The pug is probably one of the most controversial breeds of dogs. Hardly any other breed is so popular and controversial at the same time. While the breed’s various health restrictions may be known to some, its popularity is not diminishing. We have set out on the trail of this breed, which has always been in demand – looking back from today’s standard pug with all its health problems to its origins in China.
Pug is Possible…
To start with Loriot’s well-known quote in a contemporary form. The pug has certainly played an important role in our society for a long time and, if the legends are to be believed, also in European history. But what breeding has made of him over the centuries is a cause for concern from an animal welfare point of view:
From breathing problems to fatal pug dog encephalitis (meningitis): The animal is afflicted by many health problems in life that severely limit its quality of life. With exertion, stress, and warm temperatures there is an increased risk of heat stroke, as the animals cannot regulate their body temperature enough by panting. In animals with a shortened nose, also known as brachycephalic, the fine lamellae of the turbinates barely allow air to flow through: the individual lamella in a 10-kilogram pug is in comparison twice as thick as that of a 40-kilogram German shepherd. A survey of owners of dogs with brachycephaly found that, according to owners, over half of the dogs have breathing problems while sleeping because they cannot breathe while lying down and suffer from attacks of suffocation – 24 percent of animals, therefore, try to sleep while sitting. 77 percent have problems eating, a good half vomit more than once a day and every third dog has already fallen over due to shortness of breath.
Furthermore, the pug is prone to corneal inflammation due to its bulging eyes and it can even happen that the eye falls out (for example when playing).
Even birth often has complications: the heads of unborn boys are so thick that they cannot fit through the birth canal and can only be delivered by caesarean section. A study in England found that almost 30 percent of pug litters required the veterinarian’s help for this reason. High blood pressure, dental and heart problems, and skin fold dermatitis are other typical ailments of today’s standard pug.
The Pug: a Part of Our Lives for Centuries
The pug has long been a socially relevant creature: it is immortalized in paintings and can be found in legends and stories. Monuments were even placed on him. The popularity is no coincidence. For example, according to legend, a pug is said to have saved the life of Prince William I of Orange in the army camp in 1570 by barking loudly to alert everyone when Spanish assassins sneaked into the camp.
The origin of the breed, however, is not entirely clear. Most likely from China, it is believed that the pug has been found in Europe since the 15th century, after being brought back by Dutch businessmen. At that time there were probably only light-colored animals.
In China, small dogs with shortened snouts have been bred for centuries, which are known as the ancestors of today’s pug. The current name “Pug” developed after the breed reached Europe and corresponds to the Dutch word “moppern”, which means something like “make humming noises” or “grunt”. A connection to the name can also be found from the Germanic language: “mup” was the word for “puckered face” or “grimacing ”.
For decades the pug was a luxury creature and could only be found on royal courts. When “chinoiserie” – the art based on Chinese or other East Asian models – became fashionable in the 17th century, the breed experienced an upswing and reached its heyday. From now on, the dogs were considered a treasure and were bred with care – and monitored by specially trained people. Neither a hunting dog nor a watchdog, the animals were pampered by their owners and soon got the reputation of being spoiled, lazy, and voracious. Some also said that it was a breed that was of no use for anything, which is why its popularity suddenly fell sharply.
It was not until the 19th century that the demand for pugs among the “normal” people increased again. In order to be able to satisfy the demand, individual pugs were crossed with other small dog breeds, for example, Pekingese, early on – to the suffering of the animals. Because this led to the actual loss of appearance and the massive health problems with which the breed is burdened to this day.
Pug Over the Course of Time
The pug in the 19th century is very different from the breed standard that is valid in Germany today. Compared to the “pug of today” with a round head and blunt body, it used to be longer-legged, with a longer snout and deep-set eyes. The breed characteristics were a healthy bone structure, a short coat with elastic skin, and a flat face with a square muzzle and wrinkling of the forehead skin.
According to research, the reason for this type of breeding can be traced back to the so-called child scheme. Big eyes and a snub nose in a round face, clumsy tendencies, and a help-seeking manner evoke caring feelings in us.
The Pug Has Become a Fashion Dog
If pets are bred to supposed ideals of beauty – justified by breeders as breed standards – this is often at the expense of health. Since for generations only hereditary external characteristics were bred, many dog breeds go back to a few particularly suitable carriers, which leads to increased hereditary diseases. In view of the potentially fatal restrictions on this type of breed, a ban was imposed in the Netherlands in the summer of 2019 on any breeding of dogs with a nose making up less than 1/3 of the head.
Pug: What To Do!
We would like to see a rethink and more consideration in the selection of animals on the part of the future dog owners, but also more awareness on the part of the breeders. The latter in particular are asked to change their breeding approach from the ideal of beauty to the health of the animal.
Anyone who cannot do without a pug as a pet despite the known problems should at least support the move to retro breeding and strive for animals with the old pug characteristics.
Due to his friendly and intelligent nature, he is particularly suitable as a family dog, even with small children.
Since the pug is not a dog that wants to cover long distances and is quickly exhausted, you always have to pay close attention to its weight. Here it can easily grow quickly.
The characteristic of the pug is its short-bred snout, its large eyes, small ears, and large round head, which give it a friendly and cute appearance.
There are now retro breeds in which the pug’s snout is bred longer again.
What does the breed look like?
The pug is a relatively small and light dog that can be kept in any home. He is between 31 and 35 cm tall and, according to the FCI breed standard, has an ideal weight of 6.3 – 8.1 kg.
His coat is short, sleek, and shiny. The pug is available in the recognized colors apricot, silver, black or light-colored. These pure colors contrast with the eel line and mask. Badges are clearly delineated.
The appearance of the pug is square and compact. The round head with wrinkles on the forehead looks very large compared to the rest of the body. The muzzle is short and has a slight undershot. The eyes are round and large. The small ears are either rose or button ears. The pug has its tail rolled over its hip. It has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
The pug temperament
The pug has its very own character, which distinguishes it from many other dog breeds. The character of the pug is actually very easy to describe:
He is happy, friendly but also very sensitive. From this, it follows that he is above all a very smart dog who, after a short time living together with his human being, quickly understands what he wants from him and when he should better leave him alone.
