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How to Care for Your Pug

Not the most demanding of dogs in terms of maintenance, pugs do require some special care related to their physical makeup. A pug can live happily in an apartment or townhouse, making him a good choice for urban dwellers. He gets along well with kids and other pets. Pugs don’t need a lot of exercise, and a couple of good walks a day usually suffice.


How to Care for Your Pug


Feeding Your Pug

It’s easy for a pug to become overweight, so it’s important that you don’t overfeed him or give in to those pleading eyes and dispense too many treats. Ideally, an adult pug weighs between 14 and 18 pounds.

The Pug Club of America recommends feeding a high quality dry dog food, with a bit of water added. As puppies, pugs require feeding at least three times a day. Once they reach the age of 6 months, twice daily feeding is fine. After their first birthday, once or twice daily feeding is acceptable.


Wrinkle Care

As a short-haired breed, pugs don’t need much grooming, but those wrinkles require regular cleansing to prevent infections. Those deep wrinkles are an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and yeast infections.

Your vet can suggest the best products to use to clean the skin folds. If your pug develops symptoms of skin fold dermatitis, take him to the vet for treatment.

Symptoms include:

  • Hair loss and reddened skin
  • Foul odor
  • Brown facial stains


If your pug frequently experiences skin infections in deep wrinkles, your vet can surgically remove the wrinkle.


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Health Issues

Pugs are vulnerable to certain genetic conditions, as well as issues related to their short, pushed-in nose and facial structure.

Pug health problems include:

  • Pug dog encephalitis, a breed-specific, fatal disease
  • Hemivertebrae, a spinal deformity
  • Dental issues
  • Orthopedic disorders, including hip dysplasia, slipped kneecaps and Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease,
  • Which affects the rear femur
  • Eye problems, including corneal ulcers, entropion, dry eye and injuries due to their protruding eyes.

The most common health issues in the pug result from their facial conformation. They are a brachycephalic breed, a term meaning “short head.” A pug may develop brachycephalic syndrome, a respiratory condition often found in these breeds.

Such dogs are born with narrow nostrils and an elongated soft palate, making breathing difficult when the weather is hot and humid or if he’s experienced vigorous exercise.


In hot weather, keep your pug indoors in an air-conditioned space.


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