The Pug

The internet’s most practical guide to your favorite dog breed

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*Learn more about the breed below and some of the products recommended by our team of experts, which include veterinarians, explosive detection dog handlers and the dog obsessed.

Pug Breed Overview

Pugs are smaller breeds of dog that are often described as being “physically distinctive.” That is a polite way of describing their wrinkled faces and squat noses. They may not be the most majestic or noble-looking of animals, but they are incredibly cute and they have a huge amount of personality.

Pugs have fine, glossy coats, that are normally fawn or black in color. They also have small, square bodies, that are surprisingly muscular given their small size.

Pugs make fantastic family pets for a number of reasons. They are well known for being very social and loyal for instance. They have even tempers and fun quirks that make them very charming. They are popular among celebrities and on social media for these reasons.

As small dogs, pugs are relatively easy to look after – requiring less food and shorter walks. The pug is a fun, loyal, and friendly pup that is fairly easy to look after.

Pug Food and Health

Pugs unfortunately are prone to certain health problems owing to their physical characteristics. You can help to reduce the likelihood of these issues, by helping them to eat healthy, balanced diets for smaller pups.

So what does a healthy, natural diet for a pug look like?

For one, it means looking for the best dog foods that don’t include lots of additives and that are made from real meats.

These brands have actively removed grains to create a healthier product that is much closer to what your dog would have eaten in the wild.

Meanwhile though, you can also look at supplementing your doggy diet with lots of additional foods that aren’t specifically ‘dog foods’. For example, dogs feel very healthy when they’re given meats to eat off the bone. Those bones are packed with collagen and calcium which helps to prevent many of the joint pains that hound our hounds as they reach older age. Pugs being a little smaller though should avoid particularly tough joints.

Likewise, make sure to remove any small bones.

Dogs will also have a great time with this and the action of tearing the meat off the bones is literally what they’re designed to do!

If you want to go one step further for your dog – and you should – then try to stick to grass fed and free range animals. These foods are more nutrient-dense because they have been able to eat from the Earth. When a cow eats grass, it is getting a ton of nutrients in the grass but also from the soil and that is highly bioavailable nutrition that is the result of countless other animals and biomatter decomposing there over centuries.

Are you starting to see the common thread here? The best dog food for pugs is the food that has had the least input from humans!

There is some contention these days as to whether humans really need to eat the strictest version of the Paleo diet (the equivalent of going entirely ‘natural’ for humans). After all, there is no evidence that our ancestors did not eat grains and in fact, some skeletal remains unearthed from around that region suggest that they did.

But the good news is that it’s much simpler for dogs. No wolf has ever farmed and is ever likely to. We know that they thrive on meats!

Leashes and Collars for your Pug

Walking a dog might seem like the easiest thing in the world to do until you get one yourself. Then you might find that your dog pulls against the leash, constantly runs off after things that catch its eye and cowers from the traffic as it goes by. Oh dear…

What’s important then is to recognize that there is an art to this – a right way to go about it and a wrong way. What’s more, is that getting the right lead can also be a big help.

Pugs are small enough that they aren’t likely to cause a lot of discomfort around their neck area from tugging on the lead. This means that you can use retractable leads in order to keep them under control, and these in turn you will likely find to be much easier to control.

These work with all kinds of collars, as do regular rope leads.

Considerations for your pug collar include the aesthetics then. How do you want your pup to look, and how does this reflect their bread and personality? It is common to see pugs with bow-tie collars, which helps to add to their ‘little gent’ image. Beirui dog collar leather are also popular for pugs and the larger bull dogs.

A tip: look for collars that are flat and wide to avoid them sitting in the wrinkles.

Another option is to consider a harness. These go around the body, rather than the neck, which helps to prevent any discomfort. As mentioned, this is less of an issue with pugs, but if yours is struggling with breathing difficulties, it may be a good alternative.

Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Pugs

Pugs are small dogs with fine hair, that means that they aren’t overly suited to spending long periods outside in the cold. Pugs love to cuddle up on the sofa with family!

That said, having a dog house can be useful for summer months in some cases – making it easier to leave your pup outside for slightly longer periods and giving them somewhere to escape from the most severe blazing sun.

Pugs will also enjoy blankets, beds and cushions around the house. Pugs being somewhat smaller can actually enjoy a wide range of beds and even some miniature furniture – which is more about the cute factor than any actual benefit.

Pugs don’t overheat easily thanks to their fine hair, low body fat, and small stature. Don’t be afraid to get them something warm and snuggly then!

Pug Toys

Pugs enjoy a wide variety of toys, just like any other breed of dog. In particular, pugs enjoy toys that they can chew and this is especially important for young puppies when their teeth are still coming through. The best toys for chewing are those that include multiple different sizes in different areas, as well as different textures. These are more interesting and allow your pug to work their teeth in at different angles.

One of the best known toys for heling dogs with teething is the KONG like KONG extreme dog toy. This is a proprietary rubber that is designed to be especially effective for helping dogs to chew. And keep in mind that this is also important for older dogs, as it allows them to clean their teeth and encourages the production of their highly antiseptic saliva!

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to keep your pug quiet, then you can try heading to your local charity shop (or eBay) and looking for preowned stuffed toys. These are often much cheaper than dog toys and they tend to last just as long thanks to the small size of pugs!