Therefore, the pug can by no means be called superficial, because it reacts to all kinds of mood swings.
What is a typical pug?
- Not that easy to care for because of the folds in the head and nose and the sometimes protruding eyes.
- Hair is very strong.
- Lively and intelligent.
- Tends to be overweight.
- Suitable as a family dog.
- Child friendly.
- Loyal and devoted.
- Has a feeling for the moods and emotions of his people.
- Depending on the breed, athletic or less persistent. Retro and old German pugs have a clear lead here.
- Belongs to the brachycephalic races (short-headed). Unfortunately, this often leads to breathing problems.
- Due to the shortened snout and flat nose, some members of the breed snore. This can happen, for example, through a sagging soft palate.
- The pug doesn’t tolerate heat very well. This is also due to the flat nose. It is important to avoid exertion in warm temperatures.
- Most representatives of the breed have neither watch nor hunting instinct.
- The breed is prone to eye diseases, shortness of breath, and being overweight.
- They are usually not good swimmers. Due to the anatomy and the large head, swimming is a lot more difficult for them than other races.
Well suited for families with small children
The pug is thoroughly friendly and gets along very well, especially with children.
The pug is a small dog, but not nearly as fragile as other small dog breeds. His lively, friendly, and playful nature makes him the ideal companion for children and families. However, parents should take care to show their children how to handle the dog properly.
Child and mop should never be left together alone. This is especially true for babies and young children. It quickly happened and the dog was pulled on the tail or ears. This can acknowledge a friendly dog like the pug with a growl or snap. Respectful handling of the animal is therefore intended.
Depending on their age, children can also take on smaller tasks and thus bear part of the responsibility. So you can feed the pug, walk with him or brush and care for it.
The breed of the pug is also considered to be very sensitive, so it can adapt well to any environment that is created for it. He is loyal to the family to which he belongs and tries to protect them from harm.
Due to its character, the pug should by no means be kept in the kennel, because it needs the people around him and would like to be right in the middle of it all without being the center of attention.
Since he also gets along with other pugs and cats without any problems, he is also suitable for a family with several animals. He gets along with dogs of other breeds too, but he doesn’t get as warm as he does with dogs of his own kind.
A pug as a therapy dog
Precisely because of its friendly nature, its casualness in dealing with people, and its cleverness, a pug could also be used very well as a therapy dog.
Since he always approaches people in a friendly manner and usually behaves very calmly, this can have a beneficial effect on the person to be treated during dog therapy.
Here you have to note, however, that the pug also has his “wild five minutes” in which he wants to and has to let off steam.
However, if you as a therapy dog give him the necessary space for this, he can relax with the patient for the rest of the time.
Who is the perfect dog for?
The pug is a very adaptable fellow. He feels very much at home in the city apartment but has nothing against a garden either. Dog lovers with less living space can therefore easily bring a puggy friend into their home.
But be careful: this doesn’t mean the pug is a couch potato. He is quite agile and keen to move, but his short-headedness sometimes throws him a spanner in the works. Because of this, some representatives of the breed are unfortunately not particularly persistent and, on top of that, do not tolerate heat very well. That is why the pug is not really a partner for brisk dog sports or long hikes. Exceptions (like the Retromops) confirm the rule as always.
Despite everything, the four-legged friend always likes to be where his people are and always wants to be part of the party. Anyone who wants to call a loyal, sociable, even-tempered, and sometimes silly dog their own will be happy with the pug. His playfulness and frugality also make him a great family dog.
If you are thinking of buying a pug, you should exercise extreme caution when choosing. There are some genetic and breed-specific ailments within the breed. If you want to exclude this as far as possible, you have to pay attention to healthy parent animals and should buy from a reputable breeder.
Are there other names for the pug?
Many dog breeds have the same names all over the world. Not so the pug. It has many different names, including for example:
- Chinese Pug
- Dutch Bulldog
The pug is a very friendly companion. As a rule, he gets along very well with conspecifics. Appropriate socialization in puppy and young dog age are of course a prerequisite. As a puppy, the pug should therefore come into contact with many different dogs. For example, puppy play lessons in the dog school help.
At least as important is getting used to everyday noises, different weather conditions, and surfaces. As a puppy, the pug should be able to gain a lot of positive experiences so that it does not upset him so easily later.
Therefore try to make the most of the puppy time. Now is the time to get him used to a transport box, public transport, or driving. It would also be nice if the pug could get to know people of different age groups. If he is to be kept as a family dog, it would be particularly important if he also got to know babies and toddlers.
Of course, training shouldn’t be neglected either. A solid basic training of the dog is an important basis for the later harmonious coexistence. The training of the pug is not only fun but also simplifies communication and interaction with the dog enormously. Basic commands, recall training, and also keeping the dog on a leash should be taught as early as possible.
Because your pug can only appear as balanced, well trained, and socialized as you let him be. Those who don’t let the training slip will be rewarded with a pug who is equally friendly to people, conspecifics, and other animals and who knows how to behave. This is the only way that the great nature and the wonderful character of the pug can fully develop.
Lots of prejudices against the pug because of its appearance
Since the pug doesn’t look like a conventional dog, it also has to fight against many prejudices. Because it is precisely because of its appearance that even those who are not familiar with dogs can generally recognize the pug as a breed.
The pug is too fat
The pug often struggles against the prejudice that he is too fat. The breed is very compact and constant anyway. If the dog has a few pounds too much, it actually quickly looks much too fat. The pug also likes to eat. That is why owners should make sure they have a slim line and sufficient exercise. Obesity is poison for the joints and the entire musculoskeletal system. It can also make existing breathing problems worse.
Which brings us to the next prejudice: The pug has breathing problems. This prejudice is partly true. Representatives of the breed who are bred to the extreme actually often have very flat noses and a decidedly short muzzle. Sometimes the nasal fold is so bulky that it even covers the nose. In the breed standard, this is now considered to be extremely undesirable.
