‘I can’t think about life with out him’: People share why they love pugs

‘Pugs have become an easy target’ (Picture: Leah Wood/Patrizia Galeota)

In case you haven’t heard, pugs can now not be thought-about a typical canine from a well being perspective, in accordance with a examine.

According to analysis from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the well being of pugs within the UK is now considerably completely different and largely worse than different breeds.

Associate professor Dr Dan O’Neill stated: ‘Although hugely popular as pets, we now know that several severe health issues are linked to the extreme body shape of pugs that many humans find so cute.’

Similarly, Becky Thwaites, from Blue Cross, stated in a press release following this announcement: ‘We would at all times urge folks to suppose twice earlier than trying to tackle one in all these breeds, to think about the well being points related to these pets and whether or not they might afford the veterinary remedy they might want throughout their lives.

‘Sadly, overbreeding to fulfill demand for flat-faced breeds corresponding to pugs, French bulldogs and Persian cats – that are seen as modern and cute – may end up in these pets affected by a spread of well being points together with respiratory issues, eye illness, pores and skin illness, coronary heart situations, spinal abnormalities and joint illness.

‘At Blue Cross, we hope that by educating owners about the health issues associated with these pets the popularity and unrealistic beauty ideals these innocent pets face will be reduced, in favour of healthier breeding practices where the welfare of the animal, and not its appearance, will be front of mind.’

Yes, flat-nosed breeds aren’t precisely the image of well being, and sure, folks must cease over-breeding canine only for fashionable seems to be, however someplace alongside the best way it feels just like the pugs themselves have began to be judged, which is a disgrace as a result of they’re absolute sweeties.

As Becky says: ‘We never want anyone to feel blamed or shamed for sharing their lives with one of these pets – but we as a society must start doing what is best for the welfare of our four-legged friends.’

After all, they’re solely what people have made them, and there are pugs everywhere in the nation that also want care and loving properties.

That’s why we’ve chatted to pug homeowners and lovers about why they love their pets…


‘He’s full of affection and happiness’ (Picture: Rachael Fletcher)

This is little Hercules, who’s the beloved pet of Rach Fletcher.

Rach says: ‘Hercules has a fab personality – he’s full of affection and happiness, by no means aggressive and is at all times at mine or my boyfriend’s facet, particularly after we’re making dinner.

‘It’s superb to come back dwelling to your little mate who’s excited to see you, irrespective of how your day has gone.’

She provides: ‘He’s an ideal little companion for us as a youthful couple that work.

‘He comes to the office with me sometimes or when we work from home he’s completely satisfied simply chilling at our toes and doesn’t want a ton of strolling like bigger/extra energetic canine.’

‘We also get a few jokes about him being ugly which I disagree with’ (Picture: Rachael Fletcher)

When requested if she’s ever needed to cope with any negativity from folks about pugs, Rach says: ‘Yes, a few people have made comments about pugs being unhealthy/prone to illness which is unfair as most breeds have ailments that they’re more likely to face (e.g. Labs are vulnerable to hip issues).

‘We also get a few jokes about him being ugly, which I disagree with.’


Journalist Jess, whose mum has a pug she adores, says: ‘While I perceive that all of us have a accountability to make sure animals are wholesome, I believe pugs have turn out to be a straightforward goal.

‘Golden retrievers and German shepherds are at extremely high risk of hip dysplasia and joint issues, while spaniels commonly deal with cataracts, Cherry Eye and progressive retinal atrophy – yet we don’t condemn homeowners of those canine.

‘My mum’s pug, Molly, is the happiest canine; she’s so liked and effectively cared for, and it reveals. For folks to imagine that she’s some type of freak of nature is hurtful – and easily improper – in accordance with her vet, she’s in tip-top well being.

‘If vets and charities want to stop people breeding unhealthy pugs, they should look to breeders. They’re the basis of the difficulty, and demonising good canine homeowners for having the “wrong” sort of pet doesn’t resolve something.’

She’s additionally needed to cope with some nasty feedback about pugs previously, explaining: ‘No one has specifically said anything, but I think that’s primarily as a result of she’s fairly well-known round their village.

‘We do get stares when she’s out some other place, and other people have stated issues about pugs to me not figuring out I’ve one. Someone as soon as stated it was merciless to let pugs reside, which got here throughout like some eugenicist scorching take and didn’t sit effectively.’


Meet Dexter (Picture: Leah Wood)

Dexter the Puggle (a pug blended with a beagle) was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, and digital PR and content material exec Leah purchased him as a pet.

‘Ten years ago,’ she says, ‘Puggles weren’t quite common, so I travelled for 4 hours to get him (I’m from Doncaster) – seems the litter had been an “accident.”‘

‘Dexter is 10 now and, without being too dramatic, I couldn’t think about life with out him,’ Leah says.

Baby boy. Baby. (Picture: Leah Wood)

‘He’s such a laid again canine however nonetheless will get excited each time I come dwelling. He suits in with my life-style so effectively – I earn a living from home nearly all of the time, so I’m normally round many of the day which he likes, as he likes to be round folks.

