Top 5 ways to keep your pug healthy
Pugs aren't known for their hunting or tracking skills. They wouldn't be much help in herding sheep. And their small stature doesn't make them the most effective guard dog. However, due to their loyal companionship and adorable face, pugs have endured through centuries as one of the most beloved dog breeds.
With a small body, short snout, big eyes, curly tail and wrinkly face, you can see how pugs were bred to be lovably cute. Most likely originating in ancient China, pugs were sometimes used as diplomatic gifts between rulers. They make great companions for kids, adults and the elderly, often becoming as playful or laid back as the owner.
A healthy adult pug weighs about 16 pounds (7.3 kilograms) and lives about 13 years. Although the breed is relatively low maintenance, the following tips will help keep your pug dog healthy to give him or her the long, full, happy life your beloved companion deserves.
Sadly, pug dogs have been known to develop encephalitis, a condition involving inflammation of the brain and brain membranes. Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) is a particular variety of the disease that affects only that breed. Symptoms include circling, seizures, pressing the head against a hard object and blindness. Unfortunately, this fatal disease has no known cure.
First and foremost, you'll want to make sure to bring your young pug to a trusted veterinarian and get him the necessary vaccinations. The "core vaccines" include distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, kennel cough, leptospirosis and rabies. These vaccinations are typically encouraged for all dogs, but your vet can help develop a vaccination program that's best suited to your pug and your area. The vet may encourage giving your dog a vaccine against Lyme disease, for instance, or coronavirus.
As the owner of a pug, you'll also want to keep an eye out for conditions that pugs are prone to. One unfortunate consequence of the adorable short muzzle is a condition called entropion, which is when the eyelashes rub the eyes and cause irritation and even blindness. You should suspect this is a problem if your pug squints, has stains below the eyes and tears up excessively. Another common pug problem is patella luxation, a knee problem that can be fixed with corrective surgery.
4: Watch the Temperature
One of the most important things to know as a pug owner is that the breed is susceptible to overheating, which can quickly lead to death. Dogs, which don't sweat like people do, are more prone to heatstroke, and short-muzzled dogs are even more susceptible. So, never keep your pug in a warm parked car, even with cracked windows. And don't leave a pug outside on even a moderately warm day without plenty of shade and water.
If your pug has become overheated, she'll start breathing fast and heavily and might even throw up. Immediate attention is necessary, including either putting the pug in a cool tub of water or wrapping her in cool, wet towels. If the dog's temperature (taken with a rectal thermometer) is over 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.5 degrees Celsius), take her to a vet immediately, preferably still wrapped in a cool towel.
Although pugs don't do well in the heat, they aren't exactly cold-weather dogs, either. They generally like to be inside with their owner.
3: Exercise Portion Controls and Time Limits
You know the saying that if you give a man enough rope, he'll hang himself? Well, if you give a pug enough food, he'll eat itself into an early grave.