Dogs and cats with a short muzzle suffer as a result of their extreme appearance, often have to undergo costly surgeries and are bred illegally in the Netherlands.
What is a flat-faced animal?
A flat-faced dog or cat has a short muzzle. For instance, think of a pug, French bulldog or Persian cat. These animals are bred for their extreme appearance. The nose is very short in relation to their head. Furthermore, these short-muzzled dogs or cats have a stocky build and a large skin fold above their nose.
Short-muzzled dogs and cats are popular due to their ‘cute’ appearance and ‘endearing’ snoring. This snoring is not endearing but heartbreaking. The noise is the result of largely blocked airways due to excess mucous membranes. The animals are struggling to breathe. The short muzzle and stocky build cause numerous other health problems. These dogs and cats face lifelong suffering.
Flat-faced dogs often suffer from:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sleeping problems
- Dental problems
- Eye conditions
- Skin inflammation
- Eye ulcers
- Back and neck hernias
Furthermore, due to their deformed build they can often only reproduce via artificial insemination. Pups are often born by means of a caesarean, caused by a narrow pelvis and the large head of the pup.
Flat-faced cats often suffer from:
- Difficulty breathing
- Watery eyes
- Looking cross-eyed
- Other eye conditions
- Dental issues
Costly vet bills
The many health problems are very costly. A short-muzzled dog will set you back about 1,500 to 2,500 euro. The new owner usually does not realise that the health problems result in high veterinary costs, such as surgeries on the airways and skin folds and treatments for hernias and eye conditions. These costs can easily amount to four times the purchase price. The same applies to flat-faced cats.
Illegal breeding and import
In the Netherlands it is prohibited to breed short-muzzled dogs and cats. However it is not prohibited to buy or sell them. As a result, many breeders decide to illegally breed these animals. Furthermore, many animals are imported from abroad.
The trade of these sick animals is maintained, because there is a demand for these dogs and cats. Therefore, it is important to no longer buy these animals. If there is no demand, the breeding and trade of these dogs and cats will stop.
Examples of flat-faced breeds are: