Pug Maintenance
Keeping your Pug Clean, Healthy, and Less Offensive to Others

What's that smell?

You will often notice stinky smells from both ends of your Pug, and this is normal for the most part. But occasionally, he will omit a stench so offensive, even he will be embarrassed by its presence. This smell has come to be known in our house as the dreadful "Fishy Butthole," because it is what it sounds like. Apparently this disgustingly foul odor is caused by the Pug's anal gland in need of "expressing." As you can imagine, there is probably some nasty juicy liquid involved in this process and should be performed by a Groomer who is getting paid to do your dirty work. Be assured that there is nothing physically wrong with your Pug, but this issue will continue to haunt you if not dealt with regularly. Yes, regularly. This isn't a one-time fix. Pugs need their anal glands expressed as often as they need to be groomed.

Here are more links on expressing your dog's anal glands at home:


Some breeds have problems with overeating, but Pugs have problems with overheating. Yes, it was a stupid joke, but I am just a dog after all. At least I'm not telling jokes about elephants wearing blue booties or things like that. Anyway, Pugs cannot be left outside on hot days, nor can we withstand extended walks on moderately warm days. When a "regularly snouted" dog pants, air is drawn over the moist membranes of the snout, cooling the entire body of the dog. Pugs have no snouts, and despite our attempt to pant, we don't have the ventilation pipes necessary to complete the job, and we overheat and could die. Pugs are inside lapdogs anyway, so you should already know better than to try to keep your Pug outdoors. However, if you are on a long walk, and your Pug starts to pant heavily, you need to pick him up and carry him home. The People also keep a lot of water out for me, and stick my head in the freezer when I start to pant heavily. When I get really overheated, the Woman runs a nice cold bath for me.

Freaked-Out Breathing Attack

There is really no other way to describe this next topic than a "freaked-out breathing attack." Sometimes I have episodes where I start heaving really hard and make a weird noise like I am suffocating or choking. It freaks Tammy out to the limit. I don't know what causes these attacks, and sometimes Tammy accuses me of just trying to get attention, but with a little petting and whispering of sweet nothings, it usually passes quickly (like in a minute or so). Sometimes she sticks my head in the freezer and that helps too.

I have also heard that the freaked-out breathing attack is caused by the Pug trying to expel phlegm from his throat, and some people squirt a little bit of lemon juice in their pug's mouth to break up the phlegm. That might work, but Tammy hasn't tried it, so I can't say for sure.

Stinky Wrinkles

If your Pug's wrinkle crud gets so gross that it stinks, you have gone way too long without cleaning his face! The Vet tells Tammy that my wrinkles should be cleaned every day. I hate it when she touches my face, so I'm not having this every day crap, but I do let her clean the wrinkles on occasion. She folds a paper towel long-wise about four times to make a sturdy wipe, then wets it and runs it through my wrinkles (the crack above my nose and below my eyes). The Vet claims that wrinkle crud can get really gross and cause infections, so keep those wrinkles clean!

Here are more links on how others' clean their Pugs' faces:

Fragile Eyeballs

You have probably witnessed your Pug running flat-faced into walls, not blinking when hit in the face with a toy, staring at the sun, etc ... I think Pugs have depth-perception issues, because I am constantly getting popped in the eye, and it is an unpleasant feeling that I would not incur on purpose. Sometimes I get eye ulcers and scratches on my eyeballs too, and it hurts really bad. If your Pug gets an eye ulcer or a scratch on his eye, you need to take him to the Vet, because it will only get worse without treatment. Don't try to treat a scratch or ulcer with a home remedy; ie, Visine, because it can make it even worse - Visine is not meant for dogs! Also, don't flush it with water, because it just irritates the wound more. I see a lot of people finding my site looking for a home remedy for Pug eye ulcers, and there isn't one. You need to go to the Vet immediately. The Vet will give you eye drops and ointment that you can keep on hand for the next time your Pug gets an ulcer. As a preventative measure, Tammy tries to clean my eyes out with saline solution regularly, but I really don't like it, so she doesn't do it that often. If your Pug will let you clean his eyes, you should make it a regular habit.

It's Bath Time!

I like being clean so much that I even clean myself like a kitty! When Tammy asks if I want a bath, I crazy-dog around the apartment and run into the bathroom, eager to be clean again! It's not like I have stinky-dog problems like some Pugs I know, but I do like that freshly bathed smell! I also enjoy a professional grooming from the PetSmart. They spray me down with a "new dog" smell cologne. Tammy likes it too.

Don't Touch My Feet!

I HATE having my toenails trimmed. Tammy can't do it. Chris can't do it. Ian won't even try. Once, Tammy, Ian and Chris all three held me down and trimmed most of my toenails, but it took a long time and Chris threatened to punch me in my unpunchables (*ouch* what a weird-o). I will pull my limb out of socket before I let anyone trim my nails. That's why Tammy takes me to PetSmart and makes them do it. Sure, it still takes three of them, but at least they are getting paid to do it. Apparently I have to have my toenails trimmed regularly or I will have health problems. I'm willing to risk it, but Tammy is not.

Pug Pimples

I occasionally get a big weird pimple-looking thing around my mouth that looks kind of like a wart. These pimple wart things always go away within a week, but sometimes they get really gross and ooze some yucky stuff. Tammy just keeps my face washed and that's about it. I don't think this is cause for alarm unless it persists for over a week. If that happened to me, I know Tammy would take me to the Vet. He would tell her she was crazy in a really polite way, but she already knows that.

Mast Cell Tumors

Don't ever take a chance with a strange lump on your Pug. We are prone to Mast Cell Tumors, which can be fatal if left untreated. I have had two mast cell tumors removed, and they both behaved the same. Some days the lump was very small and skin-colored, and other days it swelled up to the size and color of the tip of a pink pencil eraser. Mast Cell Tumors have a habit of behaving erratically, so you can't really tell by looking at it whether it is malignant. So, if a lump persists on your Pug for over a week, get him to the Vet and be prepared for surgery or a needle biopsy. NEVER squeeze, poke or prod a suspicious lump, as this will agitate a Mast Cell Tumor and could cause your dog to go into shock and possibly die. If your Vet does not suggest surgery or a needle biopsy, get a second opinion. It is very rare that a Vet does not want to check a suspicious lump for cancer. Remember, Vets are only human and make mistakes too, so always get a second opinion!

Chapped Nose

My nose is usually chapped and cracked looking. I don't have the stereotypical wet "dog" nose, so it is prone to drying out and cracking a lot. Mr. Chris is grossed out by my cracking nose, so Tammy uses "Dr. Hunter's Lip Salve" on it regularly to keep it moist and prevent cracking. It's a very mild and wet lip salve that is easy to spread around and doesn't contain anything that burns my sensitive little nose. I also recommend using butter, but that's just because I can snack on it all day long.

I Need to Pee!

I usually need to go outside to do my business four times a day - morning, lunch time, dinner time, and right before bed. However, I often forego my lunch time potty break, because I have just outgrown it, and I can hold my bladder longer than back in the good old days. When I was a puppy though, I had to have my lunch time pee break, or I would hose down my room. If you are wondering how often your Pug needs to pee, it is best to error on overwatering rather than underwatering, lest your house be the victim of an accidental leakage.

More Advice

The PugMan has a load of great information about Pugs that would benefit any Pug owner or prospective Pug owner.

Read My Blog | Look at the Majesty | Check out my links
Top 10 Evil Things I have Done | Train Your Human | Weird Search Strings | My Wishlist | Send me an email