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UK’s Most Popular Dogs Raise Concerns Over Canine Healthcare Crisis

Labradors, Jack Russells, and mix breeds dominate UK dog ownership, but health concerns rise over popularity of brachycephalic breeds.

Labradors, Jack Russells and mix breeds are the most common dogs in the UK, according to new research.

Purebred pups have come out on top, but experts fear a “canine healthcare crisis” is looming because pugs, French bulldogs and English bulldogs are the breed of choice among 17.6 percent of the nation’s dog owners.

“Dogs with those breeds’ characteristic flattened skull shape – known as brachycephaly- have a higher risk of poor health,” said the reasearch. 

Most popular dog breeds: Jack Russell terrier. ANASTASIA LASHKEVICH VIA PEXELS.

Other “extreme” canine features are on the rise too, according to the UK Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

More than two-thirds (69.4 percent) of the canines in our homes and parks are purebred, according to an analysis of 2,237,105 dogs looked after by UK vets.

Designer crossbreeds – such as cockapoos and Labradoodles – made up 6.7 percent of pet canines, 24 percent were mixed, and male dogs were slightly more popular than females.

Pups that were less than a year old were mainly mix breeds, French bulldogs and cockapoos.

Vets advise people not to buy flat-faced dogs such as pugs because of the health problems they face. STESHKA WILLEMS VIA PEXELS.

The research sheds new light on last year’s survey that showed dogs are the UK’s favorite pet, with 31 percent of households looking after one.

“With 800 dog breeds available in the UK, this VetCompass study shows there are more than enough healthy breeds to choose from that do not suffer from extreme body shapes such as flat faces, skin folds or absent tails,” said Dr. Dan O’Neill, of the Royal Veterinary College. 

“Despite this, many UK owners are still persuaded by social influences and trends into acquiring dogs with extreme body shapes that are likely to result in serious health issues during much of their dogs’ lives.

Designer crossbreeds – such as cockapoos and Labradoodles – made up 6.7 percent of pet canines. EDGAR DANIEL HERNANDEZ CERVANTES VIA PEXELS.

“The advice is to stop and think before buying a dog with an extreme body shape.”

VetCompass is a program that collects health data from 30 percent of the nation’s vets since 2010.

The new study, published in the journal PLOS One, focused on information from 2019.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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