As a brachycephalic breed, the pug does not tolerate heat very well. Panting often does not allow him to regulate his temperature adequately and can therefore quickly suffer from heatstroke.
Many pugs also suffer from nostrils that are too small or a soft palate that is too long. As a result, pugs often gasp, puff or snore. This can sometimes be eliminated or weakened by surgery. To give the pug a better quality of life, for example, a soft palate should be considered.
Fortunately, the breed standard has now been adjusted in some points. There are also breeding efforts such as the Old German Pug or the Retromops, which put more sportiness in the foreground, and would like to see the Pug again as it was 60 years ago. Persistent, with a long catch and breathing freely.
The pug is ugly
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some dismissed it as a crumple-legged face, others find the facial wrinkles and compact build to be extremely endearing and charming.
However, ideals of beauty should not be detrimental to the breed. Unfortunately, this has happened to the pug in the course of its breed history. The face became flatter and flatter, the wrinkles more and more bulging and the eyes became so big and round that they often protruded. All of this brought adverse health effects to the pug and the breed was bred from athletic and fit to sickly and impaired.
Fortunately, pugs are no longer bred to extremes by serious breeders. Fortunately, the focus is again on health and stamina. The breed standard of the FCI has therefore been adjusted in many points. So that the pug can breathe freely again and find his way back to his pug-loving old self.
The many folds of skin that a pug has on the head are often interpreted as negative, as vermin could get stuck in them. But if you love your dog, you also take care of him properly and these folds of the skin do not matter.
What should you choose, male or female?
It is up to you whether you choose a male or female pug. Both integrate equally well into a family.
With a bitch, however, you should keep in mind that she gets into heat at least twice a year and thus attracts the dogs in the neighborhood. On the other hand, the male males are not strays and are relatively relaxed towards the bitches in heat in the neighborhood.
The fact that female pugs are more cuddly than males cannot be generalized either, here it depends on the character of the respective pug and not on the gender.
How old does a pug get?
The life expectancy of the robust pug is 12-15 years. This means that the dog is above average and will hopefully please its owner for a long time.
In the following sections, you will find out how you can also positively influence the life of your pug and give him a healthy and hopefully long existence on earth.
Why does the pug have this lifespan?
The pug is one of the smaller dog breeds and they have an advantage over their heavy and large conspecifics: their life expectancy is higher! Because the pug reaches its final size relatively quickly. Whereas Great Dane, Rottweiler, or Wolfhound grow and put on weight much faster in the same period of time.
This puts a strain on the entire musculoskeletal system and makes dogs more prone to problems with their joints, bones, or backbone. Wear and tear, therefore, sets in earlier and the dogs reach senior age much sooner than smaller four-legged friends.
However, the relationship between height and weight should not be disregarded. Those who are heavy and tall in the dog world have the worst cards.
What are typical pug hereditary diseases?
Pugs are healthy dogs that rarely get sick. Nevertheless, you should always watch your pug and take a closer look immediately if there are any changes.
If the pug refuses to feed or drinks more than usual, then something is wrong.
Unfortunately, hereditary diseases in pugs cannot be completely ruled out due to overbreeding. Here you will find some well-known diseases that occur in pugs from time to time.
Responsible breeders will not breed a pug with bad genes. Due to the many preliminary examinations, the high prices with good breeders are justified! Sometimes this also increases the life expectancy of the pug.
Many small dog breeds such as the pug and the chihuahua are affected by patella dislocation. This is a malformation of the knee joint that leads to lameness in the dog. The kneecap is not correctly positioned in the knee joint.
Patella dislocation can be a congenital weakness or it can develop over the years as a result of joint wear and tear. To prevent this painful condition, it is important that the pug has plenty of exercise in order to develop good muscles that strengthen the ligaments and tendons.
The patella dislocation can be corrected with an operation so that the dog can walk without problems until the end of its life.
The hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia generally affects all breeds of dogs. As a rule, the hip joint disease often occurs in large breeds of dogs such as German Shepherds or Bernese Mountain Dogs.
But even small dogs like the pug are sometimes affected. In the pug, it is also passed on as a genetic defect. Hip dysplasia is a very painful disease for dogs.
As a dog owner, you have the opportunity to prevent this disease. With a balanced diet that does not lead to obesity and plenty of persistent exercise every day.
Due to the high rate of congenital hereditary defects, especially with the pug, attention should be paid to regular exercise from day one, during which the dog can let off steam and run a lot.
As a result of the breeding of the pug, the shape of the head has changed over the course of generations.
The typical characteristic of the pug is its short nose and broad face. But the cute appearance leads to the shortening of the nasal bone and the paranasal sinuses.
As a result of these physiological conditions, the pug develops shortness of breath, which can also be seen through snoring while sleeping. Flat-nosed pugs are particularly at risk in summer or generally in warm temperatures. They pant and salivate a lot and they can face heat stroke or circulatory collapse.
Depending on the severity, the brachycephalic syndrome can be treated with a surgical intervention at the veterinarian so that the dog’s breathing and thus its quality of life can be improved. For example, the doctor shortens the soft palate or widens the nostrils.
Brachycephalic syndrome affects all short-headed breeds. So also Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, King Charles Spaniels, Maltese, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers and Boxers. All of these dog breeds belong to the brachycephalic family.
In the meantime, there have been positive developments for pugs and breeders are again placing increasing value on a longer snout and free breathing.
Demodicosis is one of the parasitic skin diseases that are unfortunately seen more and more frequently in pugs. In this disease, the demodex mites multiply excessively and cause severe skin disorders that require treatment.
At this point, a note is necessary for dog lovers who want to get a pug. Good dog breeders take special care that demodicosis is not passed on to future generations.
Treatment of demodicosis at the veterinarian’s can be very tedious and, above all, expensive. So that your pug does not suffer from this unpleasant skin disease in the future, you should choose your puppy responsibly.
It is believed that the pug has developed an immunodeficiency. Registered breeders take sick dogs out of breeding because of this. Small puppies are infected with their mother as early as the first three days of life.
The corneal inflammation of the eyes
The pug’s big, cute eyes are unfortunately its big weak point. Therefore, the eyes must be cleaned regularly and freed from secretions.
