How to Live with a Pug Dog

Five Methods:Feeding Your PugTraining Your PugProviding Basic Care for Your PugDealing with Respiratory ProblemsConsidering a Pug’s Special Needs

Pugs are a hugely popular breed at the moment. It's no wonder, considering their flat baby-like faces and large brown eyes, which make most people feel like they want to give the pug a hug. However, there are some problems with pugs. They are prone to health problems, specifically breathing difficulties, and they can be single-minded, difficult to train, and energetic. All of which means that it pays to know what you're taking on when you get a pug dog.

Method 1
Feeding Your Pug

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    Provide the right food for your pug. Feed a good quality food. Look at the label and seek out a food that lists a named meat as top of the ingredient list. Avoid foods that are high in cereal or soya. Not only is this an indication of a less good quality food, but these ingredients ferment and can add to your pug's flatulence problems. [1]
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    Limit the amount of treats and food you give to your pug. Pugs are greedy and those big eyes will try to convince you that its still hungry. Pugs easily become overweight if fed too much, so learn how to body condition score your pug so that you closely monitor any slight weight gain so that you can cut his rations and lose the weight before it builds up into a big problem.
    • That said, pugs love to eat just about anything, so try giving it fresh vegetables for training treats, which keeps it motivated and healthy.
    • Keep your pug’s food in dog proof containers and out reach. Otherwise your pug may break into the food container and gorge itself on the contents.
    • It is especially important to keep your pug at a lean weight because of their breathing problems. Carrying extra weight puts extra demands on their body for oxygen, and extra body fat compresses the lungs, airway, and throat, which adds to his problems pulling in air.[2]
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    Know that many pugs suffer from flatulence. It is common for pug dogs to have more problems with gas because of their breathing problems. In their struggle to breath, pugs often inhale air down into their stomach and gut. This gas then passes through the digestive tract and it is vented as flatulence.[3]
    • Try placing air fresheners around your house or keeping a room spray at the ready to get rid of any unpleasant smells caused by your pug’s flatulence.

Method 2
Training Your Pug

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    Expect some training challenges. Pugs can be difficult to train. This is because they are strong willed rather than stupid. In fact, you could say they are highly intelligent because they work out what they want and then go ahead and do it regardless of your opinion. This does not mean you should give up on training, but just be extra patient and be prepared to put in the hours.[4]
    • Thoroughly acquaint yourself with recommended training techniques such as reward-based training. Getting you pug onside with rewards and then getting him to work for those rewards is what will crack the training in the end.
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    Set house rules and stick to them. If your pug isn't allowed on the furniture, make sure every member of the family applies this rule under all circumstances, even on the weekend. A pug given inconsistent instruction will select the version it prefers and inconsistency will make the training even harder.
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    Be patient when house training your pug. Pugs have a reputation for taking longer than other breeds to be housetrained. Crate training and using positive reinforcement may help you to housetrain your pug a bit faster.

Method 3
Providing Basic Care for Your Pug

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    Give your pug regular, mild exercise. Because of their breathing difficulties, pugs do much better going for long walks at a steady walking pace so they don't get too out of breath. They are not equipped for prolonged energetic exercise, such as prolonged sessions of chase with other dogs where they don't get to stop and catch their breath. [5]
    • This doesn't mean you shouldn't throw a ball or let your pug play fetch, but be vigilant and if it is struggling then pause between throws to let it catch its breath.
    • Pugs are also extrovert dogs who need to get out and about, so they can be nosy and see what's going on and with whom.
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    Play with your pug. Let your pug chase you around the house as you weave through the furniture and around corners. Stop suddenly and start chasing it around just as it was chasing you. A good old fashion game of tag will never let a pug down.
    • Make play dates often for your pug to romp with other dogs. They forget that creatures other than you exist out there and need extra socialization.
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    Plan to spend lots of time with your pug. Pugs are bred to be companions, which also means that they like company and will want to be with you most of the time. They can be clingy and follow you around like a shadow, so be prepared for that kind of attention.
    • If you have a pug puppy then you may want to crate train it so that it has a den where it is happy to spend some time by itself. Spend time in a different room so that from a young age the pug accepts not always being able to see you.[6]
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    Take your pug to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. Taking your pug to the vet for regular check-ups can help to ensure that it will live a long, happy life. Make sure that your pug is registered with a vet and has regular health check-ups to keep it healthy. Only your vet can make sure that your pug is up to date with preventative measures, such as vaccinations and parasite control.
    • Pugs are also popular targets for dog thieves, so consider having a microchip fitted in your pug as a permanent means of identification and to prove ownership.
    • You may also want to consider taking out pet health insurance for your pug. Pet insurance is a good idea for a pug because they suffer from breathing problems, which may require emergency stabilization and even surgery.[7]
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    Brush your pug every day. Pugs are short-haired, but they still require regular brushing to get rid of dead hair. Pugs are known to shed a lot of hair, so you will need to brush your pug every day to prevent hair from ending up on your floors and furniture. Invest in a good brush and make brushing your pug a part of your daily routine to help keep his shedding under control.[8]
    • Invest in lint rollers, a good vacuum cleaner, leather or faux leather furniture, hardwood or linoleum flooring, light or dark-colored clothes (depending on the color of your pug), a bathtub mesh hat that fits over the drain, and a good dog brush.
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    Keep your pet clean in its nooks and crannies. You know how you have to clean a baby's crevices and folds with soft cloths and Q-Tips? Get to know your pug's folds and crevices. You'll be cleaning the pug's face folds a lot.

