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

28 June 2024

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

London – Amid the ongoing heatwave in the UK, PETA is issuing an emergency alert regarding breathing-impaired breeds (BIB), who, because of their flat faces and small airways, are twice as likely to suffer from heatstroke than other breeds. According to the Royal Veterinary College, English bulldogs are 14 times more likely to experience heat-related illness compared to Labrador retrievers.

Flat faced 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 don’t realise that rasping, shortness of breath, and panting are signs of distress, and the hot weather can lead to fatalities.

According to a recent study, pugs can no longer be classified as “normal dogs” because of their health irregularities. Restrictions have been imposed on breeding BIBs in the Netherlands, and in Norway, a court ruling recognised that flat-faced breeds suffer severely and should no longer be bred. PETA has long called for a ban on breeding and selling BIBs in the UK and elsewhere to prevent suffering.

“Gasping, shortness of breath, and laboured, open-mouthed breathing are not normal for dogs – and BIBs are at grave risk of harm in hot weather,” says PETA Vice President of Programmes Elisa Allen. “PETA urges everyone to stop buying or breeding dogs with these horrific, life-threatening deformities and to take precautions to protect those they are already responsible for during the heatwave.”

Additional information about preventing 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, X, TikTok, or Instagram.


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