The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has commended model and 2016 Love Island runner-up Olivia Bowen Buckland for her social media posts urging prospective dog owners to do their research before getting a puppy, after her French bulldog Reggie had to undergo surgery to help him breathe more easily.
Mrs Bowen Buckland’s dog required surgery for Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), a condition that affects many flat-faced dogs like French bulldogs, Pugs and English bulldogs.
In social media posts ‘liked’ or ‘shared’ by almost 65,000 people, Mrs Bowen Buckland wrote: “I’m so shocked at how many bulldog/pug owners don’t know anything about the breed they own or in particular BOAS. It actually baffles me. We knew this day may come Reggie amd we knew what it may cost. Brachycephalic breeds are not easy. Educate.”
The celebrity also shared advice for prospective puppy owners:
“I truly, truly recommend 100% researching as many breeds as you can to find the perfect one for your lifestyle & family & home. I get so upset seeing the amount of difficult breeds being given up when a little bit of research could of (sic) raised alarm bells.”
BVA junior vice president Daniella Dos Santos said celebrity influence has played a huge role in explosion in popularity of flat-faced dogs, so it is welcome to see a reality TV star with millions of social media followers start a conversation around the serious health issues many of these breeds suffer from.
She said: “BOAS is a distressing condition for those dogs living with it. As vets, we often hear from owners that their flat-faced dog is healthy, but they don’t realise that loud breathing or snorting isn’t ‘normal’. In reality, dogs with short muzzles can struggle to breathe. That is why we ask all prospective dog owners to pick health over looks.
“Responsible pet ownership begins even before getting a pet, which is why it is commendable that Mrs Bowen Buckland has asked her fans to always do their research first.”