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Stop the Snuggle Struggle: Flat-Faced Dog Breeds Need Protection

Short-snouted breeds like Pugs suffer painful breathing. Netherlands bans breeding, UK urged to follow. Choose health over fad, adopt a healthy dog!

Short-snouted breeds like Pugs suffer painful breathing. Netherlands bans breeding, UK urged to follow. Choose health over fad, adopt a healthy dog!

The Dutch government is trying to ban brachycephalic dogs: should England also follow suit? Flat-faced dog breeds exist in any park in England; we can hear a puck breathing heavily, grunting, wheezing, or panting. Because of their flat snouts and short airways, many breeds with respiratory problems, such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles spaniels, struggle to do the things that make a dog’s life joyful and fulfilling.

Going for a walk, chasing a ball, running and playing are almost impossible for many dogs. A study published in the Journal of Comparative Pathology notes, “Affected dogs can perform little or almost no activity because they are wholly engaged in breathing“.

An unhealthy feature

The growing demand for dogs with unnaturally short muzzles allows
breeders to continue breeding dogs for this very feature at a significant cost to the health and welfare of the animals.

In addition to shortness of breath, having a flattened snout and nose exposes dogs to an increased risk of developing eye problems, diabetes, obesity, skin diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, dental issues and a long list of other ailments that shorten their life expectancy and are detrimental to their quality of life.

This is why the Dutch government has banned breeding around 20 breeds of flat-faced dogs – citing animal welfare concerns – and intends to implement further restrictions on keeping these dogs. This is also why the British government should follow suit.

Animal health first

One main problem with farmed dogs with grotesquely short snouts is that their airways are forced into an unnaturally small space. According to Dr Sean Wensley, president of the British Veterinary Association, they are ‘essentially compressed within the short nose and shortened skull‘, resulting in highly narrow nasal passages. Wensley compares this: ‘to humans having to spend their whole lives breathing through a straw’.

Veterinary bodies strongly recommend not breeding animals with extremely exaggerated physical characteristics that adversely affect their health and welfare.

A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College found that pugs can no longer be considered “typical dogs” due to their genetic defects. Dr Dan O’Neill, the study’s lead author, concluded: “It’s time to focus on the health of the dog rather than the whims of the owner.

Sufferings that could be avoided Speaking about these breeds, ethologist Chiara Grasso explained: “These dogs struggle to breathe, and breathing is often painful“. According to a study, a fifth of owners of flat-faced breed dogs reported that their dogs had undergone at least one surgery related to the distortion of physical characteristics.

Surgical interventions

Short-snouted pugs, bulldogs & Cavaliers suffer painful breathing, shortened lives. Learn why breeding these dogs is cruel & what you can do to stop it.

Pugs and other flat-faced, or brachycephalic, breeds often end up needing surgery to clear the airways or shorten the palate, dangerous, painful and traumatic procedures. For many unsuspecting owners, these operations come at a high price, not to mention pain.

Abandoned

Many rescue centres, which are already filled with homeless animals, are reporting a massive increase in the number of flat-nosed dogs being brought in, likely because people are finding themselves financially and emotionally overwhelmed trying to rescue them. Manage their dog’s numerous health problems.

Unsurprisingly, those who handle dogs as if they were moulding clay – contorting them into shapes and sizes that nature never intended – are often motivated not by the animals’ interests but by greed.

An investigation by BBC Panorama highlighted that organized crime is entering the lucrative dog breeding market. A drug dealer was found to have continued his dog breeding business behind bars. Other farmers are known criminals with convictions for animal welfare crimes.

We don’t follow fashion but the heart!

Giving in to fads and purchasing dogs with respiratory problems simply because of their appearance encourages them to be bred for characteristics that make the very thing that allows them to be tiring: breathing. It is unfair to condemn an animal to a miserable life for arbitrary aesthetic preferences, which can change like the wind.

The absurd irony is that while breeders continue to profit by churning out these physically deformed dogs because people continue to pay for them, there are thousands of healthy, easily adoptable dogs in animal shelters just waiting for someone to take them at home.

We must act to prevent dogs from suffering. The government can do this by urgently implementing a ban on breeding breeds with respiratory problems, as the Netherlands and other countries are trying to do.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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