Dog breeding defects emerge as top concern for vets

Vets are calling on prospective dog owners to think twice before buying a puppy after breeding and hereditary defects came out as vets’ top animal health and welfare concern, with the number of vets citing it as a pressing issue more than doubling in the past two years, according to figures from the British Veterinary Association.

According to BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, which polled almost 700 vets across the UK, there has also been a significant rise in the levels of concern with regard to conformational deformities and pedigree breeding, particularly of brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs and French bulldogs, with nearly half (45 per cent) of companion animal vets surveyed including these among the three welfare issues that concerns them most.

Poorly bred puppies can suffer diseases, health problems and poor socialisation that can lead to behaviour problems, while brachycephalic dogs suffer serious health and welfare problems including struggling to breathe due to their flat-faces, which are a ‘characteristic’ of the breed.

BVA president Gudrun Ravetz said: “Anyone thinking of getting a new puppy should speak to their local veterinary practice for advice on the right dog for them and use the free Puppy Contract that gives prospective owners all the information they need to ensure they are buying a healthy, happy and well-socialised puppy.”

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