On the other hand, it can lead to corneal inflammation, which also requires treatment.
As soon as you, as a dog owner, notice that your pug’s eyes are often watery, look tired and produce a thick discharge, you should see the vet.
If you wait too long to receive treatment, a corneal ulcer can develop, which can cause the dog to lose vision.
Spondylosis is a disease of the spine in which mobility is severely restricted.
This condition often affects older dogs. Spondylosis is caused by damage to the intervertebral discs. Over time, the spine stiffens and hurts with every movement.
So it can be that the pug loses its joy of movement and reacts with aggression when it is picked up. Often spondylosis also leads to an inability to control urine and bowel movements.
Again, being overweight has a negative effect on the spine and aggravates the symptoms.
Spondylosis can occur in all dog breeds and is not one of the special pug diseases.
Which diseases shorten a dog’s life?
Of course, there are serious diseases such as cancer, tumors, distemper, etc. that can drastically shorten the life of the pug. Brachycephaly can also – depending on its severity – lead to shortness of breath and death by suffocation.
But it doesn’t always have to be a serious and obvious illness that sends the pug over the rainbow bridge early on. Any ailment can be dangerous to the pug. That is when a problem remains untreated for a long time or a doctor is consulted too late. Even a simple parasite infestation can cause considerable damage to the dog and cause long-term consequences. Poor nutrition or a lack of nutrients make your four-legged friend insidious as well.
It is therefore important to always visit a veterinarian’s practice early if you have symptoms. So that therapy can be initiated quickly and the pug is happy and cheerful again quickly. Diseases can often be nipped in the bud if recognized in good time.
What has a negative effect on the life expectancy of the pug?
- Cancer and tumors
- bad condition
- Chronic diseases
- genetic / hereditary conditions
- unsanitary / inappropriate keeping conditions
- Too little movement
- too little mental workload
- Parasite infestation
- Plate nose / brachycephaly
- Inferior feed
- not clean drinking water
- Infectious diseases (you can protect the pug against some with a vaccination).
How can I protect the pug from diseases? – 7 tips
Breeder choice: Buy the pug only from a reputable breeder whose dogs have passed a breeding suitability test and who values good rearing, health, and strength of character. Make sure the pug’s nose hasn’t been bred to the extreme, or look for a retromops.
Preventing parasites: The pug should be checked for parasites such as fleas and ticks every day. This works very well in the short coat. When collecting piles of waste, you can also watch out for annoying lodgers (worms). If left untreated, parasites lead to nutrient deficiency, emaciation, secondary diseases (e.g. Lyme disease), organ damage, etc.
Vaccinations: A little prick every few years protects the little pug from dangerous and sometimes fatal infectious diseases. Old dogs and puppies in particular are at risk and often succumb to the diseases. Ask the vet for an individual vaccination plan that is tailored to your pug.
Needs of the old pug: Watch out for signs of age in your pug and adjust the housing conditions. Appropriate exercise, high-fiber diet, more rest, and other small adjustments make senior life easier. Also take senior consultations with the vet. Here, breed-typical diseases and signs of wear and tear are checked and these are contained.
Care from head to paw: It’s not just the pug’s coat that needs attention. Look into your dog’s ears and mouth and examine its teeth. Pay attention to the dog’s “footwear” and clean the nose, eyes, etc. as needed. If you care for the pug all around and at the same time keep an eye out for changes (e.g. bumps, discharge), injuries, parasites or changes in behavior (e.g. pressure-sensitive when stroking), you make an important contribution to keeping your four-legged friend healthy.
Exercise and nutrition: A good condition and fitness as well as a healthy and balanced diet are important cornerstones of a vital pug. Avoid being overweight and also ensure that the old pug has enough activity and exercise.
Cancer prevention: Unfortunately, the disease does not stop at any race. Senior dogs are more often affected than young dogs. Look for changes in the skin and discoloration, hair loss, bumps, and lumps under the skin, and see a veterinarian immediately if there are changes. Swelling that does not go away on its own can also be benign, but this should be assessed by a veterinarian.
The medicine cabinet for the pug
For quick first aid in an emergency, you should
- two to three gauze compresses
- two to three elastic bandages
- duct tape
- a rounded pair of tweezers
- bandage scissors
- a tick tweezer
- a wound ointment – calendula tincture or another tincture for cleaning wounds
- an ice pack
- Wound disinfectants
- Clinical thermometer
- Disposable syringes
- Pill shredder
- Disposable gloves for you
- Muzzle / mouth loop
- Hand disinfectant for you
- Rescue blanket
- Magnifying glass
- Hemostasis pen
- Activated carbon
In this way, you can take care of your dog in the event of an injury and then go to the vet.
Dog first aid courses – do I need it?
Of course, every dog owner never hopes to get into a situation where the life of their own dog is at stake and rapid intervention is necessary. But unfortunately, we can’t choose that. In addition, accidents and emergencies usually happen when no veterinarian is in the immediate vicinity or can be reached quickly. For example, on dog walks or at home on the weekend.
First aid courses for dog owners are offered in many cities and towns. Here you will learn helpful steps and assistance, such as tending to wounds, bandaging paws properly, removing foreign objects, or what to do in the event of a choking attack or poisoning, for example. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is also discussed. There are even dummies on which you can practice or what you have learned can be trained on your own specimen (e.g. put on a bandage).
So you are prepared for an emergency, you don’t panic so easily and you can help your pug (or another dog, of course) in a sensible way. What you have learned in practice should be refreshed regularly. For example, with the help of YouTube videos or a good book that you can read up on from time to time.
The normal temperature for the pug
A healthy adult pug has a normal temperature between 37.5 and 39 ° C. This resting temperature is measured when the pug is healthy, relaxed, and calm and has not just made an effort.
Your normal temperature is slightly higher, namely around 39.5 ° C.
It is important to know your dog’s normal temperature so that you can assess whether or not he already has a fever. A pug with a resting temperature of 37.5 degrees will probably already feel miserable at 39 ° C, while another representative of the breed is still fine with it.
