Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Big dogs, small dogs, sleek dogs, fluffy dogs: we love them all! One pooch that is almost impossibly adorable is the pug. Fido’s cute face and expressive eyes have definitely earned him some fans! A veterinarian discusses the pug below.
Fido was originally bred as a companion dog for ancient Chinese nobility, and were beloved pets of several Emperors. As one might expect, being the Emperor’s favorite pooch is a pretty sweet deal. Those pampered pugs lived lives of complete doggy luxury, and even had their own guards. Pugs were also beloved in ancient Tibet, where Buddhist monks kept them as pets.
The pug made it over to Europe in the 16th century, where they soon charmed … well, pretty much everyone. The famous painter Goya painted several pugs. Italian pugs were allowed to ride in the front seats of private carriages, often dressed as tiny, furry replicas of the coachmen’s outfits. Queen Victoria was also a big fan of these cute pups. The pug even became the official dog of the House Of Orange, after one saved the life of his master, the Prince of Orange, by warning him of approaching assassins.
Pugs reached America in the 19th century. The AKC officially welcomed Fido into their ranks in 1885. In 1931, he got his own club: The Pug Dog Club Of America. One special dog, Dhandys Favorite Woodchuck, even won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1981.
Pugs are brachycephalic. Like other brachys, they have very short airways, and can easily get out of breath. You don’t want to overexert your pup, as this can cause respiratory distress. However, you also shouldn’t let him become a complete couch potato, as a lack of exercise can contribute to obesity, which in itself can cause or contribute to a whole slew of health issues. You’ll also need to be very careful with your furry pal’s eyes, as those bulging ‘bug eyes’ can be prone to injuries. Ask your vet for specific care tips.
Affectionate, friendly and lovable, pugs have often been referred to by the phrase Multum in parvo, which loosely translates to ‘a lot of dog in a small space’ in ‘pug’ Latin. They can be stubborn, but are rarely aggressive, and are quite patient with children, and are equally fond of naps and playtime. They’re often called little shadows, because they stick so close to their humans.
Do you have questions about pugs? We can help! Contact us, your animal clinic!