Having worked in Veterinary Recruitment for several years now, something that is naturally close to our hearts is the health and wellbeing of animals, so we are naturally concerned when our clients tell us about the health issues being suffered by the more fashionable pets.

Speaking to our client base of Veterinary Nurses and Surgeons, a recurring subject just lately seems to be the health issues they are seeing in household pets, namely cats and dogs. They’ve seen an increase in consultations for certain breeds of cats and dogs which stem from genetic mutation when breeding.

Fashionable Pets - Health Issues

French Bulldogs and similar breeds are known to suffer with breathing problems

The Demand for Fashionable Pets

With the rise of social media offering a platform to share our everyday lives with the world, along with the general hunger some people have for the latest fashion accessory, pets themselves are often seen as a fashion item. Just take a look at any online news column to see the latest reality TV ‘star’ walking down the high street with their little pooch tucked into their handbag wearing an outfit to match that of it’s owner. This behaviour urges the general public to want to do the same, hence the demand for certain breeds of fashionable pets is on the rise.

Health Problems

Dog breeders have seen an upturn in demand for short-muzzle breeds, such as French Bulldogs, and in recent years the demand for these types of breeds has surpassed that of the more traditional house-dog breeds such as Labradors. In fact, in 2007 The Kennel Club had just 692 registrations of French Bulldogs. By 2016, that figure had risen to 21,470. This article by the Independent online talks more about this issue, and urges prospective pet owners to reconsider before purchasing dogs with known breathing issues, as this will only encourage further breeding.

The cute looking, flat faced dogs with baby-like faces that are in such demand come about by genetic mutation. This mutation in their form causes almost certain breathing problems in these breeds of dogs, making their every day life uncomfortable.

There’s a similar situation with cats. Only recently the BVA highlighted the health issues suffered by ‘brachycephalic’, which again are cats with distinguishing flat faces and sometimes folded ears. In a survey conducted by the BVA, 86% of the Vets interviewed said they had treated brachycephalic cats for issues relating to their facial formation.

Fashionable Pets - Health Issues

Exotic Shorthair and Persian cats suffer the same breathing problems as their canine counterparts

Fashionable Pets - Health Issues

Advice for Buyers

We echo the BVA’s thoughts when it comes to guidance for prospective pet owners, in that whilst there is a demand for ‘fashionable’ pets, there will always be an increasing supply of them. We urge everyone to consider this before making the important decision of choosing your pet.