I want to buy a pug, a squishy faced, rotund, funny tailed dog. People love Pugs because they’re so ugly- they’re cute! The labyrinth of the human mind is a fascinating study, but now is not the time to delve into a study- it is time to let people know lives are at stake.
What is at stake here are the lives and welfare of millions of “ugly- cute animals” across the world. Human nature at its best considers another life form deserving of dignity, comfort and respect. At it’s worst, human nature is selfish, self serving and willfully ignorant- when another life is its entertainment.
Buy a pug or a french bulldog because they’re compact apartment sized dogs, perfect for the kids as a playmate. Are they? Known as Smash faced cats and dogs, the horrifying name you’d think would deter people. Sadly, the ‘squishy nosed’ cats, dogs and rabbits are social media stars, prompting a surge in people buying them.
It is impossible to keep up with the number of requests we’ve received to buy pug puppies. Pet parents tell us, they want to buy a pug as a ‘sibling’ for their human children! Please take the time to learn about the breed you bring home. Ask these questions if you saw a pug and now ‘want one’ from credible sources of information- not social media groups, read, research and then speak to a professional- in this case a veterinarian.
History of Pugs
Experts agree that the pug originated in China. As a companion dog for royalty. They believe the pug to have been around from 400 B.C. So its safe to say, they’re not a ‘new breed’. Pugs are believed to share a common ancestry with the Pekinese and even the Tibetan mastiff.
Why are their skulls so squashed?
Because we ‘made’ them so. Over the years pugs have been deliberately bred to have shorter muzzles. This also means their teeth ‘don’t line up’ and they have difficulty chewing.
How do they eat with such a flat mouth/snout?
The short simple answer is with great difficulty! Pugs and other short nosed dogs quickly develop dental problems. Many develop dental problems because their mouths are deformed.
Skin Infections and Eye Problems
The protruding eyes mean they are always at risk of injury. This is because their eyes do not fit properly into the socket. The folds of skin are difficult to keep clean and overlooking a proper grooming routine can lead to skin infections.
Why does my Pug breathe funny?
In simple terms, it’s not funny but scary. Over the years pugs have been intentionally bred to have a flatter nose- essentially- in non medical terms – everything in your pugs skull is squashed together so tight, nothing works correctly.
This is a Pug breathing. To a dog owner this is terrifying.
Pugs do not “just sound” this terrifying when they breathe, they suffer as a result of bad design. Social media has fueled the demand for the ‘ugly cute’ dog, everyone wants a funny face feline or canine to launch their influencer career. The pandemic has not helped. As schools, colleges and numerous educational institutions look to stay closed for extended periods- parents are looking for entertainment.
Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) – sounds daunting doesn’t it? It is. Why would anyone knowingly breed a dog or cat who will suffer this condition? Maybe you’ll get lucky and your brachy will be trouble free. Think of the millions that are not, and worse, think of the trauma to your child ,who’s best friend suddenly needs an operation to breathe!
It is astounding how many first time dog owners opt to buy dogs based on pictures. No research, no investigation, no budgeting. Pugs can turn out to be hugely expensive dogs if you have to take your pug to the vet for surgery to help it breathe better. Many short nosed dogs cannot sleep comfortably, so the next time you are amused at a video online of a pug “sleeping sitting up” it is because he/she cannot sleep comfortably.
Enter the foster (quick easy doses of relief, no long term commitment) or the new family pet. Once again as human beings who need comfort and a distraction, we reach for animals . But only for as long as we need. The greatest tragedy of massive numbers of abandoned brachycephalic cats and dogs is around the corner. It will overwhelm every rescue community globally.
So why is it that we condone, even promote, theDr. Fraser Hale
breeding of animals whose very design has a negative impact on health and quality of life for every single member of the breed?
I am referring to brachycephalism.
Pugs have spawned an industry, within an industry. How is that an ugly adorable animal has captured the fascination of people across the globe? Within the pet industry from special wipes for the folds on a pugs face to food for brachycephalic breeds (cats and dogs) from pet food companies. Pug momentos and merchandise are a profitable business. So every one gains, except the animal.
The burden of responsibility falls to us as an ‘industry’. The whole industry, breeders, veterinarians, trainers, pet businesses etc. It is a collective effort to educate potential pet owners and families. Many individuals and families are genuinely unaware of the horrors of brachycephalic breeds- most have never heard the term! So we must educate to eradicate.
Pugs for sale in India maybe bought for as little as two hundred dollars! A horrifying prospect, how at that price can any responsible and ethical breeder maintain, breed and sell puppies? They cannot, and so another specialised backyard breeder is born.
