Pug Puppies & Their Health

The characteristic short face of a pug leads to some serious respiratory drawbacks.
Sitting Pug image by LOLA from Fotolia.com

Pugs have a long and storied history, stemming back to Asia in 400 BC. Tibetan monasteries and royalty in Victorian England have owned these small, friendly dogs. Today, due to inbreeding and some of their physical characteristics, pugs face some definite health considerations.


Pugs are small, thickset dogs with short faces and pop eyes. They come in colors from brown to black, mixed with white, and have smooth coats. Adult pugs stand at 10 to 14 inches and weigh up to 20 lbs. Their characteristic short faces and large eyes can lead to serious health issues.


Pugs have very big, happy-go-lucky attitudes. They are loyal and loving to their families, and can be stubborn in their attachments. Pugs are sensitive, but get along well with other pets and children.

Medical Considerations

Pug dogs are genetically inclined to a couple of serious medical conditions. Pug dog encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain that strikes pugs, along with several other breeds. Pugs can be struck by hip dysplasia, back problems, enlargement of the heart, eye problems and liver shunts. Many of these issues are treatable only through surgery.

Physical Considerations

Pug dogs have very short faces and nasal cavities, which lead to respiratory issues and breathing problems. They are prone to coughing, sneezing, wheezing and colds. In hot weather, their inability to breathe properly can lead to overheating and heat stroke.


Owners can protect their pug puppies by following certain guidelines in regard to the dog's health. Because pugs are so prone to respiratory problems, owners should never smoke around their puppy. Cleaning products should be checked for dangerous chemicals, and pug puppies should be kept away from fresh-cut grass and particularly hot, humid weather.