Design Awards 2019


More than half the flat-faced dogs vets saw last year needed treatment for breed-related health problems – but only 10% of dog owners could recognise their dog’s health issues.

10-point plan for veterinary practices

The BVA developed a 10-point plan for practices highlighting actions veterinary practices can undertake to improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs and promote responsible pet ownership amongst the dog-buying public:

  1. Offer pre-purchase consultations, such as the PDSA “Which pet?” consultation framework, with prospective dog owners. The potential health problems of brachycephalic conformation can be clearly outlined in these consultations.
  2. Strongly advise against breeding if a dog is suffering from BOAS or requires conformation altering surgery – consider neutering (where best practice allows) to prevent further litters with extremes of conformation that negatively impact on their health and welfare
  3. Promote the Puppy Contract (comprising the Puppy Information Pack and contract for sale) through the practice communication channels, eg. website, social media, waiting room displays, newsletters and in local print and broadcast media
  4. Promote and actively participate in available health schemes (eg.BVA/KC Health Schemes), including those for brachycephalic breeds that currently exist amongst Bulldog, French bulldog and Pug breed clubs
  5. Carry out exercise tolerance tests (ETT) and functional grading for brachycephalic breeds as part of their annual health assessment
  6. Enrol the practice in clinical surveillance programmes such as VetCompassTM and SAVSNET, to contribute to data gathering and evidence generation
  7. Develop a practice communication strategy to repeatedly, clearly and consistently communicate the health problems experienced by dogs with brachycephalic conformation through the practice communication channels
  8. Develop practice policy to ensure that practice communication channels (particularly social media and advertising materials) do not portray dogs with brachycephalic conformation as cute, humorous or appealing
  9. Ensure practice policy supports staff to appropriately convey evidence-based information and advice to owners of dogs with brachycephalic conformation
  10. Support local breed clubs and representatives to develop and implement plans to improve the health of dogs with brachycephalic conformation