When does the pug have a fever?
1. Slight fever: 39 – 40 ° C
Sometimes these temperatures are not at all a fever. After a lot of excitement or exertion, the body temperature can briefly rise to such levels. However, if the pug has such a value at rest, you should watch it. If, however, apart from the fever, he is doing very badly, a visit to the practice is advisable.
2. Fever: From 40 ° C
As a precaution, you should always call the doctor from such temperatures and report whether there are any other symptoms besides the increased body temperature. Most dogs show from 40 ° C that they are not doing particularly well. They are limp, feel warm when petted, possibly refuse to feed and sleep a lot.
3. Critical: around 41 ° C
If the mercury climbs slowly but surely to the 41 ° C mark, it becomes critical, at least if the temperature should remain at this level for a long time. Consult a veterinarian at the latest (!) Now!
4. Acutely life-threatening: from 42 ° C
Acting quickly is very important at temperatures approaching the 42 ° C mark. Because of such values, the proteins clump together in the body. A process that cannot be reversed. In this case, the dog dies. Rapid intervention by a doctor is therefore imperative. He will give antipyretic drugs.
Detecting a fever without a thermometer?
There are a few signs of a fever in the pug to look out for when a thermometer isn’t on hand:
- the pug is above average tired/slack
- he drinks more than usual.
- his ears feel hot.
- when stroking the body is very warm.
- Eating/laziness to drink
Is a dog fever bad?
Not necessarily. Fever is the body’s natural response to harmful invaders. The increased temperature helps the body and immune system to fight pathogens better. Therefore, a fever does not have to be lowered in all cases.
Long-lasting or very high fever (approx. From 40 ° C) is exhausting and can be dangerous. The vet will prescribe medication that will lower the fever in these cases.
Dogs that do not eat or drink anything also run the risk of dehydration. The vet could use an IV to rebalance the water balance. Particular caution is required with puppies.
Measuring a pug’s fever – how’s it going?
Taking a fever is not difficult. As long as the dog plays along halfway and does not defend itself vehemently. If your four-legged friend shows little enthusiasm at the sight of the thermometer, a second person should help during the measurement and hold the pug. If in doubt, you can also tie the dog. If the pug snaps, use a muzzle.
Step 1: Use a thermometer with a flexible tip (children’s thermometer). You can use disposable covers if you like (so there is no need to clean and disinfect at the end).
Step 2: Slightly grease or moisten the thermometer.
Step 3: Make sure the dog is standing still. Otherwise, tie or let hold.
Step 4: Hold the base of your pug’s tail firmly and carefully insert the thermometer.
Step 5: Read the temperature after the signal tone and call a veterinarian if necessary.
Danger to life: poisoning
Many dog owners fear that their darling could pick up and eat something poisonous on the roadside while walking. Poison bait from dog haters is a real danger and unfortunately, many four-legged friends get sick or die every year. A horror show for every animal lover.
But it doesn’t have to be a dreaded bait. There are many indigestible and poisonous substances in the household that can be fatal for a little pug. These include:
- Cleaning products
- various foods (see pug nutrition)
- Home and garden plants
The dose makes the poison. If a Rottweiler eats a little dark chocolate with 50 kg, this may not knock him down, but the pug only weighs between 8-10 kg. Therefore, even smaller amounts are very dangerous to him.
How can I prevent poisoning?
Make your house absolutely dog-proof. This also includes moving unsuitable plants out of reach or, better yet, disposing of them immediately. Toxic substances must be stored in such a way that they are absolutely inaccessible. The rubbish bin must also be secure against tipping over. Because dangerous things could also lurk in it.
Train the command “off” to perfection. So that the pug doesn’t rush for supposedly tasty bites on the go, you should teach him to only eat after a release signal. You can practice this on your own bowl at home. When in doubt, the little pug has to stay on a leash temporarily or even have a muzzle. Of course only until the commandos are in place.
What are the symptoms of poisoning?
- strong panting
- excessive salivation
- Difficulty breathing / shortness of breath
- very fast pulse
- lowered body temperature
- Vomiting (often with blood)
- Blood in other excretions (urine / feces)
In warm temperatures, many pugs pant and salivate more often. Likewise, many flat-nosed breeds have breathing problems, especially in the summer. This can make it difficult to recognize warning signs. In case of doubt, it is better to visit the vet once too much than once too little.
The same applies even if there is only a vague assumption that the dog may have eaten something poisonous.
Poisoning does not always cause discomfort immediately. Rat poison, for example, takes a time to develop its effect. This is fatal because the owner may not associate the symptoms with poisoning.
What to do in the event of a poisoning
- Stay calm!
- do not induce vomiting (this would be disadvantageous with some poisons)
- Keep the dog warm (rescue blanket)
- activated charcoal can help with orally ingested poisons. Ask the veterinarian about the
- dosage and note it in the dog’s first aid kit and store it.
- drive immediately (!) to the nearest practice/clinic.
- Call them beforehand and make the team aware of the emergency
- take a sample of what the dog ate (wear gloves!)
- Vomit, feces, or urine can also provide clues about the poison.
Is Pug Diarrhea a Concern?
Diarrhea is a symptom and not a disease in itself. If your pug has unformed feces, this can have various causes. The harmless reasons for diarrhea in pugs include
- an abrupt change in food
- the pug ate or drank something laxative (e.g. milk)
- sensitive dogs may be sensitive to stress or great excitement
If diarrhea occurs only rarely and if it occurs only once, it is usually not a cause for concern. Usually, the next pile is normal again or the next day the spook is over. As a support, you can temporarily withdraw food from the pug and/or offer light food.
However, diarrhea can also have serious causes:
- various stomach and intestinal diseases
- Infectious diseases (e.g. parvovirus)
When should I go to the vet?
If it is a puppy, you should always see a doctor if you have diarrhea. Dog children dehydrate very quickly and dehydration can quickly become dangerous for them.
And the adult pug?
- if he has diarrhea for more than 2 days
- Worms are visible in the feces
- the pug does not drink anything or only very little (dehydration!)
