Pugs are awesome! But you’re here, so you already know that. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re already a pug owner or thinking about it.
If that’s the case, that’s great! Pugs are loving dogs that will be a great addition to your family. Caring for pugs has some unique challenges, but the memories you get back more than make up for it.
So let us walk you through Pug Care 101! We’ll cover everything from feeding and exercise to grooming and gear.
When it comes to feeding your pug, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind, but it’s a pretty straightforward process.
Pug puppies usually need to eat 3-4 times per day. When they reach adulthood (approximately nine months old), that frequency usually goes down to 2-3 times per day. But like a lot of pug-related things, the schedule will depend on your pug’s personal preference. As a general rule, pugs eat ridiculously fast, so monitoring their food and weight is important to maintain their health and wellbeing as they grow older.
Types of Food
Pugs can have very sensitive stomachs, so limited-ingredient dog foods, and formulas made specifically for pugs tend to work best. Wet food is okay for your pug, but dry kibble will help keep their teeth healthy and their bowel movements steady and firm.
With any pug, the key is a consistent diet. If you change a pug’s food, make sure you swap the old food gradually to their new food over 7-14 days to avoid potential stomach upsets.
You already know this, but pugs are small dogs! That means you’re going to want a bowl that’s lower to the ground. That will keep your pug comfy when they eat and avoid gastrointestinal issues.
Because pugs love to inhale their food as fast as possible, consider a slow-feeder bowl. These are shaped to help slow even the biggest eaters down.
Here are the items that all pug owners will want to have.
Collars for pugs are an absolute no-no! Because pugs have short heads and necks, they’re prone to breathing problems. A collar around their neck only makes that worse.
Pet supply companies make harnesses for small dogs that will fit your pug perfectly. Leashes attach to the top, so your pug can walk in comfort and style!
If you’re getting your pug as a puppy, get them going with a harness as soon as you can. It takes a little bit of time for the pug to get used to it, so the younger they’re okay with it, the better you’ll be.
Pugs can lead long, happy, and healthy lives, but many pugs run into problems with their bones and joints as they get older. Arthritis and hip dysplasia are especially common.
Make your pug’s life that much better with a suitable dog bed. You’ll want something short enough for them to get onto without jumping. A bed made out of memory foam or something similar may cost a bit more upfront, but it will last you for a long time and keep your pug sleeping well and healthy.
Pugs are known as great companion dogs. Given their choice, your pug would lay at your feet all day long. That makes them great for snuggling, but it does make pugs out to be a bit lazy.
One of the best things that you can do for your pet is get them out for some exercise 1-2 times per day. Fifteen or twenty minutes per session is fine. A walk works perfectly, but if you have some outside space to play fetch or tug, even better.
Play is essential to keeping your pug physically active. Regular exercise and play also keeps your dog calm and happy. Mental health matters for animals too!
Any pet is going to need grooming, so pugs don’t require anything extra there. Because they’re fluffy and have tons of wrinkles, though, there are a couple special things to be aware of when grooming your pug.
Warm water and a gentle shampoo once a month will usually do the trick! Just wash and dry thoroughly.
Be sure to pay special attention to your pug’s facial folds. Those are a target for dirt and can lead to infections. Just use a wet, soapy cloth to clean them out but be gentle not to hurt your pug! If you’re worried about your pug’s folds in between baths, a tissue, cleaning wipe, or pug wrinkle wipes will work just fine.
Depending on how active your pug is, they’ll probably need their nails clipped every 1-2 months. Trimming nails can be tough on both dog and owner, so if you can, getting over to a professional is always just a little bit easier.
Brushing is a fun task for most pug owners because pugs absolutely love it. Brushing once every week or two with a suitable brush will keep your pug’s coat healthy and also keep mounds of pug hair off of your furniture and clothes.
Pug’s facial folds are incredibly cute but make their eyes prone to getting debris in them. If your pug is complaining or you see any dirt, a bit of eye cleaning solution and a wipe is a huge relief.
The same rules apply for your pug’s ears that do for their eyes. Those little floppy ears are great to pet, but they keep in a lot of moisture. Get some dog ear wipes or an ear cleaning solution and put just a bit on a cotton swab. Do this once per week, and your dog will be very grateful!
Because pugs have such short noses, it’s tough for them to clean them with their tongues. That can lead to dry, cracked skin, especially in colder climates during the winter. You can get a nose moisturizer for dogs that will keep them comfortable and happy.
Fleas and Ticks
There are many flea and tick prevention measures available. Pug owners have reported success with many of them, but this is a situation where you’ll want to check with your vet before giving your pug anything. They can recommend the best course of action.
Conclusion – Pug Care 101
Pugs are amazing dogs. They’re loyal, adorable, and will be your best friend. Keep these simple tips in mind, and you can show your pug just as much love as they’ll give you every single day.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.