Veterinarians are urging us all to stop buying these dog breeds
Pugs, bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and shih-tzus are all sweet, lovable dogs who deserve to be loved just as much as the next pup. But veterinarians in Britain are urging people to stop buying them.
But how could people possibly stop wanting to have one of THESE cutie faces for their very own?
Unfortunately, it’s a lot more complicated than just a cute face. Six different dog rescue organizations told the BBC that “flat-faced” dogs are showing up in record numbers.
“Battersea Dogs Home and Bluecross Animal Rescue received a total of 314 ‘flat-faced’ dogs in 2015, compared to 226 in 2014, an increase of 39%,” according to the BBC.
People are likely abandoning their pets because of their health problems (which is awful and terrible and so sad). This means that more and more surgeries are needing to be conducted to clear the airways of the dogs who are brought it.
Steve Gosling, a vet at Battersea Dogs Home, told the BBC that one of their bulldogs was suffering greatly, and desperately needed help.
“He’s a lovely little chap, about eight years old,” Gosling said. “He was left with us by his owners and, like many dogs from this breed, he suffers from what we call brachycephalic obstructed airways syndrome. In other words, because he has a really short nose that we’ve bred into him, he has quite serious breathing difficulties.”
Gosling is referring to the fact that the head shape of pugs and bulldogs is a completely unnatural look. It developed due to selective breeding, which occurs when certain organisms with a certain trait are intentionally breeded so their offspring will have the same trait. This is why the RSPCA is now reviewing the breed standards, which are decided by the Kennel Club.
“The breed standards were set many years ago,” Kennel Club’s Caroline Kisko said. “If you look back through history there are some dire things that went on, and undoubtedly we would accept all responsibility for that. But I would say that in the here-and-now, after all of the changes to the standards that were made in 2009, we would expect dogs to be far healthier if they are winning prizes at dogs shows.”
The problems with brachycephalic dogs primarily stem from disreputable puppy farms, according to Kisko.
So to avoid so many dogs being abandoned, the best thing to do is to stop buying from puppy farms (but definitely consider rescuing the dogs who need homes).
“If we continue to allow dogs to be brought in from central and eastern Europe where there is no concern for how these dogs are bred, it is inevitable that pet owners will end up with dogs they can’t deal with,” Kisko added.
“These are breeds which aren’t hugely suited to pet homes. If you want a pet that will run around and chase a ball and so on, don’t go out and buy any short-faced breed based on what celebrities are walking around with under their arm.”
Ultimately, it’s important to adopt and not shop – especially when it comes to brachycephalic dogs.
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