Pug Health Problems

Common health problems that may affect the Pug include dry eyes, corneal ulcers, entropion, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, pug dog encephalitis, tracheal collapse, elongated soft palate, and stenotic nares.

The Pug is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Believed to be of Chinese origin, the Pug shares similarities to the Pekingese.

The Pug is an excellent companion dog and quite a good watchdog as well.

Pugs are extremely people oriented and therefore should not be left alone for extended periods of time.

The Pug is a rather popular breed in the U.S.A.- Ranked 31st most registered breed by the AKC for 2013.

Common Pug Health Problems

Pug If you have a pug, you will probably notice that this dog breed tends to put on weight rather easily. There are indeed a lot of chubby pugs and obesity is one of the most common pug health problems. While a chubby pug may look cute, it is definitely not healthy. Do not overfeed your pug and monitor his/her weight regularly.

Another important thing to remember is, brachycephalic breeds (short muzzled breeds such as the Pug) cannot be left outside in the heat for a long time. Due to the flatness of their face, heat and high humidity make it difficult for them to breathe. I am sure you notice heavy breathing and excessive panting in your pug if s/he is outside even for a short while in the summer, right? Therefore, always keep the Pug cool and avoid excessive exercise in the summer.

Let's look at some common pug health problems, which understandably are related to their eyes and their respiratory systems, due to their distinct physical features.

Pug Health Problems Related To Their Eyes

Since pugs have bulging eyes, it is rather easy for them to sustain eye injuries or disease. Pugs are prone to the following eye problems:

Pug Health Problems
Related To The Respiratory System

Since pugs have "pushed-in" noses, they are prone to quite a few respiratory problems, such as:

  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Stenotic Nares: A birth defect that commonly occurs in Pugs, this problem refers to a narrowing of the nasal openings because they are partially covered by the wings of the nostrils which are too large. The condition causes breathing difficulties in the Pugs through their noses. This loss of air passage results in excessive snorting, snoring, coughing, and gagging. As you can imagine, this puts a lot of strain on the Pug's entire body and can lead to heart enlargement, tracheal collapse and chronic bronchitis. Surgery to open up the affected nostril is recommended especially for young Pugs suffering from this defect.
  • Elongated Soft Palate (ESP): ESP is common among Brachycephalic breeds. In many Pugs, the soft palate is too large, resulting in the obstruction of their airways. A Pug with a mild condition of ESP usually snores. In more severe cases, the pugs may have a honking cough; they may be gasping for air and have difficulties breathing. ESP can be corrected through surgery.

Other Pug Health Problems

Other health issues that may affect pugs include:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE): Pug dog encephalitis, which is basically inflammation of the brain, tends to affect young to middle aged Pugs. The main symptom is seizures, and the affected pug may also show signs of listlessness, lethargy, circling, blindness, and loss of muscle coordination. Signs of the disorder can happen very rapidly or progress slowly. Medication can be used to control the seizures but there is no cure for this disorder.

Health Supplements for Pugs

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Recommendations for Your Pug!

Ark Naturals Eyes So Bright for Dogs and Cats

This eyewash is excellent not only for cleansing but also for promoting healing of sore, inflamed, and infected eyes. Good for eye conditions such as dry eye, conjunctivitis, and other eye infections.

Nature's Herbs for Pets Joint Relief for Dogs

This Chinese herbal formula contains effective herbs for joint problems such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and stiffness due to inflammation of the joints. Works well as a preventive or as a remedy.

Doc Ackerman's Epilepsy & Seizure Formula for Dogs and Cats

A great herbal formula that provides relief from the effects of epilepsy for your dog. It contains nerve-calming and nourishing herbs such as chamomile, ginseng, passion flower, St.-John's wort, valerian root, etc.

Nature's Herbs for Pets Respiratory Relief for Dogs

This Chinese herbal formula is effective for coughs caused by tracheal collapse. It eases breathing, reduces mucous production and clears it from the lungs.


  • B. Belmonte, The Pug Handbook (Barron's Educational Series, 2004)
  • Pug Center (http://www.pugcenter.com/health-concern.php)