Help your pup live a long, healthy life with these tips.

By Bridgette Uhlemann
Updated December 15, 2020
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They're one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the country, thanks to their squished faces and small stature. Yes, we're talking about the pug. The big eyes and wide smiles give pugs the beloved babyface look that so many people love about the breed and they're great pets too. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), pugs are considered an "ideal house dog."  They're on the smaller side of dogs and are good with kids, older owners, other pets, and just about anyone else. Whether you already own a pug, are planning to adopt in the future, or just like to know more about the pint-sized breed, here's everything you need to know about the dog.

Credit: LexiTheMonster/Getty Images

How to Care for Your Pug

According to the AKC, the pug's motto is "multum in parvo." It's a Latin phrase that translates to, "A lot in a little," which is perfect for the pug. Although your pug is small, your pup will have plenty of character.

Temperament

Pugs are loving, charming, and even-tempered. They love being near their people and snuggling. But get ready for a big pug personality because they also can be stubborn and mischievous. Make sure you keep them active with games and activities to stimulate their mind and body.

Training

Pug puppies have a lot of energy and are very curious. Join these traits with stubbornness, and you will want to make sure to start training your pug early to avoid future behavior problems. Pugs are also clever and highly motivated by food, which should make pug training relatively easy. If you start training when your pug is a puppy, they should learn quickly.

Care and grooming

Pugs make a perfect apartment or house dog because they can be entertained inside and outside the home. They also thrive in moderate climates that are not too hot or too cold. However, remember that pugs are sociable and love being around others; therefore, do not place a pug in isolation for an extended period of time. As far as grooming, a pug's coat is short, smooth, and glossy, and so it needs minimal maintenance. Pugs shed, but a once-a-week brushing with a dog brush, like the FURemover Duo Dual-Sided Brush ($8, Chewy), can help control the shedding. Use a paper towel to make sure the wrinkles on your pug's face are kept clean and dry. Pugs have strong, fast-growing nails that require regular trimming or grinding to prevent overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Try the Paw Perfect nail trimmer ($20, Target). Teeth should be regularly brushed with a dog-specific toothpaste, like the Vet's Best Enzymatic Toothpaste and Toothbrush ($12, Chewy).

Health

A pug's life span is 13 to 15 years. However, as with all purebreds, there may be some pug health problems, like hip dysplasia, eye disease, patellar luxation, and dog encephalitis. These issues can be minimized by working with a responsible breeder who knows the specific health concerns and diseases within the breed.

Food

Good nutrition, including proper food, is critical throughout a pug's life. Typically, a pug weighs between 14 to 18 pounds. Pugs love to eat, so you must be vigilant about controlling their diet. Excessive weight gain in pugs can cause health problems, including breathing problems. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas, depending on the size of your dog. The pug is a small breed dog, so consider working with your veterinarian to determine the best diet to ensure your pet remains healthy. A great option for pugs is the Royal Canin Pug Adult Dry Dog Food ($42, Chewy) or the Royal Canin Pug Puppy Dry Dog Food ($21, Chewy).

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