Nationwide® Veterinary Analytics

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Information available as of January 1, 2023.


In the know about noses: Burrowing into brachycephalic dog breeds (Part 1)

  • Download "In the know about noses: Burrowing into brachycephalic dog breeds: Part 1” (January 2023, PDF)
  • Download an explanation of methodology (PDF)

Brachycephalic dog breeds have become increasingly popular in recent years. Their often-compact frames frequently contain big personalities, helping them top “most pup-ular” breed lists and making them companions of choice for many celebrities. While their fame is reaching new heights, brachycephalic breeds’ predisposition to health conditions raises concerns for their care and welfare.

While much has previously been published on the diseases common to brachycephalic dogs, the most recent research from Nationwide’s Pet Health Analytics and Insights Team adds previously unavailable context and reveals new insights on health concerns for dogs with an extreme brachycephalic phenotype.

This analysis uses data from more than 450,000 dog years of Nationwide’s canine claims resulting in the following:

  • “Extreme brachycephalic” dogs are at increased risk. While most brachycephalic dog breeds are at increased risk of certain diseases, a subset of these dogs face far greater risk than the rest of the group. These findings overlap with established research that identifies these “extreme brachycephalic” breeds as the French Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Pug.
  • Popular pups drive the numbers. The proportion of extreme brachycephalic dogs insured by Nationwide has almost doubled over the past decade, driven primarily by the popularity of the French Bulldog, which has increased by over 400%.
  • Nationwide’s unmatched dataset enables unique research. Analysis of data from over 450,000 purebred dog years (which include 50,000 individual brachycephalic dogs) allows for:
    • Greater resolution at a breed level for existing brachycephalic-associated conditions like brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) and brachycephalic ocular syndrome (BOS).
    • Novel insights into the risks of pneumonia, heatstroke, complications of pregnancy and systemic allergic reactions for brachycephalic breeds.

See the white paper for deep dives into our massive cohort of data that quantifies the risk of diseases found in brachycephalic breeds compared to other dogs.