The British Veterinary Association is urging people to not buy this specific kind of dog
Pugs and bulldogs are some of the cutest, most lovable dogs out there. But the British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging people to not buy “squashed-faced” dogs. These breeds, known as brachycephalic breeds, can suffer major health issues due to overbreeding.
Brachycephalic breeds’ squashed facial features are a major reason why people love these dogs. But this desirable appearance has pushed breeders to prioritize looks over health, resulting in severe medical issues like skin disorders, eye ulcers, and breathing difficulty.
According to the Kennel Club, the number of French bulldogs registered has shot from 692 in 2007 to 21,470 in 2016. What’s more concerning is that a BVA survey found that 75% of owners were unaware of the health risks their brachycephalic breed faced. And only 10% of owners were able to recognize health problems. Many thought their dog’s snorting was “normal,” when snorting can actually be a sign of breathing problems.
The BVA has launched a campaign called #breedtobreathe to raise awareness about the health issues brachycephalic breeds face.
"We find that our veterinary surgeons are finding increasing numbers of flat-faced dogs are coming into their practices with problems which are related to the way these animals are made," John Fishwick, president of the BVA, stated. "One of the things that is causing this increase that we have seen over the last few years appears to be celebrity endorsements and their use in advertising."
The BVA asks people to reach out to advertisers and ask them to not use flat-faced dogs in their marketing in order to reduce popularity, and ultimately, breeding. Their campaign also advocates that vets, breeders, and owners work together to ensure these breeds remain healthy.
"They are lovely breeds of dog," Fishwick continued. "The problem is a lot of them are really struggling, and we really want to make sure people understand this and encourage them to think about either going for another breed or a healthier version of these breeds — ones which have been bred to have a longer snout…or possibly even cross breeds."
This serves as a crucial reminder to always research a breed before you purchase or adopt. You can also prevent overbreeding by checking your local shelters before heading to a pet store. The more dogs we save from shelters, the less demand there will be for overbred pets!