Global Warming: Bad News for Pugs and Bulldogs

Australian pet owners are being warned that their beloved bulldogs, pugs, and other short-nosed dog and cat breeds may not last long if global warming continues unabated.

According to RSPCA chief veterinarian Chris Thurgood, short-nosed breeds suffer from respiratory problems -- a situation exacerbated by inbreeding -- and have difficulty breathing in high temperatures. With Australian summers hitting 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), Thurgood says that Darwin's theory of evolution will soon see these breeds dying out.

Of course, it's worth pointing out that breeds are not species. A dog is a dog is a dog -- no matter how different they look, genetically, they're all the same. All breeds dog and cat breeds were created by humans through centuries of selective breeding.

So is it really a problem if a breed dies out? Genetically, probably not. But don't tell that to your average bulldog owner. They may object.