One of the most popular breeds of dog we see at Cherrydown Vets is Pugs. They are lovely little things. They look cute with their wrinkly face and curled tail and they are fun and mischievous dogs. However, one thing we picked up on is some of the owners, particularly those who are new to owning pugs, don’t realise about some of the issues pugs can have. So if you are thinking of getting one hopefully our blog will help you decide whether they are the right breed for you.
According to the London Zoological Society, the Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They were brought from China to Europe in the 16thCentury
Pugs love to be around people and thrive on human companionship. They are great family dogs and are good around children. These dogs are playful and affectionate and you are guaranteed to have a smile on your face whenever they are around. Make sure you do not leave them for long periods as they can become bored and destructive. Pugs can be quite stubborn so, when training, you will need to be more patient with them. Make sure you have the time to invest in them as you will be highly rewarded with a loving, happy pug.
Pugs are not the sort of dog to take to the park and play fetch with. If you throw a ball for them they will stare at you with those big bulging eyes and wait for you to fetch it yourself. If you are after a dog that is going to be active pugs are not for you. However, if you are looking for a lap dog then these are perfect. Make sure you do exercise them. Pugs will happily spend their days eating and sleeping so are more prone to weight gain. Keeping them in shape and fit is very important as they can suffer from breathing problems. Don’t exercise them during hot or humid weather as their conformation makes them very prone to heatstroke.
Talking of sleeping, if you get a pug you may need to invest in some ear plugs. These dogs can snore VERY LOUDLY!!!
If you look at some of the paintings from the 18thcentury that include pugs their bodies look long and lean. However, nowadays they have a more compact form with a deep chest and well developed muscles. Pugs have smooth and glossy coats that can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn or black. One thing that surprises a lot of owners is how much fur they shed. The hair will be everywhere. We suggest investing in a good vacuum, lint rollers, and a good dog brush. If you get a black pug ensure all of your own clothing is black so the fur isn’t as visible. In all seriousness, most dogs shed hair but for something so small there does seem to be a lot.
Pugs need a fair amount of grooming and general maintenance. As we have already mentioned, they shed a lot of fur so will need regular brushing. Also, their face will need to be cleaned. A pug’s facial folds will need to be attended to on a regular basis. The wrinkles can hold all manner of gunk such as food, mucus to dry tears and general bits of dirt. If the face isn’t cleaned very often it could lead to skin infections or could cause bad odours It won’t take long to do so make the effort to ensure your pugs face is fresh.
Below are some of the health issues that can affect pugs. It’s not a comprehensive list but it will give you an idea of issues affect pugs
Dry eye – very common in pugs and can be serious
Corneal Ulcers – These can be caused by scratches to the eyeballs. Their prominent eyes make them very prone to this
Elbow / Hip Dysplasia – Pugs are susceptible to bone and joint problems. You can read more about Elbow and Hip Dysplasia by looking at our other blogs
Hip Dysplasia – Part 1 – What is it and what causes it? – Click HERE
Hip Dysplasia – Part 2 – Diagnosis and treatment – Click HERE
Elbow Dysplasia – Click HERE
Luxating Patella – also known as “trick knees” is a fairly common problem in pugs and other small dogs. It is the dislocation of the small movable bone in the knee called the patella from the femur where it is normally held in place by ligaments. In mild cases the patella will fall back into place on its own. However, in severe cases surgery is needed to correct it
As with people, some orthopaedic surgery requires the surgical skills of an expert. Fortunately at Cherrydown Vets we have that expert in J.B. Lefebvre, a recognised European specialist. He regularly visits to consult and operate on a variety of cases including fractures, hip and elbow dysplasia, arthroscopy of shoulder, elbow & stifle as well as cruciate ligament surgery including TPLO. You can read more about J.B and his work by clicking HERE
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This is a degeneration of the vessels around the retina. It normally starts with night blindness in younger dogs and their vision will deteriorate leading to blindness
Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome – Due to a combination of small nostrils, an elongated soft palate, an oversized tongue and a small windpipe Pugs can have difficulty breathing. This makes them snore and very prone to heatstroke. If severely affected, surgery can be done help the problem
Those are just a few of the health issues that can affect a pug. As we have mentioned pugs can lead a happy and healthy life and not experience any of the above problems, but it is always best to be informed.
If you have any questions or want to know of other health problems you can call us at the clinic or pop in and speak to a vet. Alternatively you can leave a non-urgent comment on our Facebook page and someone will get back to you