September 28, 2017 Photos by: graphicphoto/Bigstock
An anthrozoologist has recently shared that our human response to ‘cuteness’ may be detrimental to the health and welfare of pets, particularly certain breeds of dogs and cats with flat-faces.
I’ve always said it. I’m a sucker for babies and puppies and kitties. I mean, if you’re not, I’m not sure I want to know you.
Now acclaimed anthrozoologist (a biologist who looks at relationships between animals and humans) and author John Bradshaw has shared that breeding cats and dogs that resemble human babies is actually making the pets suffer. In his book, The Animals Among Us, he says that as humans, we have something akin to a ‘cute factor’ which has evolved to make sure we take care of our own babies. We just can’t help to be drawn to them.
But that response has spread to pets, and people particularly are keen to love on young pets much in the way we do young babies.
Bradshaw says that one trend that continues to grow is the popularity of small/toy dogs, as well as cats and dogs with squashed faces like Pugs and Persians. Bradshaw says the button noses and big eyes in these breeds and others similar make us respond much as we would to human babies.
The problem with that is according to Bradshaw, the dog skeleton hasn’t kept up with the evolution that allows them to safely and healthfully have these bred characteristics. Neither is the cat’s skeleton, says Bradshaw, and so these animals tend to have significant breathing problems as they get older.
Bradshaw says the appeal of breeds like this is tremendous, but unfortunately, owners find out as the dogs and cats age that there are significant health issues in which the pet is suffering, not to mention racking up extensive veterinary bills.
Bradshaw’s book comes out on October 31, and promises to tell why living with pets has always been a fundamental human trait.
Lori Ennis is a wife, mama and friend to all animals. A self-confessed “Hot Mess,” she lives wherever the Marine Corps takes her husband. Currently, that’s Maryland with her very spoiled Labrador Retriever-mix rescue pups and a ton of saltwater fish just tanking around. Lori’s family has fostered dogs for years, mostly Golden Retrievers, and knows no home is complete without an animal buddy (or seven)!
Tagged as: cute eyes, human infant traits, humans like pets that remind them of babies, John Bradshaw, people like small dogs, people like squashed faces, Persians, Pugs, small dogs, squashed faces, The Animals Among Us