Method 4
Dealing with Respiratory Problems

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    Be aware that pugs are prone to breathing problems. Pugs are more prone to breathing difficulties because they have a narrower windpipe than most dogs. They also have narrow nostrils and a long soft palate, which takes up lots of room at the back of their throats. In fact, pugs snore and are noisy breathers because of the amount of soft tissue at the back of the throat. This tissue vibrates whenever a pug takes a breath.[9]
    • If your pug’s snoring bothers you, consider wearing earplugs at night to block out the sound or train your pug to sleep in his crate.
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    Learn to spot signs of respiratory distress. With mild exertion many pugs pant heavily in order to satisfy their body's need for oxygen. Be aware that if you persist in exercising your pug once it shows signs of shortness of breath it could collapse. Most of the time, you do not need to worry about your pug’s noisy breathing. However, you should learn to recognize the signs of respiratory distress in case your pug has a problem. These signs include:[10]
    • Noisy breathing with a panicky facial expression
    • Blue gums or tongue
    • Thick sticky saliva
    • Reluctance to move
    • Exaggerated movements of the chest and abdomen
    • Restlessness as if unable to get comfortable
    • Collapse
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    Take immediate action if your pug shows signs of respiratory distress. Make sure the pug is cool and stop all activity. If the pug doesn't improve in a few minutes, contact a vet as an emergency.
    • Keep calm as the dog will pick up on your panic and this will panic it.
    • If your pug regularly struggles with its breathing consider consulting with your veterinarian about corrective surgery. There are operations that trim back the excessive amount of tissue at the back of the throat, and also an operation to widen the nostrils so it easier for a pug to breath in.
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    Keep your pug out of hot weather. Dogs can't sweat and so to loose heat they pant. In hot weather, pugs are doubly compromised because they can have difficulty breathing at the best of times and then add in the extra need to cool down, which they are unable to do, and they are liable to get heatstroke.[11]
    • To avoid this, never exercise your pug on a hot day. Make sure it stays in the shade or in a cool room.
    • If your pug starts to pant excessively, dampen its coat with water to cool it, and dampen its tongue to keep it comfortable as it quickly dries out.
    • Sit the pug in front of a fan on a low blow setting. Also make sure the pug has water available at all times.
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    Keep your pug at a healthy weight. It is important to keep your pug at a lean weight because of the breathing problems associated with the breed. Carrying extra weight puts extra demands on your pug’s body for oxygen, and extra body fat compresses the lungs, airway, and throat, which adds to his problems pulling in air.[12]
    • Talk to your veterinarian if think your pug is overweight to get recommendations for a healthy weight reduction feeding plan for your pug.

Method 5
Considering a Pug’s Special Needs

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    Provide special steps to help your pug get up and down from high areas. Buy doggie steps or figure out some way for your pug to get up on your bed or high furniture easily. The steps will save you a fortune in vet bills later on, for too much jumping up and down will weaken joints and hips.[13]
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    Understand that pugs are fearless. Keep them leashed when around pit bulls, rotties, bovines, horses, buffalo, wolves, or grizzly bears. They really are unaware of their weight class. They will want to protect you at any cost.
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    Invest in plenty of squeaky toys and chew sticks. You will want to rotate your pug's toys so that they can be brought in at intervals as "new" toys to keep your dog's interest. You should take care and make sure your pug doesn't chew toys and swallow small pieces.
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    Embrace your pug's affection and show affection to it as well. Let your pug dog lick you whenever he or she wants. It really is one of the few ways they know how to show how much they love you. A pug dog loves you more than you can ever imagine.
    • Speak gently to your pug and coo to it often. It will come back to you twofold.
    • Pugs are very funny and the will make you smile, when you are in a bad mood. Indeed, the best way to live with a pug dog is to love your pug with all your heart. Your pug loves you - love it back.
    • A pug always loves a scratch behind the ear and of course a tummy scratch too!


  • Having a pet is expensive. Make sure that you have the money to provide your pug with everything that it will need to be healthy and happy, including food, bedding, grooming, veterinary care, and toys.
  • Getting a pet is a long-term commitment. Do not get any type of pet unless you are prepared to care for the animal for its entire life, which can be anywhere from 10-20 years.

Article Info

Categories: Dogs