The A – Z of a Happy & Healthy Pug
A- Activity: Not all Pugs are total couch potatoes, they can be very active little dogs and they love their daily exercise. Regular exercise and activity is essential to keep your Pug fit, not just physically to prevent weight problems, but also for mental stimulation to prevent your Pug from becoming bored. Remember boredom and lack of activity can lead to destructive and obsessive behaviour.
This doesn’t mean you have to walk for miles, your Pug will love other types of activity and exercise like tug of war and fetch, which can be indoor games. Outdoors Ziggy hasn’t got the hang of fetch, currently it exists of I throw, he chases and I fetch!
Food puzzle toys and trick training will also help to keep your Pug happy and stimulated, remember they need brain activity as well as physical activity.
Ziggy particularly likes the Kong toys they keep him entertained as he tries to work out how to get the food out.
Pugs are very sociable and love to play with other dogs, allowing them to play with other doggy friends will give them the social skills they need to mix. Our Pug loves playing with big dogs and thinks there is nothing better than an hour of chase, being chased and bowled over but not all Pugs are like that so choose his friends carefully, some Pugs are surprisingly agile and will love to do a bit of agility training so getting both the physical and mental stimulation they need.
Smellorama: Nose Games for Dogs will keep you and your Pug stimulated.
Remember Pugs are not good in heat extremes so walk times may need to be adjusted according to the time of year.
B- Bathing: Because of the breed’s short coat there is no need to give your pug a regular bath unless he is a “Grub Pug”. Giving him a good brush before and during his wash will help to get rid of some of the dead hair but you have probably realised by now Pug’s shed like crazy, the hair leaps of their little bodies at an alarming rate. Use a natural shampoo to make sure it doesn’t irritate your Pug’s skin.
Pay attention to folds and ears, these will need wiping in between bath times but this is a good time to give them a wash. If his folds are left they can get very grimy causing foul smells and infection which may need the attention of a vet. Wiping just a little petroleum jelly after wiping his folds creates a protective barrier keeps the skin moist.
Make sure your Pug is completely dry before you let him out into the cold, their thick undercoat can take a little while to dry, we put a little jumper on ours after his bath when it’s cold which he loves. If you get your Pug used to the hairdryer some will love having all this attention and fuss. But by far the favourite part of bath time is the towel rub down afterwards.
C- Cars: Generally pugs love to travel in cars, make sure you take them somewhere nice and not always to the vets. No dog should be kept loose in a car in fact in a lot of countries it is illegal and the fine is as much for having a child loose in the car! The safest place is a big enough cage or airy pet carrier or in a proper pet car harness correctly seat belted in. Never ever leave your pug in the car! Cars heat up very very quickly and can be a death trap, less than 10 minutes could be sufficient to be fatal to your friend!
D- Diet: Every dog should be fed a healthy balanced diet. It is a matter of personal preference whether your Pug is fed on a home cooked diet or on a commercial dog food. Without any doubt it is more difficult to get the right balance of essential ingredients in your own cooking. Good formulated diets contain the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and trace elements. With a complete food there is normally no need for supplements
E- Eyes: Pugs’ eyes are unique and are mainly responsible for the breed’s expression and irresistible appearance. Compared with other breeds, pugs’ eyes are large and slightly more prominent. Because of the short muzzle, pugs lack the natural ‘bumper’ and are therefore more vulnerable. To keep your pugs’ eyes healthy it is absolutely essential to check them regularly. Check for abnormal redness, inflammation, discharge or even signs of a half or completely closed eye. If your Pug continues to have red, itchy or inflamed eyes despite great care and attention it is important to find a vet who specialises or is at least very familiar with pugs and conditions particular to them.
We were recommended to use Celluvisc by our vet as a lubricant for Ziggy’s eyes and still use it. He did have to have an operation on his eyes to stop the irritation and inflammation which if left would have resulted in him going blind, the cause of this was ONLY picked up by a Pug specialist and we are very grateful that he did.
See Pug Health for more details.