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Top tips for Pug owners

Pugs are intelligent, friendly little dogs that are extremely popular for good reason. Some of the physical characteristics that make them so beloved can cause their own problems, however. As a pug-lover it is essential to be knowledgeable about the breed and how to best care for these brilliant companions.

1.       Snoring and Snorting - The “Music of the Pug”

What’s The Problem?
  • The round, flat face can be associated with pinched nostrils and an elongated soft palate, obstructing airflow. 
What Can I Do?
  • Responsible breeders should be aiming to produce puppies that have large enough nostrils to breathe comfortably. 
  • Do not over-exercise your pug or kept in hot conditions. 
  • If there are any situations that tend to cause breathing difficulties be aware of these and try and manage them. 
  • It is possible to resort to surgery in extreme cases.

2.       Wide, Expressive Round Eyes

What’s The Problem?
  • The eyes are large and protrude from the face, which leaves them vulnerable to eye injuries, as well as being prone to other irritating and painful eye condiitons. 
What Can I Do?
  • Before acquiring a pug puppy, check with the breeder that the parents and grandparents have been genetically screened for eye health. 
  • Examine your pug’s eyes daily. At any sign of redness, cloudiness of the surface of the eye, discharge or frequent blinking, consult your vet.

3.       Handsome and Filled with Character

What’s The Problem?
  • The deep wrinkles that contribute to the earnest, worried-looking expression of the pug can harbour skin infections 
What Can I Do?
  • Checking the skin daily for any redness, loss of hair, or smell, and keep the area clean

4.       A Merry Smile

What’s The Problem?
  • Dogs with flattened faces have a full set of teeth squeezed into a much smaller mouth, so can have problems with malocclusion, retained baby teeth, and build-up of tartar. 
What Can I Do? 
  • Introduce a daily tooth brushing routine as early in the pug’s life as possible so it becomes an accepted part of daily life. 
  • Become familiar with your pug’s mouth so you can detect any tooth crowding or gum inflammation. 
  • Additional regular professional dental cleaning at the vet may be necessary.

5.       An Appetite for Life

What’s The Problem?
  • Pugs can find it difficult to pick up kibbles with such a stubby muzzle, and if they have concurrent dental problems they may not like to chew. 
  • They can try to compensate by begging, as they love human food and are very good at pleading eyes. 
  • Overweight pugs will exacerbate problems pugs can be prone to such as joint problems and breathing difficulties.
What Can I Do?
  • It is essential to monitor your pug’s weight – you should be able to see a waist, and feel (but not see) his ribs. 
  • Encourage him to eat his biscuits by not giving into begging. 
  • Many pet food companies that have addressed the issues that pugs face by formulating kibbles that are specially made for small brachycephalic dogs.