‘He’s not too energetic, though he is aware of when it will get to round noon that it’s stroll time. He’s sociable and loves guests, which is a bonus too.’

On why she opted for that particular combine, she says: ‘I selected a Puggle as I believed the combination of traits between the breeds would go well with my life-style. Dexter is completely satisfied to sleep all day, however will even fortunately go for a stroll as a result of beagle in him.

‘Walking can take a while though – he’s positively obtained the sniffer instincts of a beagle, so he might fortunately stand and sniff the identical spot for hours if I let him. Puggles are bigger than pedigree pugs, which I most popular too. They’re additionally very cute’

Walks with Dexter will be gradual as a result of he loves a sniff (Picture: Leah Wood)


Fergus obtained his beloved canine Millie (RIP) 21 years in the past, from a charity that rehomes pugs who’d purchased her as a result of they thought it greatest to maintain her from being bred elsewhere. She handed away aged 13.

He tells us: ‘She really was very much part of the household. They are a very special breed of dog. They’re extra like a cross between the canine and the cat and the human being.’

He provides: ‘She was hilarious. Her favourite thing was scrambled eggs and she’s bark at you whereas they had been being made. She wished it and he or she wished it now.

‘You knew she was in a foul temper as a result of she would stomp her toes at you.

‘There’s nothing fairly like a pug.’

Fergus can recall when pugs had been much less fashionable than they’re now, saying: ‘I remember walking in Greenwich Park and somebody says: “Hey, mate, you’ve obtained a pig in a leash.”

‘Now those sorts of people are walking around with pugs. It’s fully modified.’

He addresses their well being points, saying that pugs are presumably a breed ‘not everyone should be having’, citing the overbreeding.

‘They’re not probably the most strong due to their respiratory,’ he says. ‘They don’t like an excessive amount of warmth. And they do have points, however then probably the most fashionable canine in the meanwhile is a cockapoo and cockapoos have inherited points too.’

He provides: ‘They were lapdogs, they were never supposed to bounce around the park with a ball in their mouths.’

While Fergus has had different breeds of canine, he doesn’t suppose he might ever have one other pug.

‘It sounds a little crazy,’ he explains, ‘but I never want another one because I don’t suppose it might substitute Millie. She was very particular.’


Beauty and life-style PR specialist Patrizia says: ‘I have a pug, and she is the happiest and healthiest pug there is. Her weight is kept under control to keep her happy and healthy – my vet is very impressed as she sees so many overweight pugs.’

Patrizia provides: ‘People have stated previously “why not get a real dog?” versus a “lapdog”.  

‘Some have said she is kind of ugly-looking in a cute way because of the nature of her flatter features.’

‘Life with Willow in it brings us a lot pleasure – she is an extension to the household. I classify her as my fur child.

‘My son is an only child and the happiness she shows him when he arrives home from school and vice versa, it’s simply stunning. My son is eight years previous, and I’ll typically discover him and Willow on the couch, along with her snuggled in his lap.

‘She has quite a sassy personality, I almost feel she thinks she’s a human generally, she is a really sociable canine and suffers from FOMO when not given sufficient consideration ought to I’ve pals round. She brings a lot to our household.’

Blue Cross’ recommendation on taking good care of pugs

Anna Ewers Clark, veterinary analysis lead at Blue Cross, says: ‘Pugs will be loving and pleasant canine that make nice companions, however they might want further time and care to assist them keep secure and wholesome. These are some high vet suggestions that may assist:

  • Regular vet checks – Knowing about common health problems in pugs and spotting the signs early can help keep your pug healthy and happy. Watch out for breathing problems, sore or discharging eyes, sore or smelly skin or ears. Pugs can also be at increased risk of decay and gum disease, gastrointestinal (stomach issues), joint disease and back problems. If you notice these, or you’re apprehensive about your pug, then contact your vet.
  • Keep them cool – Flat-faced breeds are at a much higher risk of heatstroke in summer, so owners should keep their pets in the cool. Think about using cooling mats and fans, and sticking in the shade as much as possible. If you’re considering of heading out for a stroll, strive a mild stroll for a shorter interval throughout cooler components of the day and maintain an eye fixed out for panting which might imply your pug is getting too heat.
  • Look out for loud night breathing and snorting – Although quite a lot of pug homeowners suppose that loud night breathing and snorting are regular, they are often indicators of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, an airway dysfunction that may make it troublesome on your canine to breathe usually. Always get your canine checked if they’re loud night breathing and snorting loads, particularly in the event that they appear to be struggling to train or get up within the night time after loud night breathing.
  • Keep their faces and pores and skin folds clear – Many pugs wrestle to scrub their pores and skin folds, they usually can wrestle with further discharge from their eyes. Using cooled, boiled water and a delicate fabric to scrub these areas can assist forestall pores and skin irritation and an infection.
  • Control their weight – Pugs can be more prone to weight gain and carrying extra weight can put more pressure on their joints and breathing, which are already more prone to problems.’

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