OWNERS of short-nosed dog breeds are being warned not to confuse breathing difficulties down to being normal for their breeds.

A study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College and published by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) in its Animal Welfare journal says that owners of breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and Pekingese might be misinterpreting sounds of compromised breathing as normal for the breed.

Rowena Packer, from the Royal Veterinary College, told Pet Gazette: “Our study clearly shows owners of brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs often dismiss the signs of this potentially sever breathing disorder as normal, and are prepared to tolerate a high degree of respiratory compromise in the pets before seeking help.”