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