Any pug owner will tell you that pugs are special. They have qualities that are unlike those of any other breed. But, what is now second nature to a pug owner might be a surprise to those thinking of getting their first pug. That’s because there’s nothing quite like the pug life! Read on to learn 20 things that only pug owners would know.
1. They shed a lot!
Even though they’re small, compact dogs, pugs shed a good amount.
Their coat is very tightly-packed – it holds roughly 600 hairs per square inch! Compare that to a Yorkshire Terrier, who has only 100 to 200 hairs per square inch.
Some pugs even have double coats, both an undercoat and topcoat of fur, meaning they shed even more.
Add to that the fact that a pug’s hair growth cycle (growth, rest, and shed) moves faster than your average dog, and you’ve got a chronic shedder!
Pug owners know to stock up on lint rollers, and to invest in a good vacuum cleaner.
2. You have to clean their face wrinkles
Pug wrinkles are one of their cutest features, but they can be high maintenance.
These deep pockets trap debris, water and bits of food.
They should be kept clean and dry, or else your pug is at risk of infection, funky smells or inflammation.
Keep them clean with daily grooming. Wipe down between each fold and pat dry.
3. Their eyes are sensitive
Large, beautiful, dark pug eyes! They’re the window to a pug’s soul.
Unfortunately, a pug’s big eyes can cause big problems too.
They’re bold and prominent, with a large surface area that can catch debris. This can lead to inflammation and irritation, or at worst corneal abrasions and ulcers.
You can help avoid these issues by keeping your pug well groomed, so no loose hairs or dirt get into their eyes, and with regular wipe downs. Routine vet checks are also recommended.
4. Their tails uncurl when they are relaxed or tired
Pugs are known for their curly tails, but it’s normal to catch sight of an uncurled tail every now and then.
The most common reason for a straight tail is a sleepy pug. When your pug is feeling relaxed or tired, the muscles around their tail also relax, allowing it to uncurl.
Other causes for a straight tail include nervousness, sadness, concentration or sickness. Older pugs are prone to ‘straight-tail syndrome,’ when they lose firmness in their muscles.
5. They have no sense of personal space
Pugs love human contact. They’ll sit at (or on) your feet, on your lap, by your side or in any position where their paws are on you. Get used to touching fur, and forget about your personal space.
6. Snoring is your new white noise machine
Pugs wheeze, snort, sneeze and snore. They’re constantly making funny sounds, especially at night time and when napping.
These sounds are second nature in a pug household, but if you’re a light sleeper or have auditory sensitivities, you might want to invest in ear plugs.
7. Reverse sneezing is a thing
A reverse sneeze is the opposite of a sneeze. In a normal sneeze, air is pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is quickly, and forcefully pulled in through the nose.
Pugs are prone to reverse sneezing because of their flat faces and short noses. They’re caused by things like allergies, too much excitement from play or exercise, or drinking too quickly.
An episode of reverse sneezing typically lasts anywhere from a few seconds to about two minutes. It can cause a very loud snorting or gagging sound, and your pug may extend their neck with eyes bulging. But stay calm – what may look like a seizure or asthma attack is actually nothing to worry about, and your pug should be fine once it stops.
When Boogie has a reverse sneezing attack, we usually speak to him calmly and gently rub his neck and chest. If it continues, we force open his mouth to encourage him to swallow.
8. They love chin rests
It’s a fact that pugs love a good chin rest. Ask any pug owner and they’ll confirm.
Your hand, an arm rest, a pillow, a coffee table. Pretty much any elevated surface will do.
Perhaps they love chin rests because their heads are so heavy. Maybe it’s because they prefer to keep their noggins raised. No one can definitively say! The only thing confirmed is that all pugs are born with this preference, and it’s necessary for optimal comfort.
9. They sometimes like humans more than other dogs
Pugs get extremely attached to their owners, and often choose to hang out with humans over other dogs.
They also love their own kind, and will hang out with other pugs in social situations.
10. Their strength multiplies when getting their nails clipped
Pugs are docile and sweet until the nail trimmer comes out.
If you have a pug puppy, get them used to having their nails trimmed. Practice, use lots of treats and touch their paws a lot.
If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with Cujo every month or so.
11. They will be your shadow
Forget privacy. A pug will follow you wherever you go. On your lap, in your bed, even at your feet while you use the bathroom. They don’t like closed doors and they don’t like to be away from their human.
12. They have huge appetites
Pugs live to eat. Every pug’s favorite room in the house is the kitchen.
They’re incredibly food driven, and therefore prone to obesity.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are a must. Don’t overdo it on the treats, and make sure your pug stays at a healthy weight to avoid health issues.
If you have a chubby pug, check out our tips for helping them lose a few pounds.
13. They hate the rain
Pugs are picky about weather. They don’t like when it’s too hot or too cold, and they especially don’t like the rain. Your pug may even go on a poop strike if it’s raining outside.
14. They love pillows
Pugs are experts at getting comfortable. The more cushions, the better. They love pillows, beds, comforters and anything luxurious. Make sure your pug has soft and comfortable places to lounge, and good luck sharing a bed with them (they’re bed hogs!).
15. They’re great with all ages
One of the reasons pugs make such great family dogs is they’re great with all ages – children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. It’s what makes them such a lovable breed!
16. Anal glands!
Dogs have two little anal glands, located just below the anus. When your pug poops, these glands secrete a unique scent that coats their poo. This is what dogs are smelling when they sniff each other’s butts! They’re getting a good whiff of the substance, also known as butt juice.
If the sacks are not emptied properly, it may cause leaking, discomfort and/or infection.
There are a few signs that can alert you that your pug needs their anal glands squeezed. If you see your pug itching their rear, sniffing around their butt frequently, or dragging their bum on the floor, then they might need their sacks emptied.
If their anal glands are leaking, you’ll know it. The substance smells like hot garbage mixed with rotten fish guts. There’s nothing like it.
You can get your vet or groomer to empty the anal glands, or learn to do it yourself at home (use gloves, and beware of squirting!).
17. Pug slang
If you’re around pug people, or join a pug community online, you’re bound to hear some terms that your average non pug owner wouldn’t know. Pug slang is used to refer to pug traits that are extremely common. Here are a few examples:
Pocket Pug – a fully grown pug who is extremely small.
Velcro Pug – a pug who sticks to their human like velcro; they always stick to your side or in your lap.
Pug Eggs – a plush squeaky egg toy that pugs love to play with. Get your pug some here.
18. They have the softest ears known to man
Pug ears are as soft as velvet. If you rub them, you’ll notice that they’re often the softest part of the pug body.
Pugs have one of three types of ear, all soft as velvet: the rose ear, the fly ear and the button ear.
19. They love to lick
Pugs love to lick. Your face, your arm, their paws, a pillow other pugs. Mixed in with snorts and sneezes, you’re bound to hear plenty of slurps. If they’re not licking something, then they might even be licking their own chops.
20. They will give you unconditional love
Pugs love hard, and they create special bonds with their humans. They’re incredibly expressive about their feelings too, and will shower you with pug hugs, kisses and loads of attention. They’re an incredibly affectionate breed, unlike any other. There’s nothing like unconditional pug love.
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