Before you chuckle at that video of a snoring pug or sleepy French bulldog sitting upright on the sofa, you might need to ask if that animal is actually suffering from just trying to breathe.
Countless online videos, which show these dogs snoring, grunting, wheezing or snuffling, are labelled as ‘cute’ and shared virally.
But vets and the RSPCA are helping owners understand that the reasons behind such antics are not adorable at all.
In fact, many of these ‘flat-faced dogs’ suffer chronic sleep deprivation and breathing difficulties their entire lives because of the way they have been bred to look. Sadly, these problems are so common, many owners have come to think they are a ‘normal’ characteristic of the breed, and don’t realise their pooch is quietly suffering.
That’s why the RSPCA has developed a quick online quiz that helps owners identify if their dog is at risk. Answering yes to two or more of the five questions posed is an indication owners should consult their vet about the possibility their dog is suffering from a serious and chronic respiratory condition—though both the RSPCA and Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) encourage owners with any concerns to consult with their vet regardless!
The owner survey forms part of RSPCA Australia and the AVA’s ongoing Love is Blind campaign, which seeks to address the serious welfare issues faced by some dog breeds as a result of the extreme features they have been bred with.