The Pug: Dignified Clown A Lot Of Attitude

Copyright 2006 Carol Stack

Pugs are clowns at heart, known for their silly antics, but they still manage to maintain a sense of dignity. They are known as a lap dog and enjoy lounging around in the company of their human companion, and enjoy daily exercise in the form of a walk. An inside dog, they should never be left out-of-doors for any extended period of time.

The Pug is of Chinese origin. They were prized possessions of the Emperors of China and lived in a most luxurious atmosphere and at times were even guarded by soldiers. The Dutch traders brought the Pugs from the east to Holland and to England where the pug was enjoyed by many Monarchs of Europe.

The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1885. The Pug Dog Club of America was founded in 1931 and recognized by the AKC that same year.

Being a purebred dog, the pug does come with some high maintenance medical issues. Typical medical problems include ear infections, eye problems, mast cell tumors, and skin infections.

Some pugs can suffer from a collapsing trachea or elongated palate making it difficult for them to breathe, especially in hot weather. During the hotter months of the year, it is best to keep your pug in a cool room and avoid walks during the hottest part of the day as they can easily become overheated.

Pug owners in hot climates, besides running the air conditioner, can purchase items such as a cooling body wrap and cooling mat to keep their pug from overheating.

Although the pug comes in a small package, their shedding can be extreme. Be prepared to vacuum or sweep your floors almost daily during the summer when shedding is at its worst and several times a week during the cooler months. Invest in a good lint brush as your clothing will be covered in pug hair also (a minor inconvenience for those of us who love our pugs).

The pug loves food and can easily become overweight if over-indulged with snacks or larger than necessary meal portions. Talk to your vet about your pug’s appropriate weight.

Since the pug is susceptible to skin infections, a healthy diet is a must. Choosing a high quality food for your pug will pay off in a healthier dog with fewer visits to the vet (that means no grocery store dog food!). Read your food labels carefully and choose a dog food with more natural ingredients.

Your pug should visit the vet at least once a year for a physical. A blood test at age six is a good idea and can catch many potential health problems allowing early treatment with the appropriate diet or medication.

Pugs make excellent traveling companions and many pug owners take their pugs with them on vacation. Sharing their human’s bed is the preferred sleeping arrangement for the pug, although for those who would find this a difficult arrangement, a dog bed next to the bed will be tolerated.

If considering a pug breed, try adopting from a local pug rescue. You can find a pug rescue near you at

Carol Stack

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