Vets warn against buying 'flat-faced' dogs, including pugs and bulldogs

Bulldogs, pugs, French bulldogs and shih-tzus are popular due to their wrinkled noses and squashed faces

Thursday 22 September 2016 06:58
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French Bulldog puppies
French Bulldog puppies

Vets have warned people to stop buying dogs with fashionable “flat-faced” features.

Concerns have been raised over the creatures' welfare in the wake of their "increased popularity" in the UK, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said.

Bulldogs, pugs, French bulldogs and shih-tzus have become popular due to their wrinkled noses and squashed faces.

The dogs are known to suffer from a range of health issues including breathing difficulties and eye ulcers.

President of the BVA, Sean Wensley, said people should look at getting different breeds instead.

“Vets are seeing concerning trends in dog health and welfare because of the rise in ownership of brachycephalic breeds,” he said.

“Prospective dog owners need to consider that these dogs can suffer a range of health issues throughout their lives from eye ulcers to painful spine abnormalities and severe breathing difficulties that can result in otherwise preventable surgery.

“The surge in popularity of these dogs has increased animal suffering and resulted in unwell pets for owners, so we strongly encourage people to think about choosing a healthier breed or crossbreed instead,” he suggested.

The dogs were apparently bred that way because people liked the flat-faced look, but their short muzzles cause issues as it means the dogs have short throats and airways.

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