Sunday 15 November 2015

BRACHY WEEK: the price of Pugs

That's a whopping £480 per dog.

Now, I run a rescue. I rehome black retriever crosses and other gundog types. Our "vet-prep" cost over the past 7 years (excluding the extra costs we incur because of bringing in some dogs from overseas) works out at about £100 per dog (about 500 dogs in total). It is almost always simply the routine costs of vaccination, neutering, chipping, worming and flea-treating. If £100 per dog sounds quite cheap, that's because many surrendered dogs are already neutered/vaccinated.

As it is for all rescues, there is the occasional money-pit - a dog that needs expensive surgery; an elderly dog that is rehomed with the commitment to pay for ongoing meds.  But these are the exceptions, not the rule - and that's not because we avoid them. (Every rescue knows that hero-cases are good fund-raisers.)

A clue as to why it costs Pug Dog Welfare & Rescue UK almost five times what it costs me per dog features in the Telegraph today.

Click to enlarge

The Telegraph reports that Pug hand-ins to Battersea Dogs' Home have soared  - and that many need surgery. Battersea vets have had to do 20 airway surgeries on Pugs so far this year. (Read the whole thing here.)

A short clip of Peanut the Pug's breathing pre-surgery can be viewed here.

It isn't just airway surgery, though - it is very common for Pugs to come into rescue requiring dental work and/or with ulcerated eyes that need treatment (and quite often removal).

It adds up to a whole heap of suffering - not just for the dogs, but often for owners too who end up giving up a Pug because they can't afford the surgery.

As for Pug Dog Welfare + Rescue -  they do a do a good job in very difficult circumstances.

If you would like to contribute towards their eye-watering vet bill, you can do so here.


  1. One would think that the stats above would make the KC and the Pug breeders feel very ashamed of themselves. The KC have huge funds from those of us who have pedigree dogs and register them and the idiots that show, pay huge entry fees and affix maintenance etc etc. So, it is time that the KC charged more money to register the braccy breeds and the extra funds should be set aside so that people can apply for funding so that they can keep their Pug or if it has to be rescued then the Rescuers can apply for funding. The KC are responsible for allowing the production of these puppies from braccy breeds and they need to start paying back so that the dogs can have some form of quality of life.

    1. That would be an excellent policy morally, but it would also be an admission of the big "elephant in the room' that all pug breeders are in denial of: the massive health consequences of bbreeding pugs to look the way they do. And so they would be fiercely against it and come up with all sorts of arguments as to why it would be wrong and/or unfair.

  2. You gotta be rich to own a Pug or a Bulldog or similar breeds. Not because they cost so much to guy but because they cost so much to keep alive.

  3. Let's be clear here: people, specialy pugs lovers like such distorted dogs. Breeders will keep producing pugs as long as they can sell them. Pug lovers and pug breeders together make pug's life incerdible hard. Ther are no money that will restore a normal quality of life. Money will allow only exist not live life to the fullest. Pugs people are agree with cruel breeding and cruel owning. Do not ban pugs, ban pugs breeders and owners!

    1. Ewa you are so right and until the breeders who perpetually breed from braccy breeds with such horrible afflictions understand this the breeding will continue. It is reaching a point whereby Kennel Clubs will become responsible for cruelty because they are accepting money to register and allow competition of these breeds. Until they grasp, in effect your words, a deformity is a deformity, it's unnecessary, and no amount of money will correct it. The dog lives it's life to it's best ability but it could be so much happier and healthier. Ewa, send your words to all of the Braccy breeds and KC, you are a star.

  4. Oh yes, I've had breeders assure me their owners are well off enough and can afford the expenses associated with the breed. Especially the more successful show breeders. "If they can afford my dogs/breed they can afford......" I've heard it more than once, after pointing out the various obvious health problems with dogs they claim will easily find their "forever homes" as pets.

    "Pet quality" means expensive reject mostly, i.e. a dog that is not suitable as a pet. Show quality is also not a guarantee the dog wont fall apart either they just cost much more and apparently have to live sad lives not in their "forever homes".

    I do blame breeders, if they didn't breed deformed dogs there wouldn't be a problem well at least not that problem.

    There will hopefully though also come a time when most buyers of such dogs wont have any excuse either. Certainly with the excellent articles such as these appearing more and more in our mainstream media.

    Brilliant...and horribly tragic of course. One for dog welfare, though.

    Consumers will have the power, yes!

    1. They do indeed, but until I joined PDE after showing dogs for 40 years it never, every occurred to me the real ramifications of having a short (er no nose) bulging eyes, excess skin, "funny" little tails, it never passed through the canyon that is my mind. Now I know differently and feel disgusted at my ignorance. So, my point is, is that until the KCs make it absolutely clear what has happened to the formation of the dogs that are braccy, to create this "cuteness" they, like me, will be uninformed. MOST IMPORTANTLY and the MOST OBVIOUS, of course, is that the KCs have to stop accepting registrations and competition status for a period of say two years until the breeds, and actually all breeds suffering from terrible exaggerations, are much more moderate, look like a type of dog that is literally more "comfortable in it's own skin" - I don't think that that is too much to ask, surely.

    2. No it's certainly not too much to ask, even demand.