PAAG working to address the advertising of pets with extreme conformations


Last month, the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) was pleased to lead a meeting with several of our engaged websites which advertise pets for sale to discuss our concerns around the welfare of pets with. Examples of extreme conformations include Brachycephaly, referring to a short skull shape, which gives the appearance of a flattened face. This can lead to issues such as breathing difficulties and eye disease. More information about Brachycephaly can be found on the BVA website, listed below.

The meeting was held following the rapid rises in popularity of certain pets with extreme conformations, such as French Bulldogs. Ultra-Persian cats, and lop-eared rabbits which has led to increases of ill-health and compromised welfare within these breeds. The meeting took the form of a discussion around what websites advertising pets for sale could do to implement better regulation of such adverts after PAAG developed advice around the advertisement and sale of pets with such extreme conformations.

The discussion was very positive, with several sites present discussing the steps they are taking with regards to advertising these pets. Core to the discussion was the idea that articles can be posted on the sites to highlight PAAG’s advice on extreme conformations and ensure potential buyers are aware of the associated health risks with such characteristics.   Those attending the meeting, and other sites who engage with PAAG, including Gumtree, Forever Puppy, Puppy Choices, Pets for Homes, Preloved and Friday Media Group have also made several suggestions of the steps they can take to address our concerns. PAAG looks forward to helping these sites take these suggestions on board and implementing them.

Dogs Trust, one of the founding members of PAAG, continues to work closely with PAAG and its members on the advertisement of pets with extreme conformations. Dogs Trust, alongside several other PAAG members, also sits on the Brachycephalic Working Group, which aims to improve the welfare of brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs to raise public awareness around the health risks associated with breeding for exaggerated physical characteristics.

PAAG’s Chair and Dogs Trust Veterinary Director Paula Boyden, is strongly supportive of this cross-sector work to improve the health and welfare of pets with extreme conformations, stating: “PAAG is extremely pleased to see our advice being so warmly received by a broad range of advertising websites. The safe and ethical advertising of pets will continue to be PAAG’s utmost priority, and we look forward to continuing to work with pet advertising websites to ensure this for the future.”

PAAG is now working with its engaged websites to ensure that steps are taken to prioritise the welfare of these breeds, and urges any other sites involved in the advertising and sale of these breeds to get in touch as well.


Further information related to the issues outlined here can be found below.


BVA information on Brachycephaly. This provides information on brachycephaly and its impact.

CRUFFA | Facebook. CRUFFA, is the Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals, which is supportive of restricting the advertisement of brachycephalic dog and cat breeds.

Brachycephalic Working Group – Working together to improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs ( This group advocates for no dogs to experience health-related welfare problems attributable to having been selectively bred for the brachycephalic conformation.

PAAG Minimum Standards. PAAG’s Minimum Standards for pet advertisement urges sites to exclude any advert where there is a reasonable concern for the health and welfare of the animal involved.