In a world where there are so many things that can throw you off balance, such as emotions, pets can create stability and enrich a person’s life. When looking into ways to increase your happiness, things like counseling, medication, exercise, etc. are the common solutions, but have you ever thought about adopting a pug? They say that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when looking at the cute face of a pug, it is almost impossible not to believe that it could become your loyal companion and even help you deal with your emotions.
Pugs are loyal, happy, affectionate and social, making them one of the most popular dog breeds out there. Once properly trained, they are some of the most intelligent dogs on earth and know how to relate with humans. They are also less noisy and stubborn when compared to other breeds of dog. Although like humans, they do have their own downsides and might not always be as charming as they look!
Before you adopt any pet, it is best to do some background research, know the breed, its lineage, characteristics, possible diseases that may affect it, and most importantly, know how to best care for it.
With there being many cross breeds of pugs, one is bound to get confused on the best one to adopt for them. We will, therefore, examine some of the breeds for you and give some insight on their general characteristics, health tips, and how to best take care of them.
The below health conditions will not necessarily affect your pug but it’s best to be in the know in case they at some point they do. When you adopt a pug, ensure that the breeder provides you with the pug’s health clearances and that this dates back to the parents of the pug. To ascertain the integrity of the health clearances that you are being given, just check the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
Your new pug should have a health clearance from OFA for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Von Willebrand’s disease. Pugs are also prone to eye problems and you might notice that its eyes are itchy, some dispense a thick discharge, others will paw at their eyes and if you look closely you will notice that they appear dry.
The condition, therefore, necessitates a health certificate that proves to you that the pug’s eyes are okay, and this you will get from the Canine Eye Registry. Other ailments that you need to beware of is Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), the disease has no known cause or cure but can be very severe.
The disease is common in young dogs, so if you notice that your dog has started having seizures, circles on the ground or all of a sudden becomes blind then it probably has PDE. This is why it is important to get the health records of the pug to ensure that it is healthy otherwise the condition will present itself in the dog’s early life stages.
There is also Corneal Ulcers. As you have probably noticed, the pug has large compound eyes. This acts as a disadvantage to their eye health as they tend to develop ulcers in the clear part of their eyes. Also due to their exposed nature, they can be injured.
If you notice that your pug tears a lot, squints, or has a red pigment in their eyes, take them to the vet because the condition is treatable. However, if you fail to treat it the dog might have their eyes rupture or they may end up becoming blind. Like man dogs, pugs can also be epileptic and can develop seizures with absolutely no cause, the condition is called idiopathic epilepsy and medical attention is necessary at that point.
Cheyletiella Dermatitis or mite infestation is not news to any pet owners and your pug is no different. Therefore, if you notice heavy patches of dandruff on your dog’s skin then you need to seek immediate treatment. The mites are highly contagious and can infect other pets in your household.
Yeast infection is also common in pugs. If your pug has it, you will notice that your pug has black thick skin on the armpits, neck groin and feet. The condition is treatable; just get the vet to prescribe proper medication.
Feeding Your Pug
One of the most important parts of looking after your pug is feeding it with the correct diet, and with water in plenty. So as you purchase the commercially prepared food, check on its quality and proportion sizes. Now depending on the age, size, and activity of your dog, the amount of intake will vary but generally it’s recommended to feed it twice a day. Pugs are the foodies of the dog world and if you are not careful, they can easily become obese.
For good optimum health, you might want to limit the treats that you give to your pug, encourage exercise, and serve the correct proportions of food. Also, when buying food consider the differences, as there are food for puppies and for the middle-aged or bigger dogs.
A pug’s coat is short and smooth but don’t be deceived to thinking that it doesn’t shed as much, remember it is double-coated so shedding is twice as much. During the shedding period make sure to give it baths and brush it frequently to help with the shedding process.
Pugs are a lapdog, which means that they spend most of their time indoors and on people’s laps! Therefore, they don’t wear down their nails as much and will need trimming much less frequently, if not at all. The folds on their wrinkly face are prone to infections if not taken care of, therefore, ensure that they are always dry and clean; cotton balls or baby wipes should do the trick.
As you know, the pug’s eyes bulge and protrude which calls for special attention, be sure to keep off harmful substances that might easily get into your pug’s eye. Also, invest in a dog toothbrush and toothpaste to help prevent gum diseases from developing. Grooming techniques should be introduced to pugs at a young age so that they can get used to it and in the end, give you an easier time as they grow older.
Interesting Mixes of Pug Breeds
Corgi and Pug Mix
This is a mix of a pug and the Welsh corgi, the latter is a herding type while the former is a companion dog. They both descend from a friendly and playful family, the resulting pug corgi will thus be happy, loyal, intelligent and fun-loving. One of their best characteristics is that you’ll hardly ever hear them barking unnecessarily.
They will have become irritated if left alone and bark, so for a peaceful existence ensure that the pug corgi is always by your side. They also shed quite heavily.
Husky Pug (Hug)
Here you will get a balance of the sled pulling Siberian husky and the intelligent companion pug dog. The individual difference between the two dogs are apparent, given the mix they make good search and rescue dogs and will also offer protection.
If you are planning to get a pet dog, the hug does not come recommended, especially if you have never owned one before. This is because they require a lot of obedience training, a character that is picked from the husky. In case you didn’t know, huskies like to lead and if you don’t show them that you are the leader then things might change pretty fast.
Huskies are heavy shedders and so are pugs, so you must prepare yourself to deal with heavy shedding. Also, they don’t like cramped spaces, remember the characteristics of the husky. So we recommend not confining your hug otherwise it ma chew up your carpet or furniture!
On the bright side, however, is that they love to snuggle, are great with kids, and get along well with other pets. They can also make good watchdogs as they tend to be protective, observant and very alert.
Pug and Yorkshire Terrier (Pugshire)
The Pugshire is a very cute dog, with its small face and floppy ears. It would make a good companion for your household. Although, Yorkshire terriers are known to harass other small pets whereas pugs will rarely bark. This breed loves to play with children and other pets. Given the medium length of their coat, shedding isn’t too much of a problem.
These dogs are very active in short bursts but also sleep a lot. When you adopt a pugshire, expect to up to 16 years of companionship. They are smart dogs, a trait that is picked from the pug, and love a bit of attention, who doesn’t? Finally, they do have their stubborn moments as they are independent thinkers.