You can also make a lot of other toys yourself. Finding old bits of rope – or even an empty water bottle (remove the lid first) – can be a great way to save some money and keep your dog just as happy!

Remember that anything that squeaks is always going to be popular, and can serve as a useful way to get their attention if ever you need to get them to come to you, or to drop whatever they’re currently holding.

Pugs are social animals and particularly enjoy toys that you can play with together. Find things that you can use in a tug of war like AILUKI dog rope toy. Or as we like to call it: pug of war!

Grooming Insights for Pugs

Bathing

Your pug will likely need bathing around once every 4-6 weeks. With many dogs, the sole purpose of bathing is simply to remove that bad ‘doggy’ odor. This is a little different for pugs though, whose crinkled skin is very prone to collecting moisture, grime, and other things that can lead to irritation and discomfort.

Don’t over bath your dog though. While you might have the best of intensions, this can actually end up hurting their skin by drying out the protective layer of oil that fends off bacteria.

Grooming

Do you need to take your pug to the groomer? Certainly not all that often, if at all!

Pugs will lose a lot of their hair on your clothes and furniture – a fact that quickly becomes apparent! Therefore, you don’t really need to get any extra removed!

That said though, grooming is a good idea as they can also take care of other things like nail clipping and like toothbrushing such as gopets nail clippers for dogs. They can also make sure that the coat still looks even and make those cosmetic changes if you wish!

You should however brush your pug on a regular basis. This is actually a good way to remove dead skin and hair, and that in turn helps to support the skin underneath and ensure that healthy, natural glow.

Grooming also actually offers a lot of other benefits for your dog too – not least of which is looking out for those troublesome fleas…

Fleas

Pets love the summer almost as much as we do. This is a great opportunity for them to get more walks, to spend more time outside and to bask in the sun as it breaks through the window. Dogs and cats weren’t designed to be cooped up in doors, and that’s why they love it when the sun comes out and they’re able to spend more time fulfilling their wild nature.

However ,if you really want your pet to enjoy the sun then you need to make sure that they are in the best possible health and that they aren’t weighed down by itchy skin or thinning fur. Protecting your pets from fleas becomes even more important in the summer when the climate is just right for fleas, and when your pets are more likely to come into contact with other animals that might be carrying pests.

Use internal flea products all year round and you shouldn’t find any eggs, but by bathing them and checking often you can spot a range of problems and keep your animal’s skin as optimally healthy as possible.

Check Regularly: The longer you take to notice your dog or cat has fleas, the more difficult it’s going to be to get rid of them and the more damage they will do to your little friend. Make sure that you check them regularly then and a great time to do this is when you take them for a bath. While you’re washing them just take the opportunity to have a little look for any signs of fleas and this way you’ll catch them early – it won’t hurt to use a flea shampoo either if you find them as earthbath all natural pet shampoo, just make sure that you spend some extra money on one that will kill off the eggs as well as the adults.

While your pet is more likely to pick up fleas when they’re out and about and meeting other animals, it’s very important that you make sure to think about flea control all year round. Fleas can strike at any time and without year-round treatment they can remain dormant on the skin for months without signs only to hatch when the warmer weather starts.

Tip: If you do find fleas, then make sure to wash all carpets and any clothes you were wearing too – this will prevent infestation and cut short a cycle that may otherwise go on for months!

Pug Accessories

Pug owners can also benefit from a host of additional, useful tools and accessories if they want to make their lives that bit easier.

Dog strollers can be very useful for big events with lots of dogs. In these cases, it is highly useful to have somewhere to store your dog when things get a little out of hand. For those that work with dogs, or that walk multiple dogs, having a dog stroller can be very useful for crisis aversion and is generally a good way to reduce stress!

And speaking of which, a stroller also gives you the option to walk dogs in areas where it might be a little dangerous for them. Look for a stroller with a sealable top and that way, you can simply close them in to cross a busy road for instance and then let them out when you get to the other side. Pugs can get nervy near busy roads, and they are small enough to easily scoop into a stroller.

Storage is another advantage of having a dog stroller like pet stroller for dogs. Most come with lots of compartments and allow you to easily carry such things as leads, toys and snacks to make for a better walk for you and your dog. You can also keep things of your own here.

Other useful accessories for pug owners include training whistles – which can help to make them easier to call back – and clothes for hiking and walking your dog.

Clothes for your pugs themselves can also be useful though too. Very often when it comes to pugs, these will take the form of cute outfits. While you can get pug clothes, these is a huge trend for dressing up pugs and their small size and easy temperament makes this relatively easy. You see a lot of pug outfits that are designed to make the pugs look bipedal or anthropomorphic. When you take photos at the right angle, these can look incredibly cute and very funny – though they are a little divisive.

Finally, speaking of clothes, consider getting a sticky-backed roller for removing hairs from your clothes and furniture. These can help you to avoid the rather unfortunate look of being covered in hair, and it’s certainly very useful to be able to offer it to guests.

Closing Comments

As you can see then, the pug is a particularly cute and easy going pet for families and for anyone that wants a small companion. They are good natured, funny, and they look great in an outfit. They do present a few unique challenges (as does any breed) but if you know how to navigate the wrinkled faces and labored breathing, then you’ll find you’ve got a hugely loyal new friend!