Are you sharing your home with a short-faced breed? A little pug, Frenchie or bulldog, maybe? Or, perhaps it’s that you’re thinking about introducing one of these little guys into your family? Well, here’s 5 things every pet-parent should know when it comes to the health of these low-profile pooches.
1. Breathing difficulties run deeper that just short noses
In recent years, these breeds have come under big-time scrutiny from animal welfare groups. The Dutch government has taken this matter so seriously as to set very strict standards of breeding, to promote instilling longer faces for these pets. Dogs that have shorter faces also suffer from narrow nostrils, a long soft palate which hangs inside the windpipe, deformed sinuses, as well as a very narrow windpipe. These problems can be managed, but it is unrealistic to expect they can be fixed, so it’s important to always be mindful of your pet’s breathing.
2. Watch our joints
These guys are very susceptible to problems with their joints, including along their backs. They are often born with bones which are deformed, or twisted – just look at those little bob, screw tails! This means that we often see problems with dislocating kneecaps, fractures, and dislocations, as well as spinal paralysis. Get in nice and cosy with your vet to make sure you have an excellent joint management plan in place. I’m a big fan of the old adage that prevention is always better than cure. What’s the number one best thing you can do to keep them safe? Keep them nice and lean!
3. Extra folds are cute as heck but need lots of care
One of the most endearing things about their little faces are those folds! But, it’s so important you get some good vet advice on how to keep these clean – lest they become stinky little fungus factories.
4. Bug eyes get dry
How beautiful is the stare from one of these guys? They’re so affectionate, and cheeky, and one look can say a thousand words. But, those big doe eyes come with a price. They are often so big and exposed because the eye sockets are too shallow, that the eyelid cannot fully close when they blink. This leads to the eye becoming dry, sore, and ulcerating. It can even mean that they stop producing tears entirely – ouch! Have a look at the whites of your dog’s eyes – can you see any brown? That’s from chronic eye dryness!
5. Dental care is a top priority
That’s right – crack out that toothbrush and doggy toothpaste. Even though these dogs have such small little mouths, they still have the same number of teeth as a rottweiler! This means, they’re often overcrowded, and in the wrong positions and make these breeds susceptible to early-onset, severe dental disease.
Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to temperament and cuddles, these dogs are top of the list. In recent times, these dog breeds have become incredibly popular in Melbourne, for both singles and families alike. But, if you’ve welcomed one of these guys into your home, make sure you’re well prepared and have a good vet on your team!