To someone who does not know much about dogs and different types of dogs, the term brachycephalic probably sounds scary or daunting, like the name of some disease or something. And you might think that the term brachycephalic dogs means that there is something wrong with these particular breeds. However, this is not the case. The term brachycephalic simply denotes that the particular breed of dog (or cat, for that matter) has a short snout, which comes from Latin where the term brachycephalic actually means shortened head.
Some of the most popular breeds of dogs these days fall into this category. For instance, boxers which have always been some of the most popular breeds fall into this type of dogs. The same is true for bulldogs and Boston terriers. Pugs, as well as chow chows, Shin Tzus and Pekingese are all brachycephalic dogs and they all share the same “flattened” look to their faces that their owners love so much.
However, it is very important to understand that just because these dogs share this one characteristic, this does not mean that they will share their personality, their instincts or even their heritage. These are all very different breeds, from boxers which have historically been used as watchdogs and guard dogs to pugs which are your prototype people dogs. There are some characteristics that they do share due to their skull shape, however, and we have to say that these are not the most positive of characteristics. Namely, they fall into the category of health issues which most, if not all, brachycephalic dogs share.
For one, most brachycephalic dogs have troubles coping in extreme temperatures. In hot weather, their characteristic “lack” of a snout, prevents sufficient panting and this can cause overheating, coma and even death. It is absolutely essential to take care of your brachycephalic dog in hot weather and give them a chance to rehydrate, cool off and get rest when exercising and playing. During cold months, their respiratory issues create different problems altogether.
The eyes are also a problem for brachycephalic dogs as they are not set inside the skull to the full extent and they bulge somewhat. This may cause injuries to the parts of the eye, especially since their snout does not provide as much protection from physical harm as other breeds snouts do. If you should notice any problems with your brachycephalic dog’s eyes, you need to contact your vet at once.
The most famous problem that these dogs share is the brachycephalic syndrome which entails small nostrils and an elongated soft palate, which together can cause the obstruction of the airways in a dog. If this should happen, surgery may be necessary. Luckily, the prognosis is positive for such cases.
When it comes to nutrition, you will be glad to hear that brachycephalic dogs have no specific nutritive demands or prohibitions, just feed them quality food and that is it .
After reading this article, you may think that brachycephalic dogs are too much bother, but as any owner of such dogs will tell you, it is more than worth it. These breeds are usually extremely loyal, great company and loving pets that you will spend memorable moments from the beginning to the end of your relationship.
About the Author – Catherine Daniels, huge animal lover, loves writing about them in spare time, enjoys hiking with her dogs Cookie and Edgar and cuddling with her cat Zoe