All dogs need lots of love, care and attention and while this is certainly true for Pugs, they don’t need constant babysitting and entertaining. Far from it. These little pocket rockets are happy to sleep for up to 14 hours a day and their work-out routine is perfect for those with hectic lifestyles and they are full of character, friendly and terrific companions.
Your Pug is a lively and intelligent dog, but he doesn’t require ten walks a day – far from it. You’re dealing with little legs here, so one good walk a day will keep him fairly happy – even for just five minutes or so. That said, it goes without saying that he will enjoy two or three given the chance, so the more he has, the happier he’ll be. And don’t overlook the opportunity of him joining you on a drive out – Pugs generally like a spin and if they’re with you, the longer the journey the better.
When out and about, he’ll stop to rest when he’s out of breath so keep an eye on how he’s doing and don’t rush him. A fenced run in the garden will allow him to explore at his own pace without the danger of meeting other animals or getting into too much mischief.
One thing these little fellas really don’t like is heat so if it’s hot and sunny, find a nice shady spot for your Pug and let him take it nice and easy. The reason is Pugs are brachycephalic – this means they have a narrowed airway and if he gets hot, he won’t be able to cool himself down by panting like other dogs so always remember this simple sum: heat + Pugs = bad!
Heatstroke can be fatal for him so make sure there’s always somewhere nice and cool for him to literally chill out. Another important thing to think about is weight – you can’t let your Pug get overweight or fat because his health will begin to suffer, he will develop breathing problems and he may become ill.
No matter how much you love him and want to give him special treats, you have to think about his well-being, so stick to his daily recommended healthy meals with the odd special (and small) treat for when he’s been really good. And absolutely no chocolate, no matter how good the charm offensive might be.
An occasional brush of his teeth will ensure he stays orally healthy and his gums don’t develop abscesses – liver flavoured toothpaste will make the process less stressful – just don’t mix it up with yours! Milk bones are a good way of keeping his pearly whites in good condition, too.
Pugs have very short, smooth coats so brush him regularly with a firm bristle dog brush and give him a shampoo every now and then – ensuring no soap goes in his eyes or mouth – but apart from that, this is all the grooming he needs. Vet-recommended de-worming and flea control is also very important and keep those claws trim and short.
One thing to remember – dry him as quickly as possible so he doesn’t catch a chill – like heat and weight problems, this could affect his breathing. It’s a sad fact that your Pug will suffer at least one major health issue in his life, but with the correct care and diet, the potential risks can be greatly reduced.
Now we all know what a handsome dog Pugs are – that’s why you’ve got one or are thinking of getting one, right? Well, those little folds in his skin need to be cleaned at least once a week but two or three times a week – if possible- is much better.
No air circulates underneath the folds of skin and this is where harmful bacteria could gather and cause infection and skin irritation. It’s a simple job and cotton buds or clean tissues will do the job perfectly and he’ll enjoy the special attention and probably fall asleep.
There is a friendly rivalry among Pug owners when it comes to accessories and attire. A smart collar and lead are de rigueur for any self-respecting Pug, while a jacket and bandana would add that little touch of je ne sais quoi.
Obedience training is highly recommended, too. Stimulate his mind, teach him tricks and let him know the house rules – all of which will make him happy and responsive. Nobody wants to deal with a willful, stubborn old dog when there are better paths to follow for all concerned.
Follow the above advice, get him regularly checked out at the vets and you’ll have a happy, healthy Pug. There are plenty of books on Pugs available in good pet shops, libraries and there are many excellent websites out there to consult as well as various forums, so if in doubt, check it out!
And lest we forget, October 15th 2015 is National Pug Day, so pencil that in your diary or mobile – he’ll be expecting the red carpet treatment and, dare we add, some new fashion apparel to celebrate…