- There is slime in the feces
- the feces are bloody (light red or dark/black)
- if you have very watery diarrhea
- the pug can no longer control his excretions
- no feces are deposited, but the pug crouches down and squeezes all the time
- very often watery/unformed feces are deposited
- diarrhea keeps coming back at intervals
- Pay attention to hydration!
The pug should have access to freshwater around the clock. If he hardly drinks, makes it palatable to drink with a little light chicken broth (if possible, no finished product – too much salt). If in doubt, go to the vet. This can compensate for the loss of fluid with the help of an infusion.
Treating dog diarrhea yourself – is that possible?
Withdraw food from the dog for 24 hours. This allows the stomach and intestines to calm down and there is no food that is immediately transported out again. Then you can start with small portions of light food. Consists of rice, carrots, and boiled boneless chicken. However, some dogs can tolerate it without any problems when the usual food ends up in the bowl again.
If this does not provide any relief, the symptoms worsen or others are added (e.g. fever), it is time to go to the practice.
How do I recognize an ear infection in the pug?
Problems with the ears usually do not go undetected for long. Because the pug will show clear signs that something is wrong with the eavesdroppers.
- Very frequent scratching of the ears
- Head tilt
- Frequent, intense shaking of the head several times in a row
- Muffy odor from the ears
- In severe cases, balance disorders and coordination problems
- Lots of ear wax
- Crumbly substance in the ear canal (often indicative of parasites)
- Scratches, wounds, redness in the ear (often as a result of scratching)
- Ear is swollen
- Ears are pressure sensitive and warm to the touch
- In the case of ear problems, a veterinarian should always be consulted without exception. Such diseases are usually very painful and have an enormous impact on wellbeing and quality of life.
Causes of ear infections/ear problems include:
- Parasites (mites)
- foreign body
- bacterial inflammation
- Fungal infections
- small wounds that have become infected
The pug’s drooping ears impair the ventilation of the ears anyway. If there is an overproduction of ear wax or clogged ear canals, the situation is made even worse. A warm, humid, oxygen-poor environment is created in which germs can spread well.
Always go to the vet if you have an ear infection!
So go to the doctor and have the whole thing treated. The ear problems cannot be dealt with home remedies. The professional should take care of that.
The veterinarian will first identify the exact cause of the itchy ears and then suggest appropriate treatment. Usually, the ears are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If parasites are the problem, appropriate means are used. If there is another disease, ointments or ear drops will help.
An antibiotic is sometimes given to nip a possible infection in the bud. In the case of severe itching, on the other hand, cortisone can provide relief.
Can I protect the pug from ear infections?
The dog’s ears are usually self-cleaning. Nevertheless, you should regularly inspect the eavesdroppers and watch out for changes. If the auricle is dirty, you can wash it out with a damp cloth and then dry it off thoroughly. Even after a walk in the rain or a bath, the ears should always be dried.
You can also find ear cleaning lotions in stores that are drizzled into the pug’s ear and massaged in well. These dissolve dirt and soft ear wax. If the dog shakes itself after the treatment, dirt and lard fly out of the ear. Wipe everything well and you’re done.
Help, my pug vomited! – What to do?
Do not worry. In many cases, vomiting once is not a problem at first. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a disease behind this incident.
There are some harmless causes like …
Snare: The pug gulps down its food hastily and swallows a lot of air in the process. In addition, the food is not sufficiently chopped up by eating quickly. An anti-swallowing bowl can slow down the meal
Incorrect temperature: Dog food should be at room temperature. If you store opened cans or BARF meals in the refrigerator and feed them cold, you sometimes vomit.
Hunger: Sometimes four-legged friends vomit if they haven’t eaten for a long time and their stomachs are acidic. The dog will then vomit yellow bile. To avoid this, you can reduce the intervals between meals.
Feeling unwell: If the pug has a slightly upset stomach, he may eat grass to induce nausea. Often times this solves the problem and the dog is then back to normal.
Typical puppy behavior: Disgusting to us to look at, but actually quite normal for puppies. The little pugs sometimes choke up their food after a meal and then eat it again.
If the pug only vomits once and has no further symptoms, you can usually leave it at that. However, there can also be serious illnesses behind gagging and vomiting that should not be taken lightly:
Stress, anxiety, and other strong emotional states.
Parasites (if the worm infestation is very advanced, the worms are sometimes vomited).
Stuck foreign body (the dogs often choke here without vomiting).
Foreign body swallowed.
Other diseases such as parvovirus etc.
When do you have to go to the vet if you vomit?
If the pug vomits several times a day or even after 48 hours, a practice should be visited. If you suspect poisoning, if you have blood or if you have other symptoms such as fever, cramps, lethargy, refusal to feed, etc. if your pug is still drinking, but choking the water again shortly afterward, this is also an alarm signal.
Strangled worms indicate a parasite infestation that has gotten out of control. The problem should be remedied by the doctor as soon as possible with worming and other medication.
If you have breathing problems, it is best to call the practice immediately. Pugs, which already suffer severely from brachycephaly, often puff more often when they have additional breathing problems, making snoring breathing noises or gasping for air. A foreign object could be stuck that cannot be choked out.
Is pug sick? When is a visit to the vet useful?
As a rule, you should consult a veterinarian quickly, especially if you have the inflammation of the eyes described above. The beginning of the treatment is crucial for good healing success.
The pug’s skin must be checked regularly for ticks or parasites. If you do not trust yourself to completely remove a tick, a visit to the veterinarian is indicated here as well.
The same applies to an inflammation on the skin or if the dog loses its fur locally and gets bare spots.
Not to be forgotten are the regular check-ups, during which your dog’s routine vaccinations and deworming are carried out. Especially if you have not yet had much experience in dog ownership, doctoring the dog on your own can have serious consequences.
Over time you will learn to distinguish serious symptoms from small trifles.
Typical symptoms of illness in dogs
You have to be extra careful with dogs. Unfortunately, many specimens do not show until very late when they feel sick or are in pain. But if you know your pug and have lived together for a long time, you know all the quirks and behavioral patterns and will quickly notice any deviations.
