Pugs and Breathing Issues

Pugs and Breathing Issues

There is nothing cuter than a Pug when they are puppies and the fact they grow into such comical and fun characters to have around means they have become one of the most popular breeds on the planet. However, like so many other pedigree dogs that have short noses or flat faces, Pugs tend to suffer from some quite serious breathing issues which should never be ignored.

Pugs often have difficulty breathing in certain situations because of the fact their airways are so compacted. Dogs cool their core body temperature down by panting and the breed cannot do this as effectively as other dogs which puts them at far greater risk of over-heating and suffering from heat stroke. If they are not cooled down in the correct way quickly enough, it could prove fatal to these little dogs. There are several reasons why Pugs have such trouble with their breathing which are as follows:

Undersized Nostrils - Stenoic Nares

Some Pugs have smaller nostrils which is a condition that vets refer to as Stenoic Nares. As a result of this, dogs have a much harder time drawing in enough air to breathe normally and this in turn puts a lot of strain on their systems. The result is they sound like they are really struggling just to breathe which can be extremely worrying for their owners. A vet would be able to correct the problem by surgically enlarging the size of a dog's nostrils and the success rate is known to be extremely good.

A Soft, Elongate Palate

Many Pugs are born with soft, elongate palates which as a result makes it that much harder for them to draw breath. Dogs sound as if they are snoring or even gagging with a gurgling sound occurring whenever they take a breath. Again, a vet would be able to correct the problem surgically with the success rate being extremely good.

A Build-up of Bacteria

Because Pugs have lots of folds around their noses, the risk of bacteria building up is that much greater and as a result this can lead to dogs developing all sorts of infections which can cause a respiratory disorder. It's really important to keep a Pug's face nice and clean to prevent any bacteria from taking hold in the rolls of skin around their faces and noses to reduce the risk of this happening. Should your dog develop a respiratory disorder, it's important to get them along to the vet sooner rather than later because the earlier a treatment can be started, the easier the condition would be to clear up.


Pugs are also known to be sensitive to lots of things that may be in their environment and even in their diet. They could also develop an allergy due to being around cigarette smoke. If you notice your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction, it's best to get them along to see a vet so they can be properly examined. Once the root cause of the problem has been established, which may take a bit of time, the vet would recommend a treatment and maybe even a change in your dog's diet.


Pugs carrying too much weight are more at risk of developing breathing issues especially when they get too hot. Because of the shape of their faces and noses, Pugs really have trouble taking in enough air when the weather is really hot. When these little dogs cannot cool down enough, it can lead to heat stroke as previously touched upon, and the fact they are obese makes their situation that much worse for them to cope with.

It's really important to keep an eye on your pet's weight and to make sure they get enough regular daily exercise so they work off their calorie intake. If your Pug is overweight, you need to keep them cool and put them on a controlled diet so they get rid of the excess weight they are carrying, but only after having discussed things with the vet.

Contacting a Reputable Breeder

If you are thinking about sharing your home with a Pug puppy, it's important you contact reputable, well established breeders who make sure they only use healthy dogs in their breeding programmes. This is the only way of reducing the chances of any puppies inheriting any genetic respiratory health disorders from their parents. Pugs that boast faces that are too flat or when their noses are far too short are more likely to develop breathing issues. These issues could start when dogs are still very young and which could seriously impact the quality of their lives.


Pugs are lovely little dogs with clown-like personalities which is why they are such a pleasure to have around. However, the breed is known to suffer from certain breathing issues which are worth making a note of if you are thinking about sharing your home with one. Being forewarned means being forearmed so if a problem does manifest itself and your Pug has trouble breathing, you'll know what to do and get your dog along to the vet as soon as possible.



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