As a new heat wave is hitting the UK and veterinarians report that one in seven dogs in the UK die from conditions relating to the heat, it’s critical to remember that French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, boxers, and other breathing-impaired breeds are twice as likely to suffer – or even die – from heatstroke than other breeds.
It is hard for them to breathe and stay safe (or even alive!) in the heat because of their flat faces and small airways. Shortness of breath, gasping, and laboured, open-mouthed breathing are not normal for dogs.
The Dogs Put at Risk for Aesthetics
Buying or breeding dogs with these horrific, life-threatening deformities is cruel. These dogs have been bred for a particular look, resulting in drastically shortened airways that make it hard for them to breathe and stay safe in the heat. Some people may mistake their shortness of breath, rasping, and panting for “typical” behaviour, but these are all signs of distress and can lead to fatalities in the hot weather.
Breathing-Impaired Breeds Die in Hot Weather
Just last month, a French bulldog came close to dying from heatstroke, even though he was sitting in the shade; a bulldog with heatstroke collapsed in public; another died in a greenhouse; and yet another died from the heat at a dog daycare – and those are just the reported cases.
No Longer ‘Normal’ Dogs
According to a recent veterinary study, breathing-impaired breeds can no longer be classified as “normal dogs” because of their health irregularities.
Restrictions have been imposed on breeding them in Germany, and in Norway, a court ruling established a precedent for the recognition that flat-faced breeds suffer more and should no longer be bred. It’s time to save dogs’ lives by banning breeding and sales in the UK.
What You Can Do
Don’t buy into the unhealthy demand for “pedigree” breeds with exaggerated features – give a home to a healthy, adorable mutt instead.
Cruel events such as Crufts are run by breeders and attempt to glamorise dogs with painful and crippling genetic defects. Please take a moment to speak out against this twisted celebration of genetically manipulated animals: