Pug Pros & Cons

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Not sure if a Pug is the right breed for you?

If you’re wondering…

“Should I get a Pug?”

Then you’ve come to the right place!

Pugs aren’t for everybody…

Some of us absolutely adore flat-faced dogs like the Pug, however, they’re not for everybody…

As with any breed, there are going to be pros & cons— it’s just a matter of whether or not the pros outweigh the cons for you & your family.

Remember: No breed is perfect, it’s just a matter of finding what’s right for you.

Read on to learn…

Pug Pros

Pugs have been long-loved since the 16th century where they served as royal dogs for the Chinese ruling families & emperors.

Since then, they’ve made their way all across the globe and are now one of the most popular dog breeds.

Unmistakably Cute

Pugs ranked at #33 on the AKC’s Most Popular Dog Breeds list in 2021, making them more popular than 83% of dog breeds.

Why?

Here are 7 reasons to love the Pug…

  1. They are loyal & affectionate
  2. They are small & low maintenance
  3. Their cute looks
  4. Easy to train
  5. Adaptable to different environments
  6. Good with children
  7. Good with other animals

1. They are loyal & affectionate

If you’re interested in a Pug, you probably looking for a cuddly couch dog that would love nothing more than to be right by your side.

Well, Pugs are some of the most loyal & affectionate breeds that you’ll find. 

Pugs are…

  • Loyal
  • Loving
  • Charming
  • Calm & even-tempered

Couch potatoes

If you’re looking for a little couch potato that’ll snuggle up with you all day, you’ll love the Pug. (but beware of their farting!)

2. They are small & low maintenance

Their small & compact size makes them the perfect breed for apartments & small homes.

Pugs are the Perfect Size

Pugs are also low maintenance in that…

  • They don’t need lots of grooming
  • They don’t need tons of exercise
  • They “go with the flow” and are adaptable 

3. Their cute looks

How can you not love the Pug’s adorable looks?!

YouTube player

With their unmistakable squishy faces & curly tails, the Pug is sure to hear “awwwwww” every time they go out in public.

Somehow, people still manage to mistake Pugs for Frenchies…

4. Easy to train

While they’re not the easiest dog to train, Pugs certainly are quick learners.

Pugs are…

  • Smart
  • Observant
  • Quick learners

Treat motivated & stubborn

With this being said, Pugs are known for being treat-motivated and might stubbornly refuse to listen when they know there aren’t any treats to be had for them.

5. Adaptable to different environments

One of the great things about the Pug is that they “go with the flow”

They’re quite laid back and adaptable to different environments.

Pugs deal with change well.

This is great if…

  • You have a hectic schedule
  • You travel with your dog a lot
  • You have lots of people in & out of your house

6. Good with children

Pugs were recognized as one of the Top 10 Family Dogs by the AKC.

What makes Pugs great Family Dogs

  • Pugs are friendly & sociable
  • Pugs are loyal and loving snuggly dogs
  • They’re small & low-energy— they won’t run around and bump your child over
  • Pugs are relatively low-maintenance, giving you more energy to deal with your family & children

7. Good with other animals

Pugs weren’t recognized as a Top 10 Family Dog for no reason— they’re good with all members of the family, including other animals.

What makes Pugs good with other animals

  • They’re small
  • They’re social & gentle
  • They are not aggressive
  • They have a low prey drive 
  • They’re laid back & go with the flow— they’re unlikely to be bothered by other animals in the house

Pug Cons

While there are many many reasons to love the Pug, they sure aren’t perfect.

Before you run out to get yourself a Pug, make sure you’re able to deal with these drawbacks.

Here are 7 reasons the Pug isn’t perfect…

  1. Notorious for health issues
  2. Shedding
  3. Bad at regulating their body temperatures
  4. They snore a lot & make a lot of noises
  5. They are prone to obesity
  6. They’re farters
  7. They require a lot of attention (separation anxiety)

1. Notorious for health issues

Unfortunately, Pugs are known for their long list of health issues.

Pug health issues include…

  • Breathing issues which can lead to heatstroke
  • Joint issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and luxating patella
  • Allergies
  • Obesity

Their lifespan is still above-average

Despite their health issues, Pugs still have an above-average lifespan of 13–15 years, whereas the average dog has a lifespan of 10–13 years.

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2. Shedding

Shedding is a constant battle for most dog owners…

All dogs shed— some more, some less.

Moderate shedders

Unfortunately, Pugs are known to be moderate shedders year-round. 

They have dense double coats that shed even more during times of the year where they “blow their coats”. 

