The pug breed is a popular breed, and its fan base continues to grow. One of the most important things any dog owner should know is how to care for your furry friend’s health needs.
As with any breed as old and distinguished as the pug, breeders have been able to solve some of the genetic issues within the breed and phase them out with each generation.
With their distinct face shape and size however, they have developed some health issues that are exclusive only to them. Let’s delve into some of the best ways to care for your pug in general, and for any specific puggle health issues that they may have.
Do Pugs have a lot of Health Problem?
In general, pugs are an overall healthy breed of dog. They can live happy and long lives, with some preventative care, good hygiene practices, and a healthy diet.
A common issue with pugs’ health tends to be obesity. Though they love to play, pugs are not overly active dogs and are not really built for long walks, runs or hikes.
Pugs also love to eat and will eat whatever you offer, when you offer it. If not kept active enough in combination with a healthy diet, the weight can pack on. As with any dog, this can lead to many more health issues and is easier to prevent than to deal with after.
Healthy Feeding Habits
The biggest way to combat pug obesity is to start off with healthy feeding habits. You should make sure to feed your pug with both size and age-appropriate food.
Pug owners will want to research the best food with the best ingredients to feed their pups. As a smaller breed, it is okay to move them up from puppy to adult food somewhere in the 18 to 20-month range.
Pugs should be fed food targeted to small breeds. Amounts will vary depending on the type and brand of food that you are using. With their trademark short snouts and wrinkled faces, they should be fed more of a dry food diet.
Some of the highly recommended brands are
- Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Puppy Food,
- Salmon & Oatmeal,
- Farmina Natural And Delicious Ancestral Low-Grain Formula Dry Dog Food and
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy.
These products have great examples of the ingredients that should be in the food you give your pug and are a great way to start off healthy eating habits.
Making your own food is also a great habit if you have the ability and time to do so. Chicken, lamb, rice and veggies and fruits are great ingredients to use in any homemade meals. Make sure to know your pug’s weight to accurately measure out any homemade meals.
An active lifestyle
As already stated, though they look very muscular, pugs are not built to constantly go or hardcore exercise. The best thing to do is to walk with your pug building them up over time to eventually having your adult (2-year-old) dog going for 2 walks a day that are approximately 20 minutes.
Pugs will do best with a harness for walks, as opposed to using their collar to hook to. Due to their distinctive short, flat snouts, pugs already have some issues with breathing and therefore may struggle more if a harness is not used.
Keep in mind that as puppies, the pug’s bones are still growing and adapting, so shorter walks over hard material are ideal to help your puppy’s hips grow strong and healthy. Pugs can suffer from hip dysplasia due to their height and build.
Making sure to tailor walks to the dog’s age and ability are key to helping them avoid this. Obesity will only add to the likeliness of suffering hip dysplasia, another reason to establish healthy eating habits early on.
In between these walks, be sure to give your pug plenty of opportunities to get out short bursts of energy with games like fetch or tug.
Grooming and hygiene for your Pug
A key component of a healthy pug is proper hygiene and grooming. Pugs are shedders with sensitive skin, so proper and prompt grooming is an absolute must. A pug specific issue that falls under this category is their wrinkly faces – which must be kept clean and cared for.
Pugs need some basic grooming like all breeds. Owners should be sure to keep their pug’s nails clipped and their ears cleaned. Pugs teeth need to be cleaned regularly as well, with a dog-specific toothpaste such as Petrodex. Starting as young as possible will help the pug and owner both get used to these necessary but often dreaded tasks.
On top of that, your pug should be brushed at least twice a week. A great brush to use for pugs is this PetNeat offering. This should be done in addition to using a grooming dryer to vacuum the loose hair and dead skin cells about once a week.
On top of their constant shedding, pugs have very sensitive skin. Regular bathing is a must however, as it will help to wash away those easy to miss dead skin cells and keep the pugs’ coat smooth and glossy. It will also help to fight any bad odors that may settle in on your pug due to their constant shedding.
Make sure to use a dog shampoo intended for dogs with sensitive skin. Any shampoo with an oatmeal base will be good for your pug. Be sure to dry your pug to get any of those lingering skin cells or hair.
This is a good opportunity to take a cotton ball or other soft material and clean out your dog’s ears. Not only do they need to be kept clean in general, but you especially want to make sure to do so after a bath or any other excursion into the water by your pug. This will dry them out, and any water left in the ears can cause issues and lead to infections, so make sure to get them clean and dry.
Bathing your pug once every 3 weeks is what most experts recommend.
Pugs wrinkles are a huge part of their appeal. Along with their flat snouts, it gives them their distinctive pug look. Keeping the wrinkles clean is one of the pug specific health issues that owners should be sure to know about before adopting one of these adorable pups.
Though it may seem daunting, it is easier then it seems. Keeping them clean daily can be done with wrinkle wipes. Though often marketed for bulldogs, they will keep your pug’s wrinkles clean and infection-free as well. This is not the only care you should be giving your pug’s wrinkles though.
Focusing on the face in their monthly bath will help as well but they should be deep cleaned on a regular basis. About once a week (at least) be sure to use q-tips or cotton swabs and warm water. Dip the swab in, and clean each fold gently. After that, if your pug has particularly sensitive skin, you can put petroleum jelly into them to help prevent skin infections.
A healthy pug is a happy pug
If you keep to these tips and give your pug lots of love and care, they will be one of the most rewarding companions in your life. Every healthy choice and action will increase your pug’s life span.
Paying attention to your dog will help you keep track of your pug’s health, and catch any health problem or symptoms to keep both you and your pug happy, healthy and together.