When it comes to caring, you can very well incorporate a routine health check. When grooming, for example, check the dog for parasites or look for bumps under the skin. Check the eyes, ears, and muzzle at the same time or inspect the paws more closely. Wounds, hair loss, parasites, and the like often quickly catch the eye here.
Also beneficial for health care: Pay attention to your dog’s excretions when you go for a walk. What does the urine look like? Does the dog have diarrhea or do you see worms when you pick up the heap?
Actually, you should always go to the vet if you are unsure. This is especially true for new dogs who are not yet good at assessing situations or symptoms. So if you suspect an illness, call the practice. Better to go there once for nothing than once too little.
All of the following symptoms can be mild or severe. If several signs of an illness appear at the same time or if it is a single but very serious problem, then let’s go to the practice. Illnesses are overcome quicker the quicker they are recognized and treated. Therefore, it is better not to put off anything on the long bench.
Changes in the behavior of the pug
- unusually tired and listless
- Suddenly shows aggressive behavior or is snappy
- listlessness (does not want to play or go for a walk)
- Shows pain when stroking or touching (sensitive to pressure)
Problems with the musculoskeletal system
- protective posture
- Limping / limping / lame
Balance and coordination disorders
- Head is held askance
- Changed eating and drinking behavior
- Drinks more
- Food refusal/water refusal
- reluctance to eat
- eats normally but loses weight
- profuse salivation/panting
- vomiting and gagging
- very concentrated urine (orange or bright yellow)
- traces of blood in the urine
- very frequent urination of very small amounts
- Urinating causes pain
- blood admixtures
- Covered or streaked with mucus
- recurring diarrhea
- Very strong foul smell
- The dog keeps squatting down, but there is no poop
- fatty feces
- very watery diarrhea
- worms in feces
- foreign bodies in the feces
Problems with paws, claws, and pads
- cracked / split pads
- Dog chews on the legs/paws
- injured/torn off / crooked claw(s)
Fur and skin
- shaggy, lackluster fur
- constant scratching, licking
- hair loss
- localized bald spots
- cloudy lens
- red eyes
- one eye appears larger / bulging eye
- watery eyes/discharge
Mouth and teeth
- broken tooth
- strong bad breath
- Dental plaque / tartar
- pale to white gums (circulatory collapse)
- profuse panting and salivating
- A foreign body is stuck (in the throat, between teeth, in the gums, etc.)
- misaligned teeth
Do I need health insurance/surgery insurance for the pug?
Worried about vet bills? Your financial cushion is insufficient for medical emergencies? Then you should consider taking out insurance for the pug.
Surgery insurance is quite affordable and can be had for little money. If your pug needs an operation, the insurance will cover all related costs. So also the diagnostic procedures in advance, the operation itself as well as medication for the follow-up treatment, etc. OP insurance does not cover chronic illnesses or medication and treatment methods that are not related to an operation. Routine interventions such as castration are also not covered by the insurance unless there is a medical indication (e.g. heat problems).
Health insurance for dogs is quite expensive, but it is very extensive and often even covers routine interventions, vaccinations, or alternative treatment methods. Depending on the provider, it offers all-around protection and would also pay for chronic illnesses or medication to be taken regularly, etc.
Bear in mind that veterinary costs can quickly reach the high three-digit range or, depending on the operation, even four-digit. Since the pug belongs to the brachycephalic breeds, interventions such as nostril widening, soft palate shortening, etc. are only accepted if the pug had no symptoms at the time the contract was signed, no treatment/surgery was planned and a veterinarian found it healthy. If problems arise later in the pug’s life, some insurance companies take over such interventions.
Checklist for a long, healthy, and pug-loving dog life
- Only buy from a reputable breeder.
- Eat the pug in a healthy and balanced way.
- Make sure you have fresh drinking water.
- Keep the dog fit with exercise, exercise, and play.
- Ensure mental workload.
- Avoid being overweight.
- Be sparing with treats.
- No food from the table!
- Pugs with a good upbringing can enjoy more freedom (e.g. free running)
- Basic obedience can help avoid accidents (e.g. recall in any situation).
- Get your pug vaccinated (basic immunization).
- Care for the pug from head to paw and watch for the first signs of illness
- Prevent dental problems such as tartar with chews, brushing your teeth, or special chews.
- Has the pug dewormed/escaped regularly?
- Clean all dog accessories regularly.
- Take health care at the vet.
- Ensure a family connection and a loving home.
- Make your home dog-proof.
- Only transport the pug in the car with a safety harness or use a transport box.
Pug Nutrition and Feed
What is important for a healthy Pug diet?
A dog is not a human. Eating habits, as well as physiological differences, cause various demands on the diet.
Compared to the human organism, an adult pug only has a low requirement for carbohydrates.
The lower density of the intestinal flora, the lower capacity of the stomach, and the lack of digestive enzymes in the mouth are other fundamental differences to humans.
With regard to feeding, it should also be noted that a small dog should not be fed like a very large one.
A pug is not a German shepherd. We should be extremely careful with our tendency to anthropomorphize the pug, as this can be extremely detrimental to the dog’s health.
Proper nutrition keeps the pug healthy for a long time
A healthy and species-appropriate diet can significantly improve the pug’s well-being and extend its lifespan.
Caution is advised with inferior and cheap wet and dry food. It is not uncommon for slaughterhouse waste to be used here.
When it comes to feeding, you shouldn’t save too much. The major components of many commercial convenience foods include rice, corn, and grains, as well as their by-products.
These ingredients are not healthy for the pug and some of them cannot be used, especially since the digestive tract is designed to absorb animal proteins. Good dog food is also free of “EWG additives” such as calcium, potassium, or sodium sorbate. A look at the declaration of the product is recommended.
Bad dog food can usually be recognized by the fact that the pug smells unpleasantly from the mouth and gets flatulence. Dry food fulfills an important function, especially since its supply causes a reduction in the excreted dog waste.
With a long-term good and varied diet, a more vital appearance and a shiny coat can be observed. Then the pug will also have shiny and clear eyes, without adhesions and discharge. The tongue and gums are beautifully pink and the teeth remain in good condition. In addition, the ears and nose are then free of encrustations and watery secretions.
