With their squashed noses and wrinkled faces, they have become an emblem of cuteness.
But pugs and French bulldogs will no longer feature on greeting cards from major online retailer Moonpig.
The company is pulling all designs featuring the popular pets from its website due to concerns about the health issues of flat-faced dogs.
Vets warn that the breeds are far more likely than other dogs to suffer from breathing difficulties, eye ulcers and infections in their skin folds, while bitches often require caesarean section if their puppies’ large heads can’t pass through the birth canal.
Moonpig’s ban comes after animal rights lobby group Peta raised concerns that the major online retailer would “promote” the “breath-damaged” dog breeds.
Withdrawn: Pugs and French Bulldogs are no longer featured on greeting cards from major online retailer Moonpig
The company is pulling all designs featuring the popular pets from its website due to concerns about the health issues of flat-faced dogs (stock image)
The dogs feature prominently on clothing, cards, and gifts, especially at Christmas with slogans such as “bah humpug,” due to their perceived cuteness.
French bulldogs are popular with celebrities, including football legend David Beckham and pop singer Lady Gaga, while pugs have been owned by Hollywood actor Gerard Butler and socialite Paris Hilton.
What conditions are pugs at high risk for?
- 54x more likely to have brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome
- 51x more likely to have narrow nostrils
- 13x more likely to have corneal ulceration
- 11x more likely to get skinfold dermatitis
- 2.5x more likely to be obese
- 2x more likely to have overgrown nails
But Yvonne Taylor, director of business projects at Peta, said: ‘By banning images of pugs and French bulldogs, Moonpig is acting responsibly and helping end the promotion of dog breeds with painful, life-threatening deformities.
“Peta celebrates this compassionate first step and will continue to work with Moonpig to expand this new policy to all breeds with respiratory issues, including Boston Terriers, Boxers and Shih Tzus.”
In 2019, Moonpig pledged to stop selling cards depicting captive great apes in unnatural situations, following a similar intervention by Peta.
The ban on pugs and French bulldogs comes after the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) warned last year that pugs could no longer be considered a ‘typical dog’ from a health point of view due to their ‘extreme body shape’.
The RVC compared the health of random samples of about 4,300 pugs and nearly 22,000 dogs of other breeds during a single year.
Pugs were nearly twice as likely as other dogs to be diagnosed with one or more health disorders.
French bulldogs, which can cost hundreds of pounds to buy, have been found to live an average of only four and a half years.
Moonpig has removed, or is in the process of removing, all cards featuring Pugs and French Bulldogs from its website, and will not design or purchase any card designs featuring these breeds in the future.
French bulldogs (pictured) are popular with celebrities, including football legend David Beckham and pop singer Lady Gaga, with pugs owned by Hollywood actor Gerard Butler and socialite Paris Hilton
Pugs are significantly more likely to suffer from respiratory, eye and skin conditions than other breeds, according to vets at the Royal Veterinary College
However, several cards depicting English bulldogs, which also have a flat face, remained on sale today (Friday).
The British Veterinary Association has previously called for images of flat-faced dogs to be avoided on social media and in advertisements to reduce demand for them and “prevent normalization of health concerns”.
Dr. Justine Shotton, Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, said: ‘This is really positive news.
The British Veterinary Association has called on Moonpig and other retailers to help stop the worrying trend of flat-faced pets such as pugs, French bulldogs and Persian cats suffering from extreme and painful health issues by removing irresponsible images of them from their products. to delete. .
“We welcome this action, but there is much more to do.
“We hope the company will extend this policy to all pets whose ‘cute’ appeal masks a host of potential breed-related health and wellness issues.”
Dr. Sean Wensley, former president of the British Veterinary Association, who recently published a book called Through A Vet’s Eyes, said: ‘When certain dog breeds, such as those with brachycephaly – flattened faces – are portrayed as endearing or cute, it helps to make their popularity and undermines efforts to address their health and wellness concerns.
‘It is important that other companies embed a similar animal welfare policy in their marketing strategies.’
Moonpig did not respond to a request for comment.
The History of the Pug
Pugs are an ancient breed of dog, with roots dating back to 400 BC
Most historians agree that the breed originated in China, where they were bred as companions for the wealthy.
With their people-friendly nature and adaptability, pugs have made a name for themselves as ideal lapdogs and companions.
They kept Tibetan Buddhist monks in their monasteries and received royal treatment as companions from Chinese emperors and their families, who valued them so much that they even had guards and servants to protect and care for them.
Three types of flat-faced dogs were bred by the Chinese: the lion dog, the Pekingese, and the ‘Lo-sze’, also known as the old pug.
The Pug’s popularity spread from China to Japan and Russia and eventually to Europe, where they soon took up residence in royal palaces and the homes of the upper class.
Their small size, sturdy frame, and minimal exercise requirements made them ideally suited as pets.