Would you expose your friends and family to a life of suffering simply to make them look a certain way? No! How about the companion animals that share your home and heart?
While we would never intentionally do our companion animals harm, when we breed animals specifically to enhance certain traits, this is what we are doing. We’re introducing health issues that cause problems throughout their life so they look the way we want. And we write it off as normal for the breed. It isn’t.
It’s time to rethink and take action.
Brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, are incredibly popular and demand is soaring. What many people don’t realise, though, is that the cute flat-faced look they love is causing problems for their companions.
Breeding to enhance this feature is compromising welfare and exposing dogs to a life of pain. They often end up having repeat trips to the vets and suffering from breathing difficulties, as well as sleep apnoea, eye infections and skin conditions.
Scottish fold cats
Scottish fold cats are well-known and loved because of the unique fold in their ears. This popular trait, however, is caused by a genetic condition known as osteochondrodysplasia. It affects the formation of cartilage, and not just in the ears – the whole body. As a result, Scottish fold cats suffer from abnormalities in their joints, bones and spine and develop arthritis at an early age. They live life in pain, are often unable to perform natural behaviours, and many are even unable to walk.
The way to stop these cats from suffering is simple – stop breeding them.
It’s time to lower demand
One of the best things we can do for these breeds is lower the demand and stop giving breeders a reason to breed harmful traits into animals. That means:
- Thinking twice before inviting a brachycephalic breed or Scottish fold cat into your home – do your research first and avoid fueling demand. Only adopt your companions from reputable breeders that put the welfare of their animals first at all times.
- Not contributing to the hype. Brachycephalic breeds are incredibly popular at the moment and its easy to see why when they feature in glamourised photo shoots with their celebrity companions all the time. They are not a fashion statement, they are animals. It’s time to top sharing the posts that show off their flat faces and folded ears.
- Educating ourselves and others in the issues these breeds face and spreading the word that its not ‘normal’. These animals are suffering as a result of human actions.