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Home > Dogs > 12 Dogs Breeds Prone to Bloat: Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQs

12 Dogs Breeds Prone to Bloat: Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQs

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

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Getting a new dog is always exciting, but before deciding which breed you want, you should do some research to make sure you know what you’re getting into. That means learning about the kind of care the breed needs and their temperament, but it also means finding out what sort of potential health problems you might run into down the road. And one big health issue in dogs is bloat.

What exactly is bloat, and which dog breeds are the most likely to experience it? We’ve compiled this list of 12 dog breeds most prone to bloat. Keep reading to see if the breed you’re considering is on here!


What Is Bloat?

Bloat is an early stage of gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV).1 GDV is life-threatening and most often found in dog breeds that are large (though any breed can be affected by this condition). When bloat occurs, a dog’s stomach fills up with gas, resulting in gastric dilatation (aka bloat).

For some dogs, bloat is where it ends; GDV doesn’t progress. But in other dogs, GDV progresses so that the stomach filled with gas gets twisted up, blocking the opening and exit of the stomach. When this happens, you’ve reached life-threatening territory, and surgery is needed immediately to remedy the problem.

The 12 Dog Breeds Prone to Bloat

Below, you’ll find 12 dog breeds most likely to deal with bloat.

1. Great Dane

brindle great dane on the grass
Image By: Whiteaster, Shutterstock

These gentle giants are the number one dog breed to experience bloat,2 and bloat is the top killer of the breed. Compared to other breeds, Great Danes are 43.2 times more prone to bloat, and approximately 39% of all Great Danes will deal with bloat in their lifetime. So, if you’ve been eyeing getting a Great Dane, you need to be aware of this, and you need to know what the signs of bloat are so you’re able to keep an eye on it.

2. Saint Bernard

Saint bernard in winter
Image By: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

Saint Bernards are one of the largest dogs around, and as a deep-chested breed, they are the second most prone to bloat dog breed. Plus, dogs weighing more than 99 pounds are 20% more likely to experience bloat,3 making the breed even more likely to experience it. That means Saint Bernard owners should always watch their pups carefully!

3. Weimaraner

weimaraner dog standing in the grass
Image By: VKarlov, Shutterstock

This dog breed is a bit smaller than the Great Dane and Saint Bernard, so you wouldn’t automatically think of them as being likely to deal with bloat. But they are the third most prone to experiencing bloat due to having deep chests. This, too, is another breed dog owners need to keep a close eye on.

4. Akita

white akita inu
Image By: Happy Monkey, Shutterstock

The Akita breed is a large and powerful one that hails from Japan and one you’ll most often find working as guard or police dogs. They are also, unfortunately, likely to experience bloat in their lifetimes due to both their size and deep chests (though not as likely as the three dog breeds above). So, if you’re an Akita parent, know the signs of bloat, so you can recognize them if they appear.

5. Basset Hound

Male Basset Hound
Image By: Dr. Alan Lipkin, Shutterstock

Basset Hounds are adorable with their floppy ears and can be super friendly to boot. Whether you have a Basset Hound as a family pet or a hunting dog, so long as you keep them active and mentally stimulated, you’ll have a loyal friend for life. However, you will need to watch for any signs of bloat, as the breed is prone to it.

6. Boxer

male boxer dog on leash
Image By: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock

Boxers have been around for ages and are among the most recognizable dog breeds. Their playful natures make them wonderful family pets, but you might find training them to be a challenge due to their inability to pay attention for long. The breed is also the 16th most at risk for getting bloat, as they are 3.7 times more likely to experience it than other breeds.

7. Doberman Pinscher

doberman pinscher walking in a grassy field
Image By: Nick Chase 68, Shutterstock

Doberman Pinschers sometimes get a bad rep as being aggressive, but they’re incredibly sweet dogs that, with proper training, can make terrific pets (plus, they’re great at being guard dogs!). These highly intelligent pups are excellent working dogs and can often be found working with the military and police. Unfortunately, they are also prone to bloat due to their size, which means keeping a close eye out for any signs.

8. German Shepherd

black and tan German Shepherd playing with a ball dog toy
Image By: Reba Spike, Unsplash

German Shepherds are incredibly popular in America, which isn’t surprising considering they are both fabulous working animals and pets. These dogs are loyal and protective but can also be extremely friendly and affectionate. While the propensity towards bloat in this breed will be due to their size, there may also be a genetic factor at work (at least according to one 2020 study).

9. Irish Setter

irish setter standing in the field
Image By: Reddogs, Shutterstock

These absolutely gorgeous pups love to run and play, so you’ll need to keep them busy! The breed is also affectionate and friendly, making them wonderful playmates for kids. But Irish Setters are also prone to developing bloat, so owners will need to learn what signs to watch for.

10. Newfoundland

Newfoundland in the river
Image By: rzoze19, shutterstock

These water-loving dogs can be fairly massive and have deep chests, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are likely to experience bloat. So, if you have a Newfoundland, enjoy your giant, gentle, lazy pup, but be aware that bloat can occur. Watch for any signs, and take steps to prevent bloat in the first place.

11. Old English Sheepdog

old english sheepdog sitting
Image By: benwongp, Shutterstock

This large breed is known for its curly, shaggy coat and is super adorable. The Old English Sheepdog is also laidback, easygoing, and affectionate, making them wonderful family dogs. But due to their size, they are prone to developing bloat, so watch for signs throughout their lifetime.

12. Standard Poodle

black standard poodle
Image By: No-longer-here, Pixabay

The Standard Poodle looks elegant and a bit aloof, which is why they make excellent show dogs. But these pups are intelligent, friendly, and quite sweet, as well, which is why they also make for fabulous pets. The breed also has a higher risk of experiencing bloat, according to this study by Purdue.


Signs of Bloat

Now that you know the dog breeds most prone to bloat, it’s time to learn the signs. Knowing these can mean the difference between saving your dog’s life or having a tragic incident. If your dog is experiencing bloat, you’ll see some or all of the following signs:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Pacing and restlessness
  • Vomiting (or attempting to vomit)
  • Lots of drool
  • Panting
  • General air of distress
  • Inability to stand up
vet examining a sick German Shepherd dog
Image By: Roger costa morera, Shutterstock

If you see any of these in your dog, get it to the vet immediately! Waiting to visit your veterinarian could lead to tragedy.


Bloat is, unfortunately, common in large dogs and dogs with deep chests (though it can occur in any size breed). The 12 dog breeds listed above, though, are the ones most prone to bloat, so if you own one of these breeds, be aware. Know the signs of bloat, and if you see them get your dog to a vet as soon as possible to avoid the bloat becoming life-threatening!

Featured Image Credit: Taisya Korchak, Shutterstock

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