So expect your Pug to shed all year, but sometimes they’ll shed even more!

What you can do about your Pug’s shedding

1. Use Deshedding Brushes (at least 2x a week)

Using deshedding brushes such as the ones below can help remove loose fur from your Pug’s coat.

As Pugs have a double-coat, it’s important to use these on a regular basis if you want to cut down on their shedding.

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2. Deshedding Treatments & Shampoo

Regular grooming is a key part of controlling your Pug’s shedding.

Using a shampoo specifically formulated to control shedding by reducing dead skin, dander, and loose hair can help even more.

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3. Omega Fatty Acids have been shown to help reduce shedding

Omega Fatty Acids are beneficial for reducing shedding in dogs and can be found in certain fish and plant oils.

Many commercial pet foods also contain these Omega Fatty Acids.

Supplementing with Omega Fatty Acids can help to reduce shedding, improve coat and skin health, and boost your Pug’s overall health.

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3. Bad at regulating their body temperatures

All flat-faced dogs struggle to regulate their body temperatures compared to “normal” dogs.

Flat faced dogs are 2x as likely to develop heatstroke!

They aren’t as effective at panting

This is because their flat faces make it tougher for them to breathe as well, so they aren’t as effective at cooling themselves down when they pant.

4. They snore a lot & make a lot of noises

There’s no way around it…

Pugs are LOUD!

YouTube player

If you don’t mind listening to their snoring at night and snorting throughout the day, you might get along well with the Pug.

Lots of us flat-faced dog lovers think these noises are cute… to each their own I guess.

5. They are prone to obesity

Pugs love to eat… and they don’t necessarily love running on the treadmill.

While Pugs aren’t necessarily lazy, they’re not the most active dogs…

So when you combine their low activity level with an above-average appetite, you get a dog that easily gains weight but struggles to get it off.

Tips to keep your Pug a healthy weight

  • Try breaking bigger treats into smaller pieces— they don’t need the whole thing!
  • Don’t feed them table scraps (even if they’re begging!)— check out these foods that are safe for your Pug to eat
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day— this can be walking, playing, or anything else that gets their heart rate up
  • Make sure you’re feeding them the proper amount of food to maintain their weight— this info is usually on the side of the food bag
  • Use low-calorie training treats when training your Pug— you might also want to cut back on their meal portions if you’re doing a lot of training
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6. They’re farters

Yes, that’s right.

Pugs are known for being little (big) farters. 

Their flat faces make them inhale a lot of air when they’re eating which leads them to be gassy.

All hope is not lost, though

Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce your Pug’s farting.

  • Use a slow feed bowl
  • Feed them a high-quality diet
  • Don’t share table scraps with them— especially fermentable foods & dairy products
  • Experiment with other protein sources if you suspect they have an intolerance to their current food (e.g. switch them from chicken to beef)

Check out these Slow Feed Bowls

7. They require a lot of attention (separation anxiety)

Pugs are known for being attention-seekers and a bit clingy.

While some people won’t mind a clingy dog that wants lots of attention, this might be a dealbreaker for others.

“What’re you doing?!”

Clinginess isn’t separation anxiety…

A little bit of clinginess may be expected for Pugs, however, if you are seeing behavioral issues such as pacing, destroying things around the house, and nonstop howling/barking, it might be separation anxiety.

What you can do to help clinginess & separation anxiety

  • Regular exercise
  • Socialize them, especially when they’re puppies
  • Desensitization & counter-conditioning training techniques
  • Play with them & keep them stimulated with enough toys & chew treats (like bully sticks)

These products can help with anxiety

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You might need to work with a trainer

If nothing you try helps your Pug’s clinginess, I suggest meeting with a professional dog trainer sooner rather than later so they can help break the cycle. 

The sooner you start, the easier it will be to stop the unwanted behavior.

Is a Pug right for me?

  • You want a couch potato to snuggle with
  • You want a dog that is small enough to travel with
  • You want a loyal companion that’ll always be by your side
  • You don’t mind all the snorting & snoring sounds they make
  • You are aware of their health issues and prepared to handle any problems that arise (both emotionally & financially)
  • You are willing to work around the Pug’s special needs (like being careful that they don’t overheat & take care of their joints)

A Pug might not be right for you if…

  • You think the Pug’s snoring will disturb you at night
  • You’ll be super grossed out if they fart & stink around you
  • You have dog allergies and need a dog that sheds minimally
  • You want a dog that will do lots of intense activities with you outside
  • You want a super low-maintenance dog that doesn’t have any special needs
  • You aren’t willing to deal with their health issues & take them to the vet for regular checkups

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