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Grooming

Looked after properly, Pugs are relatively low-maintenance dogs. However, they do require some regular, basic care to keep them happy, healthy and in good shape.

Being companion dogs, Pugs enjoy being gently groomed – it’s just another form of stroking to them, and they always revel in being given attention.  Brushing the coat with a soft bristle brush or houndglove, for just a few minutes each day stimulates the blood flow to the skin, and keeps the coat in top condition. It also gives you an opportunity to check the dog’s body for any lumps, cuts, grass seeds, parasites and so on.

Fawn Dog’s should have a double coat, but black dogs should have a single coat, and the hair should be slightly finer in texture. A casting coat can be improved by gently raking it out everyday (do take care to ensure that the rake, which is a special grooming tool designed for this purpose doesn’t scratch the skin – test it against your own skin to make sure it has smooth ends).

Regular brushing will control the amount of shed hair that ends up in your home and on your clothes. Traditionally, Pugs shed in the spring and autumn, but it is dependent on the temperature (a warm autumn or cold spring can delay the coat change). A bitch may also shed around the time of season.

Tip: in good weather, brush your dog outdoors to keep your carpet and furnishings free of excess hair.

EARLY START

You’re Pug should get use to a daily grooming routine from a young age.

  • Place a towel or a rubber mat on a table or other waist-height surface (this will save you having to stoop over your dog while you are grooming him/her), and place him/her on it. Reassure your pup, so he/she does not try to leap off the table; do not under any circumstance leave the puppy unattended
  • Gently groom him all over, all the time telling him/her he/she is a very good dog.
  • Give him/her a treat, and lots of praise.

Start by giving a few strokes with the brush, giving your pup lots of praise for standing still.

  • Next get him/her used to being examined all over – check his eyes, nose, and inside his ears.
  • Now for the tricky bit – feet! Pugs are renowned for their ticklish toes, so it is important to get him/her accustomed to this part of the routine very early on. After touching the feet for just a few seconds, give an extra-special treat and lots of attention. Over the course of several sessions, touch the feet for longer.
  • Finally, brush his/her teeth gently
  • At the end of every session, give him/her lots of praise, a treat and play a fun game together as a reward.
  • It will be helpful to teach your puppy the “Stand” and “Down” commands, so you can put him/her into the most convenient position for the work you are doing

Pugs can be sensitive about having their feet touched, so practise from an early age.

BATHING

Although Pugs hate getting wet on walks, most loved to be bathed – after all, being bathed in warm water in a warm room is definitely better than getting cold and muddy outside! Plus, of course, they also adore being the centre of attention.

Some people bath their Pugs in a sink. This is fine if you have a shower attachment that will reach. An alternative is to raise your dog up in the bath – a small plastic table will allow you to reach your dog easily, use the bath shower attachment, and avoid backache! Another alternative is to put the non slip mat actually in the bath and kneel down to wash Pug.

There are now many people who run small grooming businesses who will take your dog and wash it and trim the nails at the same time which is a perfect system for those short of time.
Bath your Pug as necessary. Some require just a couple of baths a year, while others are mucky little souls that need a dip in the tub once a month. Use a mild dog shampoo; a harsh shampoo will strip the natural oils from the coat,

  • Making sure that your dog’s eyes are shielded, wet the coat thoroughly with warm water (not hot) water.
  • Apply the shampoo as directed on the label (often, it needs to be mixed with a little water before it is applied to the coat)
  • Massage into a rich lather, working into the coat, down to the skin, and all over the dog’s body.
  • Thoroughly rinse away all the suds (again being careful that none get into the eyes).
  • Wrap your dog in a towel, remove him from the bath, and rub the coat to dry; you may need several towels to finish the drying process.

NOSE

The Pug’s over-nose wrinkle can collect dirt and debris that, if left, can cause infection and sores. It is really important to check the over-nose wrinkle daily. It should be wiped with a damp cotton pad and then dried carefully.  Baby wipes are very suitable followed by a dry tissue.

If the nose becomes dry and crusty, a tiny dab of petroleum jelly can be applied to
moisturise it.

EYES

Check the eyes daily and remove any build-up of debris that may collect in the corner, using a moist cotton pad (a separate one for each eye to avoid cross-infection). Make sure no lint from the pad gets into the eye.

