Animal Welfare Organizations and Vets in the Netherlands call for Emergency Action: Don’t buy flat faced dogs
In a joint campaign animal welfare organisations and vets are launching a large consumer-oriented campaign, calling people to refrain from buying an flat faced dog that does not meet the breed characteristics set out by law. Dogs with a flat face such as the pug and the English and French bulldog are very popular, but many suffer severely from their extreme looks.
Caring Vets (CV), Dier&Recht (D&R), Sophia-Vereeniging (SV), DierenLot and the companion animals cluster of the professional association of veterinarians, jointly aim to draw attention to the suffering of these dogs. Other organisations are welcome to join the initiative.
For a number of weeks, in large cities and along highways, posters are being placed with the slogan: A flat-face is a disgrace (platte neus zieke keus) and A flat face comes at a price (een korte snuit komt met een prijs). The campaign will be posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well, in order to reach as many people as possible, urging them to not buy these dogs. Furthermore, flyers and door/window posters will be available for shops and waiting rooms, and to be distributed. For more information there is a website available: www.koopgeenkortsnuit.nl
A LIFE TIME OF SUFFERING
Flat-faced dogs such as pugs and French bulldogs are considered droll, for looking cute and for their snoring. However, the snoring isn’t cute, but sad. The sound is caused by blocked air ways, a symptom of severe respiratory distress. Furthermore, the short nose and the characteristic stocky build cause a myriad of other health issues.
Flat faced dogs:
· Quickly get overheated when being walked
· Suffer sleep apnoea
· Have painful eye disorders
· Have difficulty eating and suffer from dental problems
· Have painful inflammations in the nose fold
· Have injuries in the eye, caused by the hairs of the nose fold irritating the eye
· Have vertebral abnormalities, causing back- and neck hernias
· Having an abnormal build, reproduction is only possible by means of artificial insemination
· Due to the pelvis of the mother being too small for the large head of the puppy, the pups can only be delivered by a c-section.
HIGH MEDICAL COSTS
Besides their extreme suffering, these dogs come with a price. The purchase price of a flat-faced dog is in the range of about 1,500 to 2,500 euros. On top of that, the new owner is often not aware of further veterinary costs, such as operations on the air ways, operations on the eye, corrections of the nose fold, the treatment of hernias and so on. The costs can mount to about three or four times the purchase costs.
IT IS UP TO THE CONSUMER!
In the Netherlands it is illegal to breed flat faced dogs, but it is still allowed to buy or sell them. If these dogs are no longer purchased, trading and breeding will ultimately stop, which would result in increased wellbeing of these dogs. Regulations have been drawn up to improve the standard of breeding. Only buy a dog with a proper snout!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE THE OWNER OF A FLAT FACE DOG?
If you have a flat-faced dog. It is wise to have the dog checked by the vet. Through operations the nostrils can be widened, the palate shortened, and excess skin folds removed, which allows the dog to breathe. With the excess nose fold removed, dogs no longer suffers painful inflammations, and correction of the eye lids will prevent eye infections. Other treatments will alleviate further suffering of these dogs. Go to your vet for consultation.
Furthermore, it is important to prevent obesity, which only exacerbates the symptoms.
STOP THE SUFFERING OF THESE DOGS AND JOIN US
Veterinarians, animal clinics, grooming salons, dog schools, and other organisations who wish to support the campaign can sign up on the website: www.koopgeenkortsnuit.nl and receive an information package for the waiting room, or a door/window poster for a shop or practice.
This campaign is an initiative of animal welfare organisations and veterinarians: the Sophia-Vereeniging, Dier&Recht, Caring Vets, DierenLot, and the cluster companion animals of the professional association of veterinarians.
Kelly Kessen, veterinarian at Dier&Recht:
Look into the mirror and imagine yourself having the looks of a pug or French bulldog. Do you want to have a nose fold in front of your eyes, with hair sticking into them. Do you want to snore and gasp for every breath? Try and put yourself in their place: whatever you don’t want for yourself, you shouldn’t want for your dog either!
Nina Cohen policy adviser at the Sophia-Vereeniging:
Real animal lovers do not buy a flat-faced dog
Janneke Moedt of Caring Vets:
For 18 years I have worked as a vet for dogs. Now I am a cat veterinarian. All these health issues, as a result of breeding for specific external characteristics. I could not stand it anymore.
Conny van Meurs veterinarian at the KNMvD:
Every day we are faced with the consequences of noses that are too short. Hopefully this campaign will reach consumers, making them aware of this issue and consequently choosing a healthy dog with a nose.
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