Pug Health Issues


The Pug is a breed of small, strong-willed, very sociable, playful and charming dogs. Pugs are brachycephalic dogs; they have a shortened snout and elongated palate and because of that they are prone to snoring and sudden sneezing attacks (the so-called “pharyngeal gagus reflex”). Pugs are also prone to overheating so it is important to monitor them during high heat. Their average life expectancy is 12 – 15 years.

Do Pugs Have Health Problems?

Pugs are susceptible to a large number of hereditary and other diseases. Below you can find a list of health issues that affect this breed most commonly. This doesn’t mean that all of the diseases mentioned below will certainly occur in your pet, nor that he cannot have a disease that is not on this list.

The following list is not arranged in any particular order, i.e. it doesn’t mean that the health issues at the top of the list are more likely to occur and vice versa.

The health issues that have been reported in Pug over the years are the following:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, dwarfism, cervical disc disease, hemivertebra, intervertebral disc disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patella luxation, spondylosis
  • Eye problems: entropion, corneal dystrophy, corneal ulcer, sicca syndrome/dry eye, ulcerative keratitis, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Cherry eye, distichiasis
  • Skin problems: allergies, atopy, demodectic mange, dermatitis, fold dermatitis, cheyletiella dermatitis (“walking dandruff”)
  • Heart diseases: hepatic portosystemic shunt/arteriovenous fistula
  • Cancer: mastocytoma
  • Birth anomalies: cleft lip, cleft palate, elongated soft palate, hanging tongue, malocclusion, collapsed trachea, stenotic nares, teeth abnormalities
  • Hereditary diseases: Pug dog encephalitis (PDE)/necrotizing meningoencephalitis
  • Autoimmune diseases: Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism), pannus
  • Neurological diseases: nerve degeneration, epilepsy
  • Urinary tract infections: cystitis and cystic calculi
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Syncope
  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
  • Vaccination sensitivity

Due to the presence of wrinkles on the face and body, Pugs are prone to skin infections. It’s happening because of the accumulation of bacteria and fungi inside these “pockets” of wrinkles.

Pugs are also prone to weight gain and obesity. Therefore, it is very important to monitor the dosage of food during its growth and to limit treats intake. You need to provide your Pug with a sufficient dose of daily exercise and take him on regular walks to avoid overweight issues and behavioral problems that can result in chewing your stuff and intense howling and barking.

The Pug should not be allowed to overeat because this, as well as poor quality food, can shorten his lifespan. Appropriate portions of food, regular exercise, bathing about once a month, regular brushing, nail trimming and maintaining the hygiene of the ears and teeth will contribute to the better health of your pet.

If you are just thinking about getting a Pug puppy, do so from a reliable breeder. Any reliable breeder will provide the certificates that confirm that puppies are free of hereditary diseases and that they have received all the necessary veterinary care.