Pug 101

Should I adopt a pug?

Pugs are wonderful companion animals! They are affectionate, attentive, entertaining and personable. Those who recognize their endearing qualities tend to become quite obsessed with them! However, there are special issues associated with this breed that you must be aware of before choosing to adopt one.

Expensive Medical Problems

Like most purebred dogs, pugs are prone to many expensive health problems. If spending a lot of money on veterinary bills is simply unacceptable, consider waiting until you are more financially prepared to adopt a pug, or look into less expensive types of pets or breeds.

Common medical problems include:

  • Their teeth tend to be crowded in their mouths. They require dental cleanings by a vet – often every year
  • Pigmentary Keratitis, an eye condition requiring daily medication for life to prevent blindness
  • Dry eyes, requiring daily eye lubricant 
  • Arthritis and general mobility issues
  • Allergies – both food and seasonal
  • Luxating Patellas which may require surgery depending on severity
  • Wrinkles and ears prone to infection. They must be regularly cleaned
  • They may develop breathing problems from their short snouts
  • Elongated soft palates, which may require surgery depending on severity
  • Eyes that are prone to injury

Pug Behavior

While some dogs were bred to herd sheep or hunt birds, pugs were bred to be lap dogs. In a pug’s mind, it’s their “job” to be your best friend, 24/7.

  • Pugs tend to be underfoot, and will try to follow you wherever you go (they are often referred to as “velcro dogs”)
  • If they are left alone for long hours, they may become depressed and exhibit behavioral problems
  • They may exhibit behavioral problems if they are not allowed to be close to you and interact with you when you are home
  • They are not a good choice for people who work long hours or are frequently not home
  • Pugs are very difficult to housebreak, and often have accidents even when they are considered “housebroken”
  • Pugs are generally more difficult to train than working and hunting breeds of dog
  • Many pugs are fussy about being outside during inclement weather
  • While many adult and senior pugs are lazy, pug puppies are full of energy and require a great deal of time, exercise, training and attention

Safety Concerns

  • Pugs cannot be left outside for long periods of time
  • Excessive heat can quickly become fatal to pugs – they physically cannot tolerate extreme temperatures
  • Pugs have been known to be targeted by thieves who will steal unattended pugs from their yards and enclosures
  • They are poor swimmers and must be supervised near any body of water
  • They have a tendency to gain weight, resulting in additional health and mobility problems


  • Pugs shed a LOT, year-round. And contrary to popular belief, most black pugs shed as much as fawn pugs.
  • They are NOT hypoallergenic. If you’re allergic to dogs, you’ll probably be allergic to pugs.
  • They require regular nail trims (which they usually hate)