The Pros and Cons of owning a Pug

See also JACKSON'S STORY > > >

See this cute Youtube Video on Pug Ownership! > > >

It is our belief that every website you view will have gorgeous photos of pug puppies at play, adults winning in the show ring, and enjoying life as a healthy individual. This is, of course, all possible - providing certain criteria are met.

Personally we do not believe pugs suit full time working couples or hot climates.

EYE ISSUES

In Australia we have very hot summers, with high winds resulting in dry conditions, dust, and unrelenting heat. Pugs face an uphill battle as soon as summer starts. They have large protruding eyes that can dry out within a couple of hours. Because the eye surface is so large, it gets dust and debris stuck on the surface - resulting in scratches and painful ulcers very easily. Pugs eyes are very vulnerable when playing with active dogs, and can get scratched easily by claws, branches or sharp objects.

OVER HEATING ISSUES

They have a thick, double coat (short hairs close to the skin and long guard hairs) that is present all year round (it does not fall out in summer to help them cool off). This thick coat sheds all year round - which can make many owners want to leave their pug outside as it is too messy inside.

They have a short face with a very wide throat area - it can be so wide at times that the roof at the back of the mouth 'collapses', making it extremely difficult to take in air and cool off.

SEPERATION ANXIETY ISSUES

Pugs were bred in China to be companion dogs. Just like border collies and kelpies are bred to round up sheep and cattle ... pugs were bred with just as strong a 'working' drive to be with people all day. It would be unkind to purchase a border collie if you lived in an apartment and did not give it sufficient exercise, it would be almost cruel to purchase a pug if you have to go to work and leave it unattended for 6 to 8 hours per day on its own.

SUGGESTED OPTIONS

We do understand that people love pugs, and would like to own one. We also understand that people have to work - however we strongly recommend that you either wait until you are home more, or that you leave your pug with parents or family, or even a doggy daycare if you have to leave him or her for more than 4 hours per day..... or buy TWO PUGS!

A pug will settle much more and be more content if they have a friend at all times - there are a couple of options ... ask the breeder to consider reducing their rate so that you can buy two puppies at the same time. It is much better to buy two at the same time (rather than a year apart) as they then have company instantly (why wait 12 months?), are the same size (the larger one will not injure a younger, smaller one during rough play), they have the same energy levels (will fall asleep at the same time ... rather than a tiny baby sleeping for large parts of the day, and the older one still awake and restless).

If you really do love pugs - then you would be the sort of owner that would want the very best for them - which means not purchasing a pug that you have to leave for 8 hours per day on his own.

If you are house proud and dislike dog hairs everywhere, or if you have to work long hours, or if you simply think dogs should live outside - we urge you to reconsider your choice of dog and not choose a pug in this instance.

Below we have outlined some common pug eye issues, throat issues and skin issues. Unfortunately eye issues are common and frequent. You are welcome to contact Animal Eye Care in Malvern, Victoria, on (03) 9563 6488 to discuss any queries you might have. Animal Eye Care have kindly provided just a few of the more common eye conditions that they see week in, week out. We have detailed the problem and costs involved with each photo. We have also outlined throat problems and skin problems.

Eye Issues

Overly large eyelids on this pug caused over exposure of the cornea (eye surface) resulting in chronic pigmentation and scarring. Scarring and pigmentation over the surface causes loss of vision.
Treatment: suturing closed the corner of the eyelid (see across) at a cost of $1,350 + ongoing Tacrilimous drops twice daily for rest of life @ $70 per bottle. A bottle of Tacrilimous would last approximately 1 month.

This is the result of sewing the corner of the eye shut due to overly large eyelids, which had caused scarring to the cornea.

Corneal Perforations with Iris Prolapse
In this photo, the cornea has perforated, causing the inner eye gel to leak out. The iris (black lens in the centre of the eye) has actually plugged the hole in this instance. Cost of treatment: $1,500 to $2,000 + ongoing medication. A corneal perforation with iris prolapse can occur within 8 to 24 hours of an ulcer forming.

Infected Ulcer resulting in infected cornea
An ulcer on the surface eye will breach the protective and healthy cornea, and untreated, can quickly become infected. Once infected, the cornea starts to completely break down (melt). This photo shows a melting cornea.
Treatment: Full graft over the eye surface - approximately $900 for surgery, followed by $300 to remove the graft several months later. There is a likelihood that only 50% vision would be retained. The only other option for this eye would be removal.

Loss of Vision or Eye

Pigment spreading across the cornea - this will eventually lead to complete loss of vision if not treated. Genetically, pug suffer from 'dry eye' (a lack of tears coming through to lubricate the surface of the eye) and 'entropian' (ingrowing eyelashes, which rub painfully against the surface of the eye).
Both conditions cause ulcers and pigment scarring - painful conditions which left untreated will result in a loss of vision and/or loss of the eye.

Puppy Farm Pug
This pug was found during an raid on a puppy farm. Her untreated ulcer resulted in a corneal perforation, and most of the eye content leaked out. Her eye is now half the size of the other eye, and there is no vision. She would have been in a terrible amount of pain.
Outdoor Issues
This Pug had a generic condition called Demodectic Mange. Hot weather had caused his skin condition to spread rapidly.
January 2010



Same Pug September 2010 after many months of treatment.


BREATHING ISSUES
Apart from the fact that pugs snore loudly when asleep, they can have various other breathing problems. Here is Jackson, who had laryngeal collapse. He could no longer breathe, and had to have emergency surgery with Dr Charles Kuntz, and he now lives with a permanent tracheostomy.

If you feel that you can offer a pug a great home (living inside the house) If you are home most of the day or have family who can 'babysit' while you are at work, and you are realistic in your budgetting for vet bills) then of course we highly recommend pugs as fun loving, intelligent dogs that adore children, the family, food, playing, walks in the park or on the beach and sleeping as close to you on the bed as possible!







Copyright © - Pugs S.O.S. - All rights Reserved    Site design by   Webpage World