Smushy-Nosed (brachycephalic) Dogs – What you need to know

Smushy-Nosed (brachycephalic) Dogs – What you need to know

Smushy-Nosed (brachycephalic) dogs 

Smushy-nosed? Brachycephalic? Ahh big words that I am not sure what they mean! What do they mean? Are you insulting my dog?  Actually no…these are words used to describe a specific type of dog snout. 

Well, do I have a Smushy-Nose Dog:

Each dog has a different snout and each snout can be classified as one of two types of snouts: 1) Brachycephalic or Smushy-Nosed and 2) Dolichocephalic or Long-Nosed.  Different types of Smushy-Nosed dogs include: Pug, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu and Pekinese. A common type of Long-Nosed dog is the Grey Hound for comparison.

Ok, So I have a Smushy-Nosed Dog, what do I need to know?

Your Smushy-Nosed dog is probably one of the cutest and happiest dogs, but they can pose some serious health issues that you may not already be aware of.  Due to of the shape of its skull and snout the dog does not have a full nasal cavity and usually smaller nares (nostrils).  The nasal cavity allows for air to be cooled or warmed so the lungs can oxygenate the blood properly.  If the nasal cavity is smaller, then the air isn’t processed properly and can cause the dog to breath more to compensate for the lack of air being processed.  With that, the dog becomes hyperventilated and their heart starts pumping faster, increasing blood flow strain on the rest of the body. 

A Smushy-Nosed dog has the same anatomical features as a Long-Nosed dog, but it confined to a smaller area.  Imagine taking a 2 foot water hose and smashing it to 6 inches and then turning it on.  Now, the pressure coming out of the open end is going to be less then the pressure is being put into the hose.  This is what it is like for the Smushy-Nosed Dogs to breath.

AHHH Your scaring me…What can I do?

The best thing you can do to help these types of dogs is be aware of the condition.  Smushy-Nosed dogs are super cute, love to play and are usually goofy.  Now we all love goofy dogs, but we also need to know when too much is too much.  Always keep an eye on the weather, is it going to be hot out? Is it going to be humid? Is it going to make it hard for me to breath? If it is make sure you limit the time outside to necessary bathroom breaks.  Also ensure your dog has plenty of water and a cool place to recuperate after walks, remember dogs don’t sweat so they need help cooling down.

Remember, we don’t want to discourage playing or going outside with your cutie just because they have a Smushy-Nose we just want you to be responsible owners and know when enough is enough. 

Now heres a obligatory Smushy-Nosed Bros Pic: