Care and Health Requirements
Most Pugs tend to laziness if left to their own devices. Following the "housekeeper" around during daily chores is okay, otherwise a brisk walk or vigorous game of ball every day is needed. Pugs love to be walked everyday, but won't suffer if they miss out occasionally. Do not allow strenuous exercise in hot weather or just after meals.
Due to the shape of the eyes and face, Pugs are susceptible to eye injuries such as puncture wounds and scratched corneas. This is one reason why breeders remove dew claws. If your Pug is rubbing its eyes or is squinting or its eyes are watering or there is any discolouration of the eye,
see your vet immediately.
The Pug, being a brachyphalic (short nosed) breed, can have difficulties with its soft palate.
Pugs have compact breathing passageways, leaving many pugs unable to breathe properly or efficiently or their ability to regulate their temperature through evaporation from the tongue. These complications can lead to accelerated injury or death should they be left in hot locations where cooling cannot properly take place such as cars on hot days or in outdoor conditions in temperatures over 27°C.
Pugs living a mostly sedentary life can be prone to obesity , though this is avoidable with regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Pugs, along with other brachycephalic dogs (e.g. boxers, bulldogs), are also prone to hemivertebrae. The screwtail is an example of a hemivertebrae, but when it occurs in others areas of the spine it can be devastating, causing such severe paralysis that euthanasia is a serious recommendation.
The Pug, like other short-snouted breeds, has an elongated palate. When excited, they are prone to a "reverse sneeze" where the dog will quickly, and seemingly laboriously, gasp and snort. This is caused by fluid or debris getting caught under the palate and irritating the throat or limiting breathing. "Reverse sneezing" episodes are not harmful to the Pug but are usually resolved by the owner calming the dog and gently rubbing the throat to induce a swallowing action; the symptom may also resolve itself without intervention. Owners typically recognise this phenomenon as a pathological symptom rather than as an endearing behavioral pattern.
As Pugs have many wrinkles in their faces, owners should take special care to clean inside the creases, as irritation and infection can result from improper care.
As with all small breeds, some problems may arise in pregnancy and during birth. The most common problems include the need for a Caesarian section birth and new mothers being disinterested in the puppies, sometimes accompanied by the mother not opening the birth sac.
Spaying or Neutering
The most important thing you can do to protect your pug's health is to spay or neuter your pet!!
Contrary to a common folktale, spaying and neutering do not make dogs fat.
Overfeeding makes dogs fat!
But what if we want to breed our Pug?
Please see our page on Breeding Pugs for some general advice.
Pugs generally have small litters, so good breeders often have a waiting list. Please don't give up and buy a Pug in a pet shop or from a backyard breeder for a cheaper price as the possibility of getting a puppy that will develop health problems is very high, as the main interest of these puppy sources is quantity rather than quality.
Purchasing a Pug from a responsible breeder is vital to getting a puppy who has a far less chance of developing any health problems. Although there are no guarantees, good breeders eliminate dogs with genetic abnormalities from their breeding programs and provide a genetic quarantee along with a simple diet and nutritional program.
If you have any questions or queries regarding health and care of your pug, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to provide any assistance you may need.