Pugs ‘no longer considered to be dogs and you should not buy them’

Cute pug dog with funny face .
It’s a sad day for pugs all round (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

Pugs can no longer be considered a typical dog from a health perspective, a new study has said.

Experts are now advising people not to buy the flat-faced dogs until there is an improvement in their health and their body shape becomes less extreme.

Research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) revealed the health of pugs in the UK is now substantially different and largely worse than other breeds.

Until now the full scale of the pug health crisis has not been fully understood. They are almost twice as likely to experience one or more disorders compared with other dogs.

Watch Out For Your Dogs Feet in the Summer. Hot pavement can burn your dogs paws rather quickly. To see if it’s too hot for your dog place the back of your hand on the pavement – if you can’t hold it there for 5 seconds it’s too hot for your dog. On really hot days consider walking your dog in the woods, on the grass, or waiting til the sun goes down.

Their body shape and flat face, seen as ‘cute’ by pug fans, has seen them increase in popularity, with a five-fold increase in Kennel Club registrations from 2005 to 2017.

But there is growing concern over the health issues stemming from their beloved characteristics, including their bulging eyes, wrinkled skin and tendency towards obesity.

The researchers said a dog’s health should be prioritised over people’s desire to own one, as they called for urgent action to help pugs out.

Associate professor Dr Dan O’Neill said: ‘Although hugely popular as pets, we now know that several severe health issues are linked to the extreme body shape of pugs that many humans find so cute.

Express yourself. Dogs’ ears are extremely expressive. It’s no wonder! There are more than a dozen separate muscles that control a dog’s ear movements.

Pugs are almost twice as likely to experience one or more disorders than other dogs (Picture: PA)

‘It is time now that we focus on the health of the dog rather than the whims of the owner when we are choosing what type of dog to own.’

The study, led by the RVC’s VetCompass programme, compared the health of random samples of 4,308 pugs and 21,835 non-pugs.

Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) was the disorder with the highest risk in pugs, with the breed almost 54 times more likely to have the condition.

This reflects the common respiratory difficulties experienced by flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds due to their face shape.

Make Your Dog Their Own Digging Box. If your dog loves to dig keep you can keep your garden safe by teaching them to use their very own digging box.

EMBARGOED TO 1600 THURSDAY APRIL 28 File photo dated 11/03/22 of French bulldogs Vito, Verdi and Eric wearing scarves in the colours of the Ukraine flag. According to the research, Jack Russell Terriers had the greatest life expectancy at 12.7 years, followed by Border Collies (12.1 years) and Springer Spaniels (11.92 years). our flat-faced breeds were found to have the shortest life expectancy with French Bulldogs only expected to live 4.5 years, followed by English Bulldogs at 7.4 years, Pugs at 7.7 years and American Bulldogs 7.8 years. Issue date: Thursday April 28, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SCIENCE Dogs. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Other flat-faced dogs like French bulldogs have surged in popularity (Picture: PA)

Pugs were also at higher risk of many other conditions compared to non-pugs, including narrowed nostrils, skinfold infections and obesity.

But they did have reduced risk of some conditions, including heart murmur, aggression and wounds.

Bill Lambert, from The Kennel Club, said: ‘Sadly, certain exaggerations that can cause health issues are often perceived as ‘cute’ or ‘normal’ for the breed and, worryingly, desirable by pet owners too.’ Justine Shotton, British Veterinary Association (BVA) president, said: ‘These statistics are shocking but, sadly, they will not be surprising to our members.

Teach Your Children to Ask Permission Before Petting a Strange Dog. There are 4.5 million dog bites in America each year, half of which happen to children. Make sure to teach your children to ask permission before petting any strange dogs.

‘Vet teams see pugs with these distressing health problems – from breathing difficulties to eye ulcers and painful spine abnormalities – in veterinary practices across the UK on a daily basis.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

For more stories like this,check our news page .

Sign Up for News Updates

Get your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more

Not convinced? Find out more »