Pugs are prone to several different health problems, due to them being classified as a brachycephalic dog breed. While it is true that brachycephalic dogs tend to have more health problems, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a healthy dog. If you take proper care of your dog, she will be able to live a long healthy life just like any other dog.
How To Keep Your Pug Healthy?
The most important thing you can do to keep your Pug health is to take them for regular vet visits, groom them regularly, feed them the right amount, daily exercise, prevent them from overheating, and use the right dog harness.
Pugs are very loveable dogs and are easy to care for. In fact, it doesn’t take a lot to make a Pug happy.
19 Tips For Keeping A Pug Healthy
If you follow these tips when caring for your Pug, you’ll notice a huge difference in their health, happiness, and overall life span.
#1 Provide A Safe Home Environment
Most people know the importance of puppy proofing their home, in fact, I’ve written an article to help you Pug proof your home. However, if you adopt an older Pug or have neglected your household in a while, there are things you need to consider.
All dogs love to put things in their mouth or chew on objects they find on the ground.
As a pet parent, it’s important to ensure that you keep all hazardous things out of the way. Pick up and wrap all the electrical cords, put away unused shoes, slippers, and any other item they may be tempted to chew.
Pugs love licking the floor in search of food and crumbs. Make sure that you use pet-friendly household cleaners.
Most pet owners don’t realize how many plants can be toxic to dogs. Before exposing your Pug to a new household plant, make sure that it is not on this list.
#2 Regular Vet Visits
Due your due diligence to find a respected and well-trusted veterinarian that will care for your dog as they age.
Make sure your pooch has their necessary vaccinations, which include, hepatitis, distemper, kennel cough, rabies, leptospirosis, and parvovirus.
Talk to your veterinarian to help you come up with a vaccination and wellness program that will best suit your Pug depending on the region you live in.
You should also take your Pug in for yearly visits to get their eyes, legs, and other issues that this breed is prone to.
The earlier you can catch any issues, the better chance your dog will have of recovering with proper medical attention.
#3 Don’t Smoke Around Your Pug
Second-hand and thirdhand smoke is dangerous to both pets and humans. Dogs who breathe secondhand smoke are more susceptible to developing certain types of cancer including nose and lung.
If you do have a habit of smoking, make sure you step outside away from your Pug and other members of your family.
#4 Maintain A Healthy Pug Weight
This breed loves to eat and will eat anything you put in their mouth. If you want your Pug to maintain a healthy weight, avoid overfeeding them.
Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to their diet like adding human food.
Any snacks or treats should NEVER consume more than 10% of their regular diet.
#5 Provide Human Attention
Have I mentioned that Pugs love their human companions? This breed will be happiest when they can be involved with their human family.
Providing your Pug with human affection will not only make them happy and healthy, but it will also make you feel better as well.
Take the time to bond with your Pug and you’ll notice a huge difference in their overall behavior.
#6 Provide Fresh Water Daily
Like humans, dogs need access to fresh filtered water. As a rule of thumb, dogs should be drinking approximately one ounce of water per pound of their own body weight every day.
Water is vital for the digestion of food and helps their body absorb the nutrients. It also cools the body down and helps them maintain normal body temperature.
Without proper hydration, your dog can become dehydrated which can eventually lead to death.
#7 Provide High-Quality Dog Food
This breed is prone to sensitive tummies, so it’s important to choose a high-quality dog food that is designed for Pugs.
Opt for foods that contain all-natural preservatives and NO Fillers. I’ve put together a list of some of the best dog foods for Pugs.
#8 Use The Right Dog Bowls
Most people don’t think about their dog’s food and water bowls. Avoid using plastic bowls, as they can be chewed and scratched easily that can cause bacteria to build up.
Instead, opt for ceramic, stainless steel, or stoneware for your dog. Wash your dog’s bowls on a weekly basis to help keep it clean and free of bacteria.
Inspect their bowls on a regular basis to make sure there is no damage. Here’s a list of bowls for Pugs that will last for a very long time.
#9 Give Them A Comfortable Dog Bed
Just like you, your dog needs a comfortable bed that provides them with support for their joints. Pugs sleep a lot and will take naps during the day.
They need a comfortable bed that will keep them warm, prevent calluses, and supports arthritic joints. Even if you have a new Pug puppy, they need a space of their own where they can retrieve to when they want to be alone.
