About Pugs

Pugs were first bred thousands of years ago in China to be the lap dogs of Chinese royalty. Over centuries, pugs have perfected the art of lap-sitting.

General Characteristics
Pugs come in two colors: fawn and black. Pugs are very people-oriented dogs, and will not do well being left at home by themselves for long periods. If you work, it is best to hire a dog walker during the day to give your pug some human interaction and TLC. Many one-pug families have discovered that pugs are like potato chips—you can't have just one! Multiple pugs can keep each other company during the day.

Health Issues
People lucky enough to be owned by a pug must be aware of several key factors in keeping their pug happy and healthy. First and foremost, pugs are indoor dogs. They do poorly in both cold and hot weather, particularly hot weather. Because pugs are a brachycephalic (pushed in face) breed, they may have a severe sensitivity to the heat. All pugs vary, but be aware that some pugs find it difficult to walk in 70 degree heat for even 10 minutes. Therefore, potential pug owners must know that they should keep their pugs inside on hot days. If you are looking for a dog to go on long walks with you, you are probably looking at the wrong breed.

Pugs like, no, LOVE to eat. A pug is blessed with a remarkable sense of smell and hearing, which enables him to hear a refrigerator or a package of cookies being opened from a distance. Do not let him eat everything he wants, no matter how pathetically your pug looks at you with those big sad eyes. Overweight pugs are even more susceptible to heat and can develop serious medical problems. Your vet will help you decide the proper weight for your pug.

Speaking of medical conditions, like any breed, pugs have various conditions or diseases to which they are susceptible. For more information, contact your vet or look through the pug health information at pugvillage.com.

If you're considering getting pet insurance for your pug, check out PetInsuranceQuotes.com to compare quotes. Remember that insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Special Considerations
They may be small and they may have short hair, but pugs shed—a lot. A good slicker brush or shedding blade will be your best friend should you decide to adopt a pug. Pugs also snore and snort, so be prepared to have the remote handy to turn up the volume of your TV set if you sit down to watch a show with your pug at night.

Pugs are so friendly that they would give a burglar the key to your safe. A pug will hop in a car with a stranger. If she can't find her own people, a pug will go on a neighborhood hunt to find somebody—anybody—who will pet her and love her in the manner to which she is accustomed. Therefore, it is very important that pug owners have fenced yards and keep a watchful eye on their pugs at all times.

Required Basic Routine Care
On a regular schedule, plan routine care throughout his/her life to keep pugs healthy and happy. This includes:

Plan a yearly visit to your veterinarian as part of the pug's health care routine. They will do a physical examination and may do bloodwork. Their teeth will be checked during this exam, so if they need dental care it can be arranged. This will also keep their immunizations up to date.

Their ears need to be cleaned out weekly to prevent ear infections. They need to be brushed and their coat kept clean. Regular bathing will also help with shedding.

Keep their nails trimmed at least once a month to prevent them from growing too long, impeding walking normally and causing pain. This can be done at home or at the groomers, as they can be very uncooperative.

Their face folds need to be kept clean and dry. Cleaning once or twice a week is often enough. Care also must be taken to keep their eyes clean. Many pugs need drops or eye ointment applied daily to prevent their eyes from becoming too dry and developing pigment. Dryness is something the veterinarian will test for.

Multum in Parvo
The pug's motto is multum in parvo, which is Latin for "a lot of dog in a small space." Pugs are delightful and loving little dogs, but they are not for everyone. Please research several dog breeds before deciding which dog is right for you. An excellent book to help you in your decision making is The Right Dog for You by Daniel F. Tortora, PhD or go to the Dog Breed Selector on the Animal Planet web site.

Seattle Pug Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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