often than we’d like.

They usually get along great with kids and are extremely affectionate, but you should be a bit more careful when introducing them to other animals. They’re adaptable, but just know that when they want to play, they want to do it now, and you might not be able to do much about it!

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If you suspect your dog is suffering from bloat, take them to a vet immediately, even if it’s during off-hours or on a holiday. Bloat is a life-threatening condition, and without quick medical intervention, it can be deadly.

Finally, keep in mind that while some dog breeds are more susceptible to bloat, any pup can get it, so always remain vigilant and err on the side of caution!

Featured Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

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