#10 Give Them Stimulating Dog Toys to Play With
All dogs require mental exercises to keep their minds fresh and engaged. There are plenty of stimulating dog toys on the market to help keep your dog mentally engaged.
You can opt to give your dog enrichment puzzles, fun exciting toys, teach them new skills and tricks, or take them to new places such as the dog park.
These types of activities will not only keep your dog engaged, but it will also prevent them from getting bored or suffering from separation anxiety.
#11 Use A Harness Instead Of A Leash
This brachycephalic dog will do best when you use a harness as opposed to a leash with a collar.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, this dog suffers from breathing problems due to their short snouts. A harness will be much more comfortable for your dog and will not cause them to choke if they pull heavily while you’re walking them.
#12 Clean Their Wrinkles
Those cute wrinkles that people adore are a haven for bacteria. Without proper maintenance, your Pug will be exposed to infections and other skin problems.
You’ll want to set a regular routine to clean the wrinkles around the face and between the folds of the skin.
I used to clean Mindy’s wrinkles once a week. You can do it more often, especially, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors.
#13 Instill Proper Dental Hygiene
If you look closely at your Pug, you will notice a small underbite. This breed is prone to several teeth problems and that’s why it’s important to get their teeth cleaned professionally at least once a year.
In between the professional cleanings, you can brush your Pugs teeth at home. Taking care of your Pugs teeth is essential to her health.
Without regular dental hygiene, your dog is vulnerable to plaque buildup, gingivitis, periodontitis, and loss of teeth at an early age.
With regular brushing, you can control their bad breath and catch any issues before they become too serious.
#14 Exercise Your Pug Regularly
Some people think that Pugs are lazy dogs. This breed tends to mimic their owner. This means if you love going for walks, they will be happy to tag along with you.
If you’re a couch potato, they’ll gladly lie on your lap and binge watch Netflix with you.
This breed doesn’t require a ton of exercise. As a responsible pet owner, you should make sure they are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis.
This can include a short brisk walk around the block, playing in the backyard, or any other type of physical activity.
#15 Control The Temperature
This breed is prone to overheat quickly, which can lead to death. Their short muzzle makes it challenging for them to breathe normally, and makes them more susceptible to hot temperatures.
Always keep your dog indoors during the hot summer heat. Never leave them alone in a parked car, unless someone is in there with them and the air conditioner is running.
If they do spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure they have access to plenty of water and shade.
This breed does best when they are allowed to live indoors, and the temperatures are kept somewhere between 59°F – 70°F.
Don’t worry, you’ll know when your Pug starts getting too hot, as they will start breathing heavily.
#16 Create Boundaries
Pugs are curious creatures and love anyone they meet. My Pug used to roll over on her belly whenever anyone came into. our yard, I guess she thought they came to see her.
If you live in a house and let your dog outside without a leash, make sure you have a sturdy fence that can keep them inside. You don’t want your Pug running out on a busy street and getting hit by a car.
A fence will not only protect your Pug, but it will allow you to give them the freedom to explore their yard without any worries.
#17 Give Your Pug A Purpose
While you can’t expect your dog to become a therapy dog, but you can give them a purpose so they don’t get bored easily.
Pugs were bred to be the ultimate companion, so they will be happiest when they can be around their human companions.
This breed is very adaptable to any type of environment, so regardless of whether you live in a house, apartment or duplex, make sure you give them some stimulating things to do to make them feel a part of the family.
#18 Groom Your Pug
No one wants a nasty smelly Pug. Regular grooming can help keep your Pug happy and healthy.
You can opt to hire a professional groomer or do it yourself. It may sound difficult, but grooming your Pug at home is not that hard.
I’ve written a step-by-step guide to help you groom your Pug, even if you’re not a professional.
#19 Keep Them Free Of Parasites
Inspect your Pug’s coat on a regular basis to check for fleas, ticks, heartworm and etc. This is especially, important in warmer weather.
Left untreated, fleas can multiply rapidly and can cause your dog to become seriously ill. Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva and will become extremely uncomfortable.
Consult your veterinarian to come up with the best way to protect your pet from parasites.
Final Word On Raising A Healthy Pug
Raising a Pug or any other dog will be the best experience for you and your family. You want the best for every member of your family, even your four-legged friend.
If you care for your Pug properly, they will repay you back with years of unconditional love!
References And Further Reading
PetMD – The Importance Of Water For Dog Nutrition