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Caring for a Brachycephalic Dog

March 15, 2021

Do you have a pug, Boxer, or another brachycephalic dog? These charming pooches have adorable punched-in faces. A local Coral Springs, FL vet offers some helpful tips on caring for these cute pups below.

D  on’t Over Exert Your Pet

This may very well be rule number one when caring for a brachy. Unfortunately, the features that are responsible for Fido’s cute face also have some serious downsides, the biggest one being restricted air flow. These pups have very short noses, and get out of breath quickly. This is very dangerous, especially given that many dogs will push themselves to please their humans. Don’t encourage Fido to run or play vigorously. 

Keep Fido Cool

Overheating is also a serious risk for brachys. In summer, you’ll need to take extra care not to let Fido get too hot. If you have a yard, let your canine buddy splash around in a kiddie pool or play in the splash from a spray. Your pooch will likely also appreciate cold treats, such as doggy ice cream.

No Swimming

Given that brachys overheat easily and shouldn’t overexert themselves, one may think that swimming is the perfect option for them. Actually, it can be very dangerous. Fido can quickly get into trouble if he loses his breath or gets water up his nose. He can still enjoy water, though. Just don’t let him go into water that goes much over his knees.


Many brachys—especially the little ones—tend to have tear stains or eye injuries. This makes sense, as many of these dogs have bulging eyes and/or are low to the ground. Both of these things put Fido at risk of getting injured from having sand, dust, or dirt in his eyes, or just running into something. Ask your vet for eye care tips.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

One issue you’ll need to watch for is brachycephalic syndrome, which is a type of respiratory distress. Warning signs include snoring, wheezing, choking, vomiting and just labored breathing. Fido may also get tired easily, which could make him reluctant to run or play. He may breathe through his mouth, or hold his neck and head out to get more air flow. Severe cases can even lead to collapse. Ask your vet for more information.

As your local Coral Springs, FL veterinary clinic, we are here to help. Please feel free to call us anytime!

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