There is a very common question that is often asked by Havanese owners or potential future owners. The question is “Are Havanese Brachycephalic”? This term may sound like a very fancy term or a jargon but many dog lovers may already know what it means. Still I will try my best to clearly explain the term Brachycephalic. I will also answer the question of whether Havanese are Brachycephalic. Finally, I will add some more interesting facts that are related to this topic to make this a short and fun read. Now, let’s cut to the chase now.
What Exactly Does Brachycephalic Mean?
In short, Brachycephalic are those breeds of dogs that have very short nose and flat face. The most iconic examples of dogs that are Brachycephalic include Boxers, Bulldogs, Pekingnese, Shih Tzu, and Pugs. Why do we have to have a term like Brachycephalic to category this group of dogs? Is it just for the ease of description of their appearance? The main reason is that these dogs tend to suffer from snoring and snorting more than other dogs. That also can cause their airways to be partly obstructed. Some special care is usually needed.
Are Havanese Brachycephalic?
Luckily, Havanese are Not Brachycephalic. That is a very good news because that means that your Havanese are not going to suffer from all those snoring and snorting problems. That also means that it is considered safe to air travel with your Havanese. Although I don’t thing many people would air travel a lot with their Havanese, it can be a big deal for those of you who have to move to different cities or even countries to live every couple of years due to the nature of their career. So, if you are here because you have concern with your Havanese’s potential breathing issues and to check whether you can air travel with him, that’s all good news to you. At the same time, if you are a dog lover and want to know a little more about Brachycephalic breeds, please continue to read on.
The Irony of the Flat-Faced Dogs
As mentioned early, lovely dogs like Chihuahuas, Chow Chows, Pekingese and other flat-faced dogs are categorized as Brachycephalic dogs. These dogs have short nose which can easily cost their airways to be obstructed. They are generally more difficult to take care of than most other breeds. Ironically, these dogs like Chihuahuas and Pekingese are usually considered very cute by human. So there are lots of people who want to have these cute Brachycephalic dogs despite the obvious fact that it is difficult to take care of them. One way to view this irony is that these dogs are more difficult to be taken care of so they are designed to look extra cute to human beings. That’s at least how I look at it.
Symptoms of Brachycephalic Breeds
There are symptoms that are caused by the obstruction of the airway. Snoring and snorting are some very common symptoms. Some other ones are noise breathing and fainting when doing exercise. These symptoms can turn into real damages if they get more severe. So, it is very important to observe whether their conditions are getting worse or not. Surgeries are sometimes required to cure those damages.
Eyes Can be a Problem for Brachycephalic Dogs
Not only that the airway can be a health issue for Brachycephalic dogs, the eyes can be an issue too. Due to their flat faces, their eyes in a lot of case stick out a little more than other breeds. That makes it more difficult for these eyelids to close over their eyes. So of them may have to sleep with their eyes open due to that difficulty. Their eyes can also be more easily get injured to the extra sticking out.
Teeth is Another Issue
Due to their flat face, there are relatively less space reserved for teeth of Brachycephalic Dogs. They can increase their chance of gum disease, which is caused by not able to make their teeth clean enough.
Some Brachycephalic Dogs are Banned by Airlines
If you have to move to another city and you need to air travel with you Brachycephalic dog, make sure that you check the restrictions placed by the airline you are about to choose. There are many Brachycephalic dogs that are banned by many airlines.
Reduce Their Chance of Health Issues
Although Brachycephalic dogs have the body structure that are more vulnerable to airway related health issues, there are some little things here and there that the owners can do to reduce the chance of these issues from happening or from getting worse. Let me now show you some of smallest and easiest stuff you can do. You can help them a lot as long as you are willing to pay attention to details.
Don’t Let Them Feel Too Hot
Overly hot and humid condition can make Brachycephalic dogs difficult to breath. Things like not taking them outside in a hot summer noon and have the right level of air conditioning at home can hugely reduce them from feeling painful with those breathing issues.
Don’t Make Them Exercise Way Too Much
While exercise is a good thing and you should walk your dog and play with him, you should avoid making him over-exercise. Having way too much exercise will also cause him breathing problem.
Monitor Diet and Exercise to Stay in Shape
It is observed that being overweight can make the breathing-related health issue worse. Of course, you don’t your dog to be underweight either. Train your dog to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. For example, not eating too much snack and walk 30 minutes a day are some good habits. At the end of the day, walking is good for both your dog and for yourself. I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to do that.
In summary, Havanese are not Brachycephalic. Yet, if you own a Brachycephalic dog, there are still things that you can do to reduce the chance of having breathing problems.