For certain, these are not educated breeders. For the dozens of requests we receive every week- our core message to potential pet owners is simple. Never buy a “bargain puppy or kitten”. You simultaneously put in jeopardy your family, the new pup or kitten and the mother who bore them.
We’ve covered a brief over view of the discomfort and dangers flat nosed dogs face. There are many more health and welfare issues. When you need to explain and convince a potential pug buyer quickly why they should never buy a pug, share this with them. There is a wealth of information online and through veterinarians. Not knowing is no longer an excuse, not in the information rich world we live in. Reach out to your local pet business, vet, pet sitter, trainer, the ones in business for the love of animal will help you find the information you need.
In conclusion, if you ask when is it ‘ok’ to have a flat faced dog or cat? If it’s not a rescue, or its never ok.
Helping your clients manage BAS in their dogs, Innovative Veterinary Care, Issue Oct 15, 2020.
Brachycephalic Breeds and Their Health- Hunt Valley Animal Hospital, Cockeyville,MD
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9 thoughts on “I want to Buy a Pug”
I I fully understand all your concerns re the health of pugs. I fell in love with a wee dog who was loving loyal great with kids and people sensitive and faithful. Would follow you anywhere and everywhere. Happened to be a friends pug. So I now have 2, a 10 year old and a pup. I have never had such a faithful friend. My older dog has had no health problems as a pup whereas I know a lot of people who have lost their dogs at young ages. Long live the pug.!!
They’re wonderful loving dogs and it’s good to know your pugs are healthy! But it’s so very important for people to know what they may be getting into when they get a pug. Lack of breed awareness is such a huge contributor to the dog shelters overflowing.
They are just adorable and friendly … Easy to train them ourself. Say it two times ..third time they are ready.. that easy. I just love their innocent expressions, hardly bark, so neighbours will be clueless that you have a dog at home. So apartment friendly, but seeks attention. It wants to be at your every footstep. If it in need of something, makes that pleading voice but never troubles. They love to be clean and not a big deal to give them bath. Quick learner. Its just 4 months I spent but a proud family member.
Good article on the pugs health issues. But anything too much is scary. At first read I filled my eyes worrying about my puppy. I know to take care of him and he will live long healthy with us.
We hope your pug has a long healthy life as well. And its not the breed, its the breeding, of course proper pet care helps, but its important for pet owners to know what they are getting into. As our pets become increasingly important members of our families, we have a duty to their well being.
I just dislike posts like these… You state that it is not the breed but the breeding but you state brachiafalic breeds as defective.
People must know what to expect with a Pug, they should also know that it is a very old race (not a recent invention kept alive through mad science) and should know they are very loyal, calm and a great friend all-around. Great for kids and old people because of their low energy they require little exercise (but do require some in order to be healthy and not obese)
Posts shamming pet owners is agressive and sensationalist. It only gives rise to stupidity, as more and more people scream “you are hurting your dog by keeping him alive! Your dog is so sick he can’t even breath! You should put him down! Look, he needs more exercise, he is so fat…”
These are the morronic statements… My dogz Napoleão is a pure conscious breed. He has cleared palate and airways, although (as usual) his teeth came out crooked…
You should focus on canine clubs and their bbreeding standards. Advocating for longer snouts and sturdier composition should be the aim and never the disappearance of one of the most amazing breed of dogs I have ever known.
Also, do not limit it to a simple “so ugly it’s cute”… Try to understand why they are “mutto in parvo” or “a lot in a small package” and I might give you a point for understanding them a bit.
Thank you for your response. We’re sure you are a responsible pug owner aware and capable of giving your pug the best care he/she needs. You are correct in stating breeding standards and kennel/canine clubs are to be held to standard. The vast majority of pug owners are looking for a cute dog, many have purchased the pup as amusement for their kids. In response to a demand pugs are literally being ‘churned out’ in many parts of the world. We receive two forms of daily enquiries, one to purchase (at a bargain price) and the other set are owners desperate to help their ill bred dogs.
The lucky pugs are taken care of for the rest of their lives, the rest are abandoned. We’ve personally known many pugs, they are wonderful affectionate animals who have been caught up in a commercial market. The vast majority of pet owners especially through lock downs 2020 are first time pet owners and there in lies the danger to the dog. Our intention is to shame no pet owner, rather to make sure the new pet owners understand the gravity of the responsibility they are taking on.
I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…|
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It’s the little changes that make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!|