Emergency: Heat Wave Is a Huge Threat to Pugs, Bulldogs, and Frenchies, Prompting Plea From PETA

For Immediate Release:
July 3, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382


Following the news that seven dogs suffered from heatstroke—including three who died, one a breathing-impaired breed (BIB)—in the care of a boarder over the weekend, PETA is issuing an emergency alert regarding BIBs. These dogs—including French bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, boxers, and other brachycephalic breeds—have been bred for a particular flat-faced look, resulting in drastically distorted airways and other deformities that make them twice as likely to suffer from heatstroke as other breeds. People often believe that BIBs’ rasping, shortness of breath, and heavy panting are normal, when, in fact, they are all signs of distress and can lead to fatalities in hot weather.

Credit: The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals

“Any dog can be endangered by rising heat, but breathing-impaired breeds are especially susceptible to heatstroke because of their flat faces, narrowed nostrils, and distorted airways,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “As temperatures climb, PETA is urging everyone to stop buying or breeding dogs with these horrific, life-threatening deformities and take precautions with any they already have.”

PETA urges people to be on the lookout for animals who are in need of assistance in the heat, including those who may be experiencing heatstroke symptoms, and advises everyone to do the following for all dogs:

  • Walk them during cooler parts of the day and limit the time they spend outside in the heat. Before walks, touch the pavement to ensure that it won’t burn dogs’ foot pads. In hot weather, walk dogs only in the shade or on earth or grass.
  • Never leave animals outdoors in extreme heat or inside vehicles at any time.
  • If you see a dog showing signs of heatstroke—including heavy panting, excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty walking, seizures, and collapse—ensure that the animal is moved into the shade or an air-conditioned space, offer them water, and wet them down with room-temperature (not cold) water. If their guardian isn’t around, call local authorities immediately.
  • If keeping dogs chained outside isn’t illegal in your community, urge your local officials to outlaw it. Contact PETA to learn how.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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