Pugs are utter and absolute perfection. From that flat, squished face to that perfectly coiled tail, Pugs are one of the Universe's gifts to people-kind. But with that utter perfection comes great responsibility. Pugs did not emerge from the loins of wolves. Nope, Pugs were the result of Queen Victoria's obsession with flat-faced, baby looking dogs. Of course, anything the Queen was fascinated with became all the rage throughout the world. And thus we have the Pug.
It now becomes our responsibility to Respect the Pugness and take care of them while taking into account their physical requirements. The press is full of woe is me articles about how horrible we are for loving these flat-faced dogs. Some seems a bit histrionic, but at least it is bringing attention to some of the pitfalls of living with flat-faced dogs.
The gist of the matter is we must admit our flat-faced dogs have special needs and then cater to their man-made requirements. Let's give some of them a look...
#1 Most Obvious Trait - That Flat Face
Dogs with extremely flat faces will have compromised breathing. Period. The End. Accept it and move on.
This type of flat face usually causes Brachycephalic Syndrome. In a nutshell, Pugs don't breathe very well since all the tissue that was supposed to have a long roomy nose and throat to spread out in has been compressed to almost no room. Think trying to fit a five bedroom house full of stuff into a 500 sq. ft. apartment.
This means your Pug needs to be kept cool to keep from overheating. In summer weather they must be kept cool and at a decent humidity. This means A/C in home and auto or at least fans unless you live in a hotter part of the world. If you have a Pug in Texas with no A/C quit reading this article and go buy a window unit.
No matter how tempting it may be, do NOT take your Pug for unnecessary rides in the car. If you have to take them to the vet, for example, cool the car off before you get into it and put all the vents you can onto your Pug.
Tip! If your vehicle A/C goes out, immediately stop at nearest spot that sells ice and grab a couple of bags of ice for your Pug to lie on.
#2 The Chunky Body
A Pug does not have to be chubby to be chunky. They have a chunky body type due to it's square structure, the thickness of their bones and the short neck and flat face. This does not mean they have to be chubby to look like a Pug.
Obviously our Pugs have a tendency to gain weight easily, oh, I so feel your pain my Pug pals, I do. But we, as the humans, have the responsibility to keep them at their best weight. It may be even more painful to not give your Pug a cookie than it is for you to refuse the cake from the 3rd birthday in a week at work, but do it! If in doubt, have your vet show you how to tell if your Pug is becoming portly.
#3 Magnified Pugness
The combination of the flat face and chunky body type creates the dilemma of exercise being a wee bit harder for your Pug to enjoy during the summer. Luckily their legs are short and even if you walk laps around the sofa, your Pug can get a workout.
The video gives an overview of a few tips for keeping your Pug perfectly poised during the warmer times of the years. Of course, check with your vet or trusted Pug mentor for additional info.