A study conducted by The Royal Veterinary College in London has revealed that pugs face serious health conditions and can “no longer be considered a typical dog from a health perspective”. The study, which compared 4,308 pugs and 21,835 non-pugs, found that pugs were twice as likely to experience one or more health disorders annually.
Speaking to the BBC, veterinary surgeon Dr Myfanwy Hill said, “The issue you’ve got is a dog with a smaller skull, but nothing else about the dog has gotten equivalently smaller.” She added that “their brains are squished into a box that is too small”.
Pugs have several medical conditions usually associated with breathing, skin as well as their back, said the surgeon. The narrow nostrils the breed has makes it incredibly tough for them to breathe, and they often have to resort to breathing through their mouth.
They also are at a higher risk of skin infections as the excessive skin around their face can cause soreness and itchiness. Even the pugs tail that many people find cute, is due to a “malformed vertebra” which can result in slip disks, according to Dr Hill.
Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs and Shih-tzus come under the category of brachycephalic breeds and are characterised by their short snouts.
According to The Guardian, in 2016, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) had openly encouraged prospective dog owners to choose healthier dogs. The president of the BVA had said, “The surge in popularity of these dogs has increased animal suffering and resulted in unwell pets for owners, so we strongly encourage people to think about choosing a healthier breed or crossbreed instead.”