5 Tips for Brachycephalic Dog Breed Owners
What is a "Brachycephalic" Dog Breed?
The term “brachycephalic” refers to having a short, broad skull resulting in a flat face. Common known breeds with this trait are French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, Brussels Griffons, Pugs and more.
Why is it important to know if your dog is a Brachycephalic breed?
It is important to be aware if you are an owner of one of these breeds because their anatomy can prevent them from having appropriate usage of their airways. Owners of these breeds should know these key tips to keep their brachycephalic dog safe from accidental harm.
Because of their short, broad skull and other anatomic abnormalities, these dogs suffer from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). They do not breathe normally and are predisposed to respiratory emergencies. Please research this disease process before moving forward with owning a brachycephalic breed.
Brachycephalic dog breeds can overheat very easily. Since dogs cannot sweat, they release most of their heat by panting. However, brachycephalic dogs cannot breathe and dissipate heat as well as other breeds. Make every effort to walk them in the coolest parts of the day with plenty of cold water available. When walking, it is also important to utilize a harness rather than a leash to decrease pressure on the respiratory tract.
Keep your brachycephalic dog at a healthy weight as obesity can arise quickly. Obesity will exacerbate respiratory difficulty and can predispose them to respiratory distress and heat stroke.
Fortunately, there are procedures to alter their respiratory system to help them breathe more effectively and decrease the risk of future brachycephalic complications. Please consult with your veterinarian if any of these procedures would be recommended for your specific pet.
Knowledgeable and ethical breeders are the best way to prevent yourself from having a brachycephalic dog with severe respiratory issues. Although any brachycephalic breed is at risk for BOAS, responsible and ethical breeding will definitely decrease the prevalence.