You should also check that the eyeball does not become dry – a problem that can occur at any time in a dog’s life, but is more common older dogs. If “dry eye” does occur seek immediate veterinary advice, as artificial tears may need to be applied.

GROOMING ROUTINE

  1. Brush the coat all over, using a soft bristle brush or a hound glove.
  2. Clean the wrinkle over the nose, removing dirt and debris.
  3. Clean the ears with a cotton pad, making sure you do not probe to deeply.
  4. Trim the nails, using guillotine nail-clippers.
  5. Teeth should be brushed using a canine toothpaste.

EARS

Pugs do tend to get dirty ears, so wipe them with a moist cotton pad regularly. Do not push into the ear, or use cotton buds, as you could push dirt further down, and may even damage the ear. If the ear becomes red, smelly, has excess dirt, or is irritating your dog (he may scratch at his/her head or shake his/her head), seek veterinary advice.

FEET

Check your Pug’s feet daily, particularly after walks, as brambles and grass seeds can become embedded in the pad, or between the toes. Also keep a lookout for interdigital cysts – sore, red lumps that weep, and will require veterinary treatment.

NAILS

Even if you walk your Pug on hard surfaces, his/her nails may not wear down naturally, so they should be checked regularly. If your Pug’s dewclaws were not removed, they should also be checked.  If the nails are left long, they can grow around and dig into the foot, and can also cause eye damage if the Pug scratches him/her self or plays with other Pugs.  Long and untidy nails also spoil the appearance of the foot and they could also hurt you.

A Pug’s nails should be black, which means you will be unable to see the “quick” (the nerves and blood supply that run vertically down the centre of the nail). If the quick is cut, it will bleed profusely and will be incredibly painful to the dog. Infection could also result. To avoid this, take just a small amount off at a time, using a guillotine-type nail clipper or a special scissor for dog nails or you can invest in a small electric dog nail grinder. If you do get a bleeding nail, there is a special powder that you dip the bleeding nail in; just put some powder in a lid or small container (not the pot that the powder comes in) and hold the nail in the powder; the bleeding should stop pretty quickly.  You can also try pressing the nail into a bar of soap that has become rather soft having been left in water.

If in doubt about how long the nails should be, or where you should cut to, ask your dog’s breeder, vet or the nurse to show you. Do not take any chances – Pug’s are so phobic about their feet that any unpleasant experience will heighten your pup’s fear and you will have great difficulty getting anywhere near his/her feet in the future.  Nail cutting is not a lot of fun, but if it needs to be done, get on and do it; don’t put it off and make matters worse.

TEETH

Small breeds are renowned for their dental problems – and the Pug is no exception. It is really important, therefore, to get your puppy used to having his/her teeth cleaned from a young age.

  • Apply a pea-sized amount of special canine toothpaste (available from pet stores) to a small toothbrush or finger brush (that fits over the tip of your finger).
  • Do not use toothpaste intended for human use – doggie varieties come in palatable meat flavours.
  • Open your Pug’s mouth and gently brush the teeth.
  • Do not stop if your dog wants to play with the brush – just carry on brushing for a couple of minutes, and then give lots of praise and a reward.
  • Finish the session with a fun game.

If this becomes a daily routine, your Pug will learn to accept it. Some Pug’s race into the bathroom every morning and wait to have their teeth cleaned – some even have their own head for an electric toothbrush!

Pug puppies usually start teething from the age of three months. The baby teeth will start to fall out and the permanent, adult teeth will grow through. During this time, your Pug is likely to gnaw more than usual, so stock up on suitable chews in preparation. You should also check the teeth regularly to ensure that the adult teeth are not growing through before the puppy teeth have fallen out – sometimes a puppy can retain the milk teeth. Seek veterinary advice if you suspect he/she requires professional dentistry.

GROOMING ROUTINE

  1. Brush the coat all over, using a soft bristle brush or a hound glove.
  2. Clean the wrinkle over the nose, removing dirt and debris.
  3. Clean the ears with a cotton pad, making sure you do not probe to deeply.
  4. Trim the nails, using guillotine nail-clippers.
  5. Teeth should be brushed using a canine toothpaste.