Midwest Pug Rescue

Minnesota Division

Basic Care for a Pug


The Coat

Pugs should be brushed about once a week and bathed when they need it. Even though most pugs are not good swimmers, most like water. When bathing a pug be careful not to get water in the ears, and keep shampoo away from the eyes.


The Teeth

In an ideal world it is good to clean the pugs teeth from time to time (helps prevent bad breath, teeth and gums) with a finger toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Let’s face it, most pug owners usually don’t brush their pug’s teeth until it is necessary (and then they won’t let you do it!). “Teeth cleaning chews” are a good option and pugs do tend to love them.


Those adorable wrinkles

Pugs don’t need much daily care, but the pugs face does need some special care. Dirt gets easily trapped in the wrinkles so it is a good idea to clean those wrinkles out.


The Nails

Pug’s nails should be cut regularly. If they are too long, they could get caught on somethings and could lead to a painful break in the nail (plus it is painful to walk on those long nails). Many vets and groomers will cut nails for you, if you are not able too. Pug’s nails tend to grow pretty fast!


The Ears

Pugs easily get ear infections due to having small ear canals. It is very important to keep the ears clean and dry. Use a soft tissue or cotton balls to wipe out the ears. If your pug starts to shake or scratch the ears a lot then some extra attention needs to be spent on the ears. If the ears start to smell, take your pug to the vet!

Battle of the Bulge


It’s not only a human problem, pugs struggle with their weight! Pugs love to eat and as a result many are overweight. Just like humans that are overweight, pugs can develop health related problems due to weight increase (such as heart and joints). It is important to feed your pug high quality dog food and that they get some exercise.

Due to small noses, pugs are vulnerable to extreme temperatures. When exercising your pug it is very important to make sure that they do not overheat when the weather is warm. The same holds true in the winter, they can not be left outside in the cold.

Health Problems


Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome is a quite common and potentially blinding condition, which develops due to the decline of tear production in the eye. Treatment consists of drug therapy and surgery.

Bilateral Cataracts
Bilateral Cataracts is recognized by dense spots on the lens of the eye. These spots may cause partial or total loss of vision. In some cases surgery may help.

Entropion is a problem caused by the Pug’s eyelashes irritating the surface of the eyeball. This should be treated since it might lead to more serious problems.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
PRA is the deterioration of the vessels around the retina. This condition usually begins with night blindness in younger dogs, but as their vision deteriorates it can lead to blindness.


Tracheal Collapse
Tracheal Collapse is a narrowing of the windpipe. Symptoms include a cough (especially after exercise) harsh breathing and gagging. Treatment consists of conservative therapy or surgery.

Elongated Soft Palate (ESP)
ESP is the obstruction of the dogs’ airways. Excessive gasping for air and the blocking of the Pug’s vocal box are some of the signs. ESP can be corrected with surgery.

Stenotic Nares
Stenotic Nares is a birth defect where the nostrils are too small and the Pug puppy has difficulties breathing through his nose. This condition puts a strain on the Pug’s entire body and can lead to an enlargement of the heart, tracheal collapse and chronic bronchitis.


Hip Dysplasia (HD)
Hip Dysplasia can be described as a bad fit between the two bones of the hip joint and is caused by malformation of one or the other. HD often causes stiffness in the hind legs, substantial pain and in more severe cases, lameness.

Patellar Luxation
Patellar Luxation or kneecap dislocation occurs when the kneecap slides out of its groove. A Pug with Patellar Luxation can sometimes limp or walk on three legs. Surgery is often the treatment of choice here, since it is a serious health condition.

Other common health problems

- Heat Stroke
- Skin allergies

- Obesity

- Arthritis

- Back problems

- Heart disease

Pug Dog Encephalitis
Pug Dog Encephalitis or PDE is an inflammatory disease of the brain that often causes seizures. If your Pug is experiencing seizures, he or she should definitely be tested for this disorder.

Demodectic Mange
Lots of Pugs get Demodectic Mange, a parasitic skin disease caused by a mite and which can cause hair loss and irritation. Demodectic Mange does require veterinary treatment, but is easily cured.

Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)
A PSS is an abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver. As a result, the blood is not cleansed properly. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hunger for non-food substances, depression and intolerance of protein-rich food.

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