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Please don't buy flat-faced dogs


Please don't buy flat-faced dogs

Trade Me's decision to ban the sale of bulldogs and pugs from March 1 is a great start, but more needs to be done to restrict the breeding of brachycephalic, or flat-faced, dogs.

Pugs, bulldogs and other "flat faced" dogs face a life of misery due to reckless breeding, according to veterinarians and the RSPCA, with many requiring surgery just to be able to breathe properly. Some are sleep deprived because they cannot breathe when they lie down, while others develop oesophageal issues requiring them to be fed in a baby's high chair. These dogs may also be susceptible to heat stress, eye problems, dental disease, skin infections and spinal deformities.

These are just a few of the many problems associated with breeding dogs to have certain unnatural physical traits s at the expense of their health. About one in four purebred dogs is afflicted with serious congenital defects, including hypothyroidism, demodectic mange, epilepsy, cataracts, allergies, chronic ear infections, hip dysplasia and others that have been handed down through generations of inbreeding. What’s more, while breeders churn our dogs for profit, thousands of homeless animals are destroyed in New Zealand every single year for lack of good homes.

If you have the time, space, money, and compassion needed to care for an animal, please adopt a homeless dog or cat from the local animal shelter or rescue group. Never buy an animal from a pet store or breeder, and always have your animal companion desexed to prevent contributing to the overpopulation crisis that sees so many animals languishing in shelters across the country.

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