English Bulldogs have one of the most distinctive looks of any dog breed around. But veterinarians over in the United Kingdom now advise people to stop buying the breed due to specific health concerns.
A study recently published by the Royal Veterinarian College warned about how “urgent action is required to reduce many serious health issues of English Bulldogs associated with exaggerated features.”
The same study concluded that English Bulldogs are over twice as likely to go on to develop health issues and conditions as other dogs.
Part of the problem with English Bulldogs is that they are a flat-faced breed — known as “brachycephalic.” This can increase their likelihood of going on to suffer from health problems.
Why Are English Bulldogs More At Risk Than Other Breeds?
Digging into the Royal Veterinarian College’s study explains exactly what is going on with English Bulldogs and why vets are trying to discourage people from buying the breed.
The study compared just over 2,500 English Bulldogs to over 20,000 other breeds. Researchers discovered that English Bulldogs were more than twice as likely to develop medical issues.
Some of the most common medical conditions that English Bulldogs seem to develop include:
- Cherry eye
- Lower jaw issues
- Dermatitis issues around skin folds
- Airway obstruction
In a bid to help safeguard the future of the English Bulldog breed, the study issued the following recommendation:
“It is hoped that the results of this research will discourage breeding and purchasing of animals with extreme conformations and instead promote a shift towards acceptance by the public of more moderate conformation with improved natural (innate) health.”
Issues With Buying Brachycephalic Breeds
Along with an increased chance of developing health concerns, there are other issues that can arise when someone purchases an English Bulldog or other brachycephalic breeds.
Some of the key problems are:
- Brachycephalic breeds end up in shelters when their humans can’t handle the health issues.
- Buying dogs supports irresponsible breeders. Remember, it’s always best to adopt, don’t shop!
- Brachycephalic breeds may have low exercise requirements; however, they still need a commitment to getting sufficient exercise to ward off canine obesity.
Have you had any experience adopting an English Bulldog? Do you think people should focus more on a dog’s health than their looks? Let us know in the comments below!