Pug Carrying a Bone

Getting to Know Your Pug

These little squish faced clowns of the dog world are a popular breed and it’s easy to see why. They are relatively low maintenance and they have a great personality. However, they are prone to a few more health problems than most so it’s important to be prepared before you bring a pug home.

Read this brief guide to get a crash course in everything you should know before committing to caring for a pug:

Physical Characteristics

The pug is a small breed that will grow to a max height of around 10 to 12 inches and will weigh from just 14 to 18 pounds when fully grown. Despite their small size, they have a uniquely sturdy build.


Pug Body Look

They look somewhat like a bulldog that was shrunk down to miniature size. But their faces are more squished flat and their tale naturally curls upward making them just too adorable to say no to.

Their short fur is most often a light tan color with black markings on the ears and face. However, you can find some with solid black coloring. Although their fur is short, they do have a bad habit of shedding excessively.

Personality and Temperament

Pugs are natural comedians. They love showing off and entertaining their human companions and that can’t help but do ridiculous and adorable things all the time. They are also extremely affectionate and friendly.

All of this makes them the perfect companion animal and great for kids. However, it also makes them somewhat sensitive and needy. They require a lot of attention and interaction so it’s not ideal for someone who lives alone or otherwise plans to leave their pet by themselves during the day.

Pug Looks Like Laughing

A pug should generally not be left alone for more than an hour or two as it will develop separation anxiety (which might mean you’ll come home to a house that’s been torn apart by a scared little pug).

But if you and your family do have the time to give it the attention and companionship it needs, it will be a loyal, loving, and entertaining pet that you’ll be glad to own.

Common Health Issues

As mentioned earlier, a pug’s greatest drawback (aside from the shedding, maybe) is their health risk. This breed is prone to some serious health problems.

Now, that doesn’t mean that every little pug is doomed to experience all of these. It just means that there is more you need to be on the lookout for and you would do well to invest in pet health insurance because you can probably expect your pug to run up a higher vet bill than other breeds. Here are some of the main issues that you should keep a close watch for:

  • Pug Dog Encephalitis: as the name implies, this is a pretty unique condition affecting pugs. If it’s going to happen at all, it will probably happen between the ages of 2 and 3 years. The condition is an inflammation of the brain and very little is known about it. But the symptoms include poor coordination, lethargy, agitation, seizures, pacing in circles, and pressing head against objects. Sadly, there are no effective treatments available yet and it is fatal. On the bright side, only about 2% of pugs get it so the odds are in your favor.
  • Skin Problems: those same adorably squished faces are also a cause of a lot of skin problems. The folds need to be cleaned regularly and kept dry in order to prevent rashes and fungal or bacterial infections.
  • Obesity: pugs are pretty lazy as far as dogs go. So it’s important to keep their food closely monitored so that they aren’t eating too much.

Cute Pug Puppy Eyes

Basic Care Instructions

Caring for a pug is pretty low maintenance but there are some important things to be aware of. Here are the basic things you’ll have to do to properly care for your pug:

  1. 5 to 1 cup of dry food per day. Divide this into at least 2 meals to help your pooch with portion control. If you start to notice him gaining weight, cut down on his food or try to get him exercising more.
  2. Pugs are pretty lazy but for their health, you should make sure they get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day (either from walking, playing, or a combination of the two).
  3. Clean and dry the wrinkles on your pug’s face at least once per week to prevent infection and rashes.
  4. If you have a problem with shedding, you can brush your pug daily to minimize the amount of fur that gets shed all over your home. It won’t completely solve the problem (nothing will) but it will make a big difference.
  5. Keep your pugs indoors most of the time. They are extremely sensitive to heat and cold. So unless it’s a very mild day in a very mild climate, your pug is going to be uncomfortable outdoors for any extended periods.

Pug Jumping Through Obstacle

If you get your pug while it’s still a puppy, be prepared to spend around 6 months potty training him. They are slower to learn this than other breeds. And stick to positive reinforcement strategies in general because they are a sensitive breed.

Final Word

If you’re prepared to deal with any potential health risks and you can spend plenty of time with your pet, the pug is an excellent option. Their fun personalities and their couch potato attitude make them relatively low maintenance and very enjoyable companions. Plus, they’re just so darn cute!

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