Emergency Warning: Heatwave Huge Threat to Breathing-Impaired Breeds, Prompting PETA Plea

Emergency Warning: Heatwave Huge Threat to Breathing-Impaired Breeds, Prompting PETA Plea

London – As a new heatwave is hits the UK and veterinarians report that one in seven dogs in the UK die from conditions relating to the heat, PETA is issuing an emergency alert regarding breathing-impaired breeds (BIB), which, because of their flat faces and small airways, are twice as likely to suffer from heatstroke than other breeds.

These dogs – including French bulldogs, English bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, boxers, and other brachycephalic breeds – have been bred for a particular look, resulting in drastically shortened airways that make it hard for them to breathe and stay safe in the heat. People often believe their rasping, shortness of breath, and panting are normal, but these are signs of distress, and the hot weather can lead to fatalities.

Just last month, a French bulldog came close to dying from heatstroke, even though he was sitting in the shade; a bulldog with heatstroke collapsed in public; another died in a greenhouse; and yet another died from the heat at a dog daycare – and those are just the reported cases. According to a recent  , BIBs can no longer be classified as “normal dogs” because of their health irregularities. Restrictions have been imposed on breeding them in Germany, and in Norway, a court ruling established a precedent for the recognition that flat-faced breeds suffer more and should no longer be bred. PETA believes it’s time to save dogs’ lives by banning BIBs from being bred and sold in the UK.

Image credit: pdsa

“Gasping, labored, open-mouthed breathing and shortness of breath are not normal for dogs – and BIBs are at grave risk of harm in hot weather,” says PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk. “As temperatures rise, PETA is urging everyone to stop buying or breeding dogs with these horrific, life-threatening deformities and take precautions with any they already have.”

Additional information about heatstroke in dogs is available here. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]