Anew study has said that flat-faced dogs like pugs, French bulldogs, and English bulldogs face ‘lifelong pain and suffering’ due to which people should stop buying and even promoting them on social media.

According to the study published in Canine Medicine and Genetics, experts from the Royal Veterinary College, who conducted it, say that these flat-faced dogs are at risk of health complications like heart issues, eye problems, skin fold infections, and breathing issues due to wrinkled skin, protruding jaw, and squat bodies.

English bulldogs were twice as likely to develop one or more health disorders in a single year than any other dog breed, stated the study which compared the health of thousands of pet bulldogs to that of other breeds.

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“What we deem is cute from the outside, if you’re living the life as that dog, is anything but cute,” Dr Dan O’Neill of the Royal Veterinary College told BBC. “It is, in many cases, a lifetime of suffering.”

The authors blame selective breeding for the bulldog’s current body shape, which has evolved over years. It has ultimately caused them significant harm that can’t be mitigated with responsible pet ownership, BBC reported.The authors blame selective breeding for the bulldog’s current body shape (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Another survey by the same institution had pointed out that 58 per cent of short-nosed dog owners did not recognise the signs indicating that their brachycephalic dog was struggling to breathe, according to Bluecross.uk.org.

“Looks are good but anatomy is equally important for happy, healthy living,” said Dr Vinod Sharma, head of veterinary services, DCC Animal Hospital. “These dogs suffer because of the way they look, so it doesn’t really matter if they are ‘well-bred ‘ or not. If they have flat faces, protruding eyes, curved spines and closed nostrils, they are hugely likely to struggle at some point in their lives,” added Dr Sharma.

What should one keep in mind when buying a brachycephalic dog?

Dr Sharma said that one must consider breed, age, climate, space, time, money, and responsible ownership before buying a dog.

According to Bluecross.uk.org,

*Breeding parents should have had the relevant genetic health tests for their breed, and the breeder should able to supply genuine health certificates.

*Call the breeder’s vet and ask them about the health of the mother and father, and of the litter when they are born.

“We strongly advise you do not buy a puppy whose mother has had to have a Caesarean section to give birth,” reads a note on the site.

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*Once you have your dog, it’s essential to control their weight and to be very careful about exercise in warm weather.

*Surgery to help brachycephalic dogs breathe properly is difficult and dangerous, and we’d encourage anyone thinking of buying a flat-faced puppy to think again about whether you want to own a pet that could need surgery to help them live a normal, happy life.

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