Does the breed tend to be overweight?
Yes, the pug tends to be overweight. A pug is often classified as lazy and gluttonous. As a result, this breed in particular tends to become overweight quickly. The result is tiredness and a loss of the joy of movement. In order to counteract this, in addition to a nutritious and balanced diet, you should also pay attention to extensive and regular walks. High-quality food fills you up faster and sufficient exercise keeps the pug fit.
Diet of the castrated pug
Weight problems are also increasingly common in neutered dogs. Studies show that spayed female dogs are twice as likely to gain weight than non-spayed female dogs. The reason for this is the lack of sex hormones, which regulate metabolism and appetite, among other things. This results in an excessive appetite with reduced energy requirements at the same time.
It is, therefore, all the more important to ensure that castrated pugs have a balanced diet, the administration of L-carnitine to burn fat, a moderate fat content in the diet, and a high content of easily digestible proteins.
What are the benefits of dry food?
- Storage of large bags possible
- Light storage
- Little or subtle odor of its own
- Leftovers can be easily removed
- High energy content, so smaller amounts of feed are sufficient
- Often a little cheaper than wet food
- Easily portionable
- Can be used as a reward or training snack
- Suitable as provisions for trips or excursions with the dog
- Less packaging materials (more environmentally friendly) compared to cans and co.
- Smaller amounts already fill the pug up
Are there any disadvantages with dry food?
- Little taste of its own, which is why flavor enhancers are often used
- Increased need for fluids after eating. The disadvantage for dogs who are already lazy about drinking.
- Preservatives often included
- Often more difficult to chew for seniors, dogs with dental problems, and puppies.
- Under certain circumstances, the pug eats more dry food than it needs, since the feeling of satiety often only occurs with a delay, namely when the chunks swell in the stomach.
- Labeling of ingredients often leaves a lot to be desired
- Increased defecation with many fillers.
The advantages of wet food
- Has a more intense taste than dry food and is therefore often preferred. Good for dogs with an appetite or who are unwilling to eat
- Has a positive effect on the water balance of the dog, especially in the case of four-legged friends who are lazy about drinking
- Squishy, soft consistency can also be eaten by sick and old dogs and puppies
- Larger amounts can be eaten without becoming overweight (less high-energy food)
- Hassle-free storage possible
- Easy storage (however, does not apply to opened products, which should be used quickly)
What are the disadvantages of wet food?
- A lot of packaging material is not very environmentally friendly
- Smells strong sometimes
- Leftovers next to the bowl crust quickly and are less easy to remove
- Lots of defecation (depending on the quality of the feed and the number of fillers)
- Clear labeling of ingredients is sometimes missing
- Flavor enhancers, preservatives, etc. partially included.
How Much Should a Pug Eat?
How many grams of feed should end up in the bowl every day? What does the feeding amount depend on? Here are a few points that can affect the daily ration:
How old is the pug?
How much exercise does he have daily (level of activity)?
Is he normal weight or maybe overweight or underweight?
Has the dog been neutered?
Does the pug have a disease?
What is the dog fed with?
Are there lots of snacks/training treats in between?
Puppies have completely different food requirements than seniors or neutered dogs. A fat pug needs less food than a thin dog or one that is on the go a lot every day. Sick four-legged friends may have to be fed and are allowed to eat more. For some diseases, a diet makes sense. And wet food contains far fewer calories than dry food, which is why more canned food can be consumed than chunks of dry food. Treats, on the other hand, must be deducted from the daily ration of normal food.
A general answer to this question is therefore not possible. With ready-made feed, you should follow the feeding recommendations on the packaging. Start with the value at the lower end of the scale and if necessary correct upwards if it is not enough. To do this, of course, you have to weigh the pug regularly.
And what about BARF?
The foundation for a healthy diet should be laid at a young age. A pug puppy needs about twice as much energy as an adult pug. In this context, proteins are particularly important for energy supply and cell structure.
However, here, too, should not be exaggerated, otherwise, rapid growth leads to a destabilization of the bones.
Slight mineralization of the bones would lead to deformities and malformations. Easily digestible and therefore high-quality protein is preferable. The intake of vitamin D, minerals (potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium), and trace elements (manganese, zinc, fluorine, copper, iodine, and iron) is also important.
Mineral and vitamin preparations are available in stores that can be added to the feed, albeit in moderation. Up to the 12th week of life, the pug should be fed four times a day, then three times a day and from six months on, twice a day. It is important to pay attention to fixed times.
Irregular feeding and snacks between meals only encourage begging. If there is food left over, reduce the amount from the next time. After eating, the puppy should rest for at least an hour, as play activities can lead to dangerous stomach rotations. The food should never stay in the bowl for more than half an hour, otherwise, it will spoil.
Diet for the old pug
With age, the demands on the feed change again. You will probably find that your senior pug sleeps and dozes longer, he takes it easy and it takes longer to recharge his batteries. Of course, you should still ensure a reasonable amount of exercise to keep the pug fit, but the amount of exercise can be reduced. The same applies to the feed.
Many seniors still like to eat at the bowl just as much as they used to. The amount of feed should be adjusted so that it does not become overweight. Because not only less exercise leads to more pounds, in old age the metabolism also works slower.
Feed low-calorie food. It should be digestible and easily digestible and contain a lot of fiber. This gets the sluggish bowel going and ensures better digestion. Fats and phosphorus, on the other hand, may contain less.
As you get older, make sure that your pug can still eat dry food well. Many senior dogs have problems with their teeth and can no longer bite as forcefully. So moisten the food a little before the meal or switch to wet food. This has the advantage that it provides the dog with more fluid.
When barfing, you should also make sure that your pug can still chew all of the components well. Care should be taken with bones. They could damage the old pug’s teeth, and unfortunately, too many bones can quickly lead to constipation in old dogs.
Important: Make sure your dog has good dental hygiene and let the vet look in the mouth more often. So that the pug can bite powerfully for as long as possible and eat with joy.