Pugs / Chinese Pugs – Health, Care, and Other Information
Living Conditions and Environment of the Pug
Small enough breed for apartment living, but do enjoy their own yard and room to explore. They enjoy walks, but be careful not to allow them to overheat (because of how they are built, they are not able to cool themselves down like most dogs)…walking in the cool evening is advised versus in the mid-day heat. Puppies can be a challenge to house break, but Pugs are not outdoor dogs. Their short muzzles make it difficult for them to tolerate excessive heat and humidity, and their short coats make it difficult for them to tolerate cold. It is extremely important for the Pug dog to feel like they’re a part of the family (as I believe it is for all dogs)…they thrive on attention.
Health Concerns of the Pug
Being a brachycephalic breed (“short head”) with their short faces and protruding eyes, Pugs have their share of health concerns. Their prominent eyes must be protected and watched with regard to injury and disease. Pigmentary Keratitis (PK) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) are two major eye concerns. Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), a serious brain inflammation condition that includes seizures as one primary sign, is exclusive to Pugs as the name implies. Slipped stifles aka Luxating Patella, specifically medial patellar luxation in Pugs and other toy breeds, essentially means dislocated kneecap and is a fairly common health issue for the Pug. Their weight must be watched as they can quickly become overweight if over indulged, which can contribute to patellar luxation. Prone to allergies (environmental / inhalant, food, flea), skin problems, and ear mites. Pugs are also one of the breeds that tend to get mast cell tumors (MCTs) — they also tend to get them in multiples at a time — stay vigilant in examining your Pug for problems and get any lumps or bumps checked out immediately by your vet. With regard to birthing, pups are generally delivered by cesarean section.
Lifespan of the Pug
12 to 15 years.
Grooming and Maintenance of the Pug
Don’t be fooled by the short hair…Pugs shed A LOT. Brushing does help. Bathe only when necessary. Facial folds need to be kept clean — wipe face with moistened cloth daily or as needed. Keep an eye on their nails — they grow really fast and need to be maintained by clipping. Some Pugs have issues with their anal sacs needing expression (feeding your dog canned pumpkin is supposed to help eliminate anal sac issues). This is not a task we recommend for the untrained and inexperienced…you can do more harm than good…we suggest taking your Pug to a qualified vet or groomer.
Continue for links to forums, photos, rescues, and recommended reading.