Why Do Pug Puppies Have So Many Problems?

In the dog world today, overbreeding is a serious problem. While there are many caring and conscientious dog breeders, just as many exploit dogs for a quick buck and harm the dogs in their charge.

This can be seen in all of the health problems purebred dogs suffer today. Some have been overbred so long that they immediately have health problems, even as puppies.

One of those breeds is the Pug, a lovable and adorable breed. Pugs, unfortunately, are also brachycephalic, which means they have pushed-in faces and flattened noses. 

Being brachycephalic, Pugs have trouble breathing and various other health problems.  Yes, they are incredibly cute, adorable, and loveable dogs, but for families on a tight budget, the health problems a Pug presents can be overwhelming.

I was talking to one of my neighbors about their Pug the other day, and they told me how much money they spent on veterinarian bills. As I tried to keep my eyes from popping out of my head (like a Pug!) I was reminded of a question I hear frequently; why do Pug puppies have so many problems?

The answer is that over-breeding and brachycephaly contribute to Pugs’ many health problems. The combination of the two has pushed Pugs to the point where, in the UK, a study was released saying that they “can’t be considered a typical dog.” 

The problem is, first and foremost, that brachycephalic dogs already have a problem breathing due to their flattened, pushed-in faces. That’s exacerbated by unscrupulous breeders who care more about making a profit than the health of their dogs.

In short, Pug puppies have so many health problems because they’re naturally predisposed to them and have also been overbred, which has exaggerated the problem. 

Now that you know why pug puppies have so many problems, it’s a good bet you want to learn more about these intelligent and adorable dogs and how to prevent them from suffering.

What are the chances of a Pug puppy having health problems, for example, and is it cruel to own a Pug? If you do, I urge you to read on. I have the answers to those questions and several more below. 

Are Pugs in Pain all the Time?

All dogs are different, including those of the same breed. You will find Pugs that deal with their flat faces and small skulls well and others that don’t. Some will have constant pain and problems while others won’t, and vice versa.

To say that all pugs are in pain all the time would be an overstatement. The health problems that plague Pugs can make their lives painful and miserable. On the other hand, some Pugs will do just fine and suffer minimally during their lifetime.

Should People Buy Pugs?

Depending on who you ask, you will find some people who recommend not purchasing pug puppies. In the United Kingdom, for example, there is a general push towards avoiding the breed. 

By avoiding the breed for a few years, natural selection can improve their body shape, skull shape, and other physical characteristics that are the major causes of their health problems.

Does Every Pug have Health Problems?

While it is impossible to determine if every pug has health problems, a study in 2016 found that nearly 70% of pugs that were screened had at least one unhealthy condition. Another study performed in Sweden in 2018 found that approximately one-third of all pugs aren’t able to walk properly. 

In short, while not every pug will have health problems, most of them will. 70% is an incredibly high percentage and a high risk that your pug puppy will have health problems regardless of where you purchase them.

Can You get a Healthy Pug?

While it is impossible to determine if a pug puppy will remain healthy after you adopt it, there are several methods you can use to improve your odds, including:

  • Purchasing a pug puppy from a respected breeder with excellent credentials. Check their website, social media accounts, and online reviews when possible. The more positive information you can find, the better.
  • Purchase a pug puppy from pug parents that are 3 years old or less. Before they reach 3 years, many pups will not have developed genetic health issues that they can pass on to their puppies. 
  • Ask to see the mother of the pug puppy you are purchasing and, if possible, the father. Both will give you an idea of how healthy or unhealthy your pug puppy might be.
  • Try to determine how many litters the mother of your pug puppy has had previously. One with fewer pregnancies and more time between litters is a better choice. A pug bitch that has had more than one litter per year is, sadly, not.
  • Be wary of breeders selling their pug puppies at a discount.

How to Avoid Pug Health Problems

Even if your pug is predisposed to various health problems, there are several excellent methods you can use to help them avoid other health problems and slow down the advancement of any health problems they currently have. Some of the best methods to do this include:

  • Ensure that you are pug stays at a healthy weight, not too lean and not too large, throughout their life. 
  • Feed your pug puppy and then pug adult a high-quality, nutritious food source.
  • Clean and groom your pug regularly.
  • Brush your pug’s teeth or have them regularly cleaned.
  • Feed your precious pug a consistent diet throughout their life.
  • Create a potty schedule for your pug and stick to it.
  • Clip your pug’s nails regularly. 
  • Take good care of your pug’s eyes and have them checked regularly.
  • If you notice big changes in your pug or their behavior, report them to your vet.

Final Thoughts

Pugs have been around for a long time and are a favorite breed of many dog enthusiasts. They’ve been a recognized dog breed in the United States since the late 1800s.

However, being so darn cute and adorable may be the breed’s downfall. Their attractive looks are the biggest reason pug puppies have so many problems. Because of their adorableness, they are overbred to the extreme.

It’s gotten so bad that some countries have imposed a moratorium on purchasing or breeding pugs. That way, the breed will have time to revert to a more normal, less complicated body shape, size, etc.

Did you enjoy today’s blog article about why pug puppies have so many problems? I hope so and that it answered all of your pressing questions. If you have more or want to learn more about being a puppy parent, please see my other blogs on the subject.