Bulldogs and pugs struggle to reach old age, research suggests
Bulldogs and pugs, beloved for their flat faces but known for their health issues, are the dog breeds most likely to struggle to reach old age, new research suggests.
Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) analyzed data from nearly one million dogs in the UK and assessed how common a dog is to be euthanized.
A total of 18 breeds were included in the study and all were compared to a Labrador. The study, published in Scientific Reports, found that rottweilers are 76% more likely to be slaughtered than a lab.
However, the chances of a Bulldog or Pug being asleep are respectively a third and a half higher than a Labrador.
“We’ve put forward a few ideas and theories as to why, but it’s hard to be conclusive,” Dr. Camilla Peygrem, RVC companion animal epidemiologist and lead author of the study, told The Telegraph.
But one possible explanation is that small, sniffling dogs, known as brachycephalic breeds, form particularly strong bonds with their owners, which can make it harder for them to put them to sleep.
This is exacerbated, experts say, by the fact that any debilitating health problem is easier to overcome for owners than in a larger dog.
“If you have a large dog, it is much more difficult to manage as an owner than if you have a Chihuahua,” Dr Daniella Dos Santos, Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, and Veterinarian for Small Animals and Exotics, who was not involved in the research, told The Telegraph.
“The Rottweilers were at the top of the standings for the risk of euthanasia, but it’s not because he’s a Rotty but because he’s a bigger dog and owners have a harder time coping with as they get older.