Monday 10th July, A fantastic evening was had at our second Know Your Breed event, this time by a room full of Pug and French Bulldog owners, plus a Boston Terrier, a couple of Jugs and a Chug!
Some of you may reel at the thought of using the name Chug instead of Chihuahua x Pug, but it was an evening of breaking away from standards, asking controversial questions and standing up for change!
About 30 people and 18 very well behaved dogs attended our event, which was hosted by head vet and director of Clent Hills Vets, Rod Stroud. Rod has decades of experience with brachycephalic breeds – short nosed, flat faced – and has performed numerous surgeries to improve their breathing and eye problems in particular.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see more photos of our event attendees!
Highlight & Educate
We hosted this evening in particular, for Pugs and French Bulldogs, to highlight and educate people about the health issues surrounding brachycephalic breeds. We wholeheartedly support and encourage responsible breeding, however, we’re here to help the animals that are here today, many of which are suffering from debilitating conditions mainly due to their breed characteristics.
We also wanted to bring like-minded owners and people looking to get one of these breeds together, to talk about their own experiences and help each other. It was wonderful to see so many people who were strangers when they came in, chatting to each other long after the Q&A session was over and sharing tips and even dogs by the end of it!
Our Q&A session kicked off with a question from our audience that was dubbed ‘controversial’ by herself: The Kennel Club breed standards state the pug’s jaw should be undershot, to not have a level mouth, surely you should aim towards a level mouth? Rod replied with: “Here’s a view on ‘controversial’, some say we should finish the breed off, but just look at their temperament, look how well ‘settled they all are in here tonight, just like mini human beings. They are like our kids but the University fees are a lot cheaper!”
“The bite shouldn’t be determined because we want it that way, they should be bred so that they are healthy – that is the ideal and where we should be going to. When breeders think they know best that becomes the standard. We need to encourage people to break away from the standard and go for something healthy. These dogs are expensive because they have the temperament. We should be moving forward, we shouldn’t be making heads squashed in and it difficult to breathe.”
“These dogs can’t get over excited as too much exertion is bad for them. Let’s encourage people to break away from the standards. We shouldn’t be dictated by the past and we don’t want to see the end of these breeds. I want to encourage a change in standards.”
Diet & Nutritionn
Luan Cinque from Purina Pet Foods was keen to be on our expert panel having grown up with pugs since she was 4 years old and with a keen interest in the breed. She was also a Registered Veterinary Nurse for 24 years and has a lot of clinical knowledge.
A popular topic of the evening was food and how greedy many of these dogs were – at the end of the evening when dog treats were passed around, let’s just say some dogs went for the treat pot rather than the small handful being offered to them! Luan talked to the audience about weight issues and how their range of specially formulated diet food can help. One audience member suggested you can also bulk out their food with healthy items such as carrots.
Wet, Dry or Raw Food?
Another food-related topic that came up was whether to feed your dog wet, dry or raw food, something of a ‘can of worms’ subject – lots of people have different and often strong views on this. Rod shared his views which were in short; a raw food diet can be done very well if it’s done properly with the best of everything, however for busy people in everyday life, this can be hard and it can become dangerous. Vets used to see a lot of poisoning and parasite issues, which seemed to go away when manufactured wet and dry dog foods were introduced. Rod suggested talking to a professional before changing a dog’s diet drastically.
Also on our expert panel was Alex Imerfreys from VetPlus, who talked to the audience about how their range of veterinary nutraceuticals can help with skin conditions, joints and anal gland health as well as other health issues. VetPlus is a UK manufacturer and is the only company of its kind to guarantee that their supplements contain ingredients that are within 5% of the amounts shown on the packet. Alex explained that a key ingredient in their anal gland supplements was kiwi, a fruit that has been heavily researched and used by human dieting companies, because of its fibrous properties.
Feedback About This Event
We asked our attendees to fill in a feedback form and this is what Hazel Laughey from Rubery had to say: “Everyone was really knowledgeable. I thought it was excellent. Rod was exceptional, so passionate you could tell he really cared about the breed which was lovely. I would definitely recommend to others should an event like this come up again.”
Brachycephalic Breathing Issues To Look Out For
If your dog has a flat face, below are some of the symptoms you should look out for that could suggest they are having difficulty breathing. Tiny nostrils and an long soft palate can inhibit the amount of oxygen that can be breathed in, making even the lightest of activities a struggle. If your dog is experiencing some of these problems, make an appointment with Vet Rod Stroud and get his expert advice on what can be done to help.
- Snuffling and gurgling noise when they breathe
- Heavy panting, often looking exhausted
- Struggling to walk even short distances
- Flatulence problems
- Passing out
If you’re interested in any of the topics mentioned in this article please do contact our team for further advice.