First and foremost ensure that all vaccinations are kept up to date, this includes (but not limited to) distemper, rabies, parvovirus. Flea and tick treatments are readily available, over the counter, for your Pug. Consult you vet for a complete list of vaccinations and the recommended times of year to apply the flea and tick treatments.
Pugs love humans. Pugs exist to be with humans. The absolute worst thing you can do to a Pug is to withhold human contact from them. They are highly intelligent but at the same time very stubborn. They will follow you EVERYWHERE. They just want to be with you. They will sit on the couch with you, usually on top of you, sit at/on your feet, they are happy when they are near you (or on you), which is why Pugs do not do well in a kennel environment.
Also, Pugs don't realise they cannot fight, they are a dog and may exhibit the tenacity of a pitbull when challenged but, in the end, they will loose a fight with another dog. When walking a Pug, care must be taken when they encounter more aggressive breeds of dog.
If you've researched Pugs, you'll know that most love to eat. Not all of them will eat to excess but the majority will and will quickly become overweight. While some consider this cute, it is not in the dog’s best interest. We feed our Pugs dry dog food, on average a cup a day for adults. For a juvenile, as is the case with most breeds, the younger they are the more active they are, generally we give them a cup and a half a day, again, this depends on the activity level. We always have a fresh water bowl for them to drink from. For snacks we generally keep a supply of raw carrot sticks in the fridge - all our Pugs think this is a special treat and we are happy to give them vegetables for snacks. We also give them other treats, chicken strips or dog cookies, if they’ve behaved. Overfed Pugs are common and carrying to much weight is not good for them. Pugs should not weigh more than 18-20lbs.
Feeding an adult can be twice a day or once a day but still should not be more than a cup per day, a cup and a half for active juveniles. Puppies require more frequent feedings, generally 3, if not 4 times per day.
Once a month all our Pugs get a bath. Too much bathing will dry out the natural oils in their coats. Good dog shampoos are readily available at pet stores. In a pinch, we will use a baby shampoo. Care must be taken when bathing as a Pugs skin is sensitive and using adult, human shampoos, may bring on skin problems. Ensure you thoroughly rinse the dog as shampoo residue will irritate the skin. (Both Ben and Jerry love getting in the tub.) We use warm water and a face cloth to wash the dog’s head, face and ears. The head is done after the bath. Pugs shed and regular grooming is required, if for no other reason than to keep the shedding to a minimum. Using a normal dog brush, every few days, will keep shedding to a minimum.
The eyes are prominent on their head and easily damaged. If you have more than one dog and, as dogs like to play, you see a grey inside the normal chocolate brown coloured eye, get the dog to the vet - it has been injured. When playing, Pugs like to use their feet as if they are boxing each other and eye injuries, especially in puppies/juveniles, are not that uncommon. If left untreated the dog will likely loose sight in that eye. A vet will prescribe an ointment for the eye, which will normally clear up the problem - don't wait though, this must be attended to immediately. Normally a Pug will have some (very) visible eye residue when they first wake-up: a cotton wool ball, tissue or a soft cloth is all that is needed to gently wipe this residue off.
Pugs don't like getting their nails cut - they may get used to it and put up with it but they don't like it! It can be a real chore to cut a Pugs nails. We try to cut our Pugs nails once a week and both Kim and I do this together. It's much easier with two people, one person to hold the dog and the other to cut the nails. If your house has carpet and the dog doesn't have access to a hard surface that will wear their nails down, I'd also suggest a once a week trimming. As Pugs nails are black it makes trimming the nails a little more difficult. If you do cut your dog's nails ensure you have baking soda, flour or "quickstop" on hand just in case you do cut the quick. Their nails will bleed for quite a time and of course gaining the dogs trust back the following week may prove challenging. Patience works well and is required when cutting a Pugs nails - they just don't like it. Some breeders use a dremel to (gently) grind down the nails.
Another once a week requirement. Pugs ears do build up with wax and the ears require regular cleaning. A damp washcloth or a couple of moist q-tips will do the trick. Care must be exercised when using q-tips in the ear canal as the ears (much like humans) are sensitive and can be easily damaged if you are too rough. Only clean the areas you can actually see.
Cleaning the "stop":
(The stop is the big wrinkle above the pugs nose.) Pugs, because of the flat face, get their faces right into the bowl when they eat. As a result, food debris and other "foreign" matter finds its way into the stop. We take a moist face cloth (not perfumed wipes just clean water) and LIGHTLY/GENTLY clean out the stop, at a minimum, a couple of times a week if not more frequently. Pugs don't like this either but bacteria will grow if not looked after. If you quickly swipe the dogs stop it's over and done with in a couple of seconds.
Pugs don't require a lot of exercise: Under normal circumstances, a fenced yard, where the Pug can run around for 10 minutes (weather dependant) or a one/two kilometre walk is sufficient for them.
Pugs are very susceptible to heat and cold. Pugs and other brachycephalic (Bostons/Boxers/Peke's etc.) breeds, simply cannot handle heat and humidity. They are not built to survive Canada's winter cold either. Pugs, simply put, are an indoor dog. I'd advise if you walk your pug daily, in summer, do it early in the morning or later in the evening. If your Pug does suffer a heat stroke, IMMEDIATELY get some cool water on the head and groin area -go to a vet. In winter, make sure they have a coat if going for a long walk in frigid temperatures. Depending on if a lot of salt is used on the road where you live, boots also may be required, as road salt will "burn" their pads.
A few words about water: Most Pugs are not fond of swimming, they aren't built for this either and can easily get into trouble. With a short, square body (coupled with sometimes carrying to much weight) and a short nose, they can easily drown. Pugs will enjoy a run along the beach and will get their feet wet however, keep a very close eye on them if they do decide to go for a swim.
Hereditary problems - the most common ones associated with Pugs:
PDE (Pug Dog Encephalitis):
Usually occurs before two years of age and is characterized by seizures. These seizures will increase in frequency and intensity. PDE can only be diagnosed by autopsy. This swelling of the brain is thought to be genetic and is ALWAYS fatal. Personally, we have never encountered this but it is the principal reason that we provide a two-year health guarantee.
This is when the eyelashes roll backwards onto the eye, which in most cases is a minor irritation to the eye and causes redness. Usually seen in pups and generally sorts itself out by the time the dog reaches maturity. Consult a professional in all cases.
Slipping (dislocation) of the kneecap(s).
The failure of two halves of the palate in the roof of the mouth to close/fuse together in the womb.