A group of researchers of the Royal Veterinary College examined the health condition of the Chinese breed pug and the new study reported that they can “no longer be considered a typical dog” from a health perspective. Research from the Royal Veterinary College has revealed that the health of pugs is now very different and much worse than other dogs. The health study compared 4,308 pugs and 21,835 non-pugs.
The flat-faced look and the bulging eyes are one of the most attractions of these Chinese breeds, where many love and prefer to keep these dogs with them in many countries. However, the heath now matters and it is a bit worse than other dogs.
According to the research, pugs were found to be around 1.9 times as likely to have one or more disorders recorded in a single year compared to non-pugs. Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome is the most dangerous disease in pugs, and this species is about 54 times more likely to develop this condition. This reflects the general breathing difficulties experienced by flat-faced species due to the shape of the face.
The health of the pugs is deteriorating day by day in many aspects, especially breathing, skin, and their back are the most affected areas. Dr. Myfanwy Hill, a veterinary surgeon who works at the University of Cambridge says that the health risk of the pugs is not detected for the first time, but over the years, their health is deteriorating. The type of body structure itself is the main problem with this breed. Dr Hill says the narrow nostrils pugs have, are like “trying to breathe through a really narrow straw” and make simple things like breathing “much harder work”.
Meanwhile, pugs are less prone to have shown other risks such as wounds, heart murmurs, and aggression, compared to other dogs. However, the study found that pugs are more susceptible to disease than their immune system, which makes them more prone to having a risky health system.
However, over the years, the popularity of these dogs has increased upto a level where registration of pugs rose from 2,116 in 2005 to over 6,000 in 2020. The American Kennel Club currently lists them as the 28th most popular dog breed out of 204 breeds in the U.S.