Paradoxes of the brachycephalic dog-owner relationship
Popularity of brachycephalic dog breeds is likely at an all time high these days, with Frenchies leading the charge as influencers on Instagram. Even though these breeds have well-documented health issues, their popularity continues to soar.
A study from 2168 owners of brachycephalic dogs evaluated health issues and owner awareness. The study involved 789 Pugs, 741 French Bulldogs, and 638 Bulldogs: The most common owner-reported disorders in their dogs were allergies, corneal ulcers, skin fold infections and Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome.
One-fifth (19.9%) of owners reported that their dog had undergone at least one conformation-related surgery, 36.5% of dogs were reported with a problem with heat regulation, and 17.9% with problems breathing.
Despite awareness of their dog's health issues, 70.9% owners considered their dog to be in very good health or the best health possible. Paradoxically, just 6.8% of owners considered their dog to be less healthy than average for their breed.
Dog owner-relationships were extremely strong across all three breeds. Emotional closeness to their dog was highest for owners of Pugs, female owners, and owners with no children in the household.
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