Brachycephalic dogs are those with short, compact noses and therefore also shortened respiratory tracts. Boston terriers, French bulldogs, pugs, and English mastiffs all fall into this category. Because their respiratory tracts are shorter, these dogs can struggle with respiratory illnesses and ailments more often than other dog breeds. There are a few dog care tips you should follow to keep your brachycephalic dog healthy.
Keep your dog in a cool area.
The hotter a dog gets, the harder they have to breathe in order to stay cool. This can be tough for a brachycephalic dog. So, do what you can to keep your dog cool. Turn the air conditioning on for them, even when you are not at home. Never leave them in the car on a hot day, even for a second. And when you bring your dog outside on a hot day, make sure you take them back indoors promptly. Watch your dog closely for signs of overheating, and contact the vet immediately if they seem unable to catch their breath.
Avoid overfeeding your dog.
As a dog becomes overweight, it becomes harder for them to move around. They may become out of breath more quickly. A brachycephalic dog does not need this added encumbrance. So, make sure you avoid overfeeding them. Feed the amount recommended on your dog food bag and no more. If your dog seems to put on weight too easily, look for low-calorie food. Your vet should be able to give you some recommendations. Also, limit the treats. When you give your dog treats, give small ones.
Use a harness, not a collar.
Collars restrict a dog's breathing. An ordinary dog may be able to handle this, but a brachycephalic dog may really struggle to breathe with this added challenge. Use a harness, rather than a collar, since a harness does not pull on your dog's neck or put pressure on their airway.
Schedule regular dental checkups.
Brachycephalic dogs are more likely to have problems with their teeth than other dogs. So, you'll want to have their mouths checked by a vet more often. Schedule a checkup once a year, if possible. If dental problems are discovered, have them taken care of sooner rather than later.
Brachycephalic dogs can live long and healthy lives, but they may need a little more care than other dogs. Follow the tips above to keep your dog healthy and happy. To learn more, contact a clinic like Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital.