Ever wonder what happens when you mix a pug and an Italian greyhound?
A rescue dog named Petunia is going viral across TikTok for her unique looks — looks that some people feel are the result of careless breeders.
A dog groomer, Caitlin (@caitlineduffin), quickly gained over 1.8 million views, 161,000 likes and 6,700 comments when she posed the thought-provoking question, “Ever wonder what a pug Italian greyhound looks like?”
While we’ve seen unique dog breeds go viral in the past, Petunia the rescue “puggit” and her eye-catching looks are inspiring an important conversation about ethical breeding practices.
Petunia, a rescue dog who, according to Caitlin, is deeply loved by her humans, is a cross between an Italian greyhound and a pug — a “designer breed” referred to as a puggit.
According to WagWalking.com, puggits, while known for being sweet-natured and playful, often suffer from a host of health issues, including patellar luxations, or kneecap dislocation; keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye; and/or periodontal disease. Additional health issues include epilepsy, cataracts and hypothyroidism.
Designer breeds are those that combine two purebred dogs in order to optimize the “best” characteristics of each parent, according to VCAHospitals.com.
However, because there are no sure bets when it comes to genetics, combining breeds does not always produce consistent results in dogs’ features — as in the case of Petunia.
Nearly 7,000 TikTokers weighed in on Petunia’s looks in the comments.
“It’s upsetting how some will so carelessly breed. I hope your sweet pup lives a long, healthy life. She looks happy and loved; all that matters 💛,” one user wrote.
“Aw I hope she doesn’t have any health problems. certain breeds really shouldn’t mix. thank you for saving her ❤️,” commented another user.
“I’m glad that she is loved but I wish people would stop having careless litters,” another user wrote.
For families looking to bring home a new dog, the ASPCA first recommends visiting your local shelter or rescue. If neither of those options yield the right fit for your family, and you’re considering a dog breeder, they encourage you to find responsible breeders near you.
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