Making Friends: Introducing Your Pug to Your Other Pets



Adopting a pug is one of the most exciting moments for every owner. With so many pugs available from reputable pug rescues, it’s easy to fall in love.


Pugs are affable creatures, who generally get along well with most other pets, so introducing a pug to your household, is often not too difficult. Still, there’s no guarantee your other pets will be as excited to welcome the newbie into their herd (or grumble as a pack of pugs is call).


So, how can you introduce your pug to your other pets and make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for everyone involved?


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Introducing Your Pug to Your Other Pugs


Introducing a new pug to your resident pug is typically a pretty easy process, but avoid the urge to throw everyone in a room together and let them sort it out. It’s better to have the first introduction on neutral ground (like the yard or a nearby park). 


Remember that tired pugs are well-behaved pugs, so before you make the introduction allow everyone plenty of walks and playtime so they’re both tired. Make sure both pugs have enjoyed a good meal. Keep some yummy, small, training treats on hand.


When you introduce your pugs, give them both plenty of praise. Offer them each training treats. Give them lots of pets and encourage them to play together. Let them sniff each other and carry out the typical dog introductions (a.k.a butt sniffs).


If one pug seems aggressive or upset, go ahead and give them some space apart. (Introductions are best done with two people and with pugs on leashes). Take the pugs aside and play for a few minutes, then reintroduce. It’s important that everyone remains calm during the process.


In most cases, within a few minutes, the pugs will be getting along fine and even playing. Then you can bring them both into your home. Remember that your resident pug is used to “owning” the territory. Stick to routines and allow them to have run of their usual space.


Your resident pug may need space and quiet time. Don’t expect them to share water bowls, beds, or toys right away. Make sure your resident pug gets plenty of praise, one-on-one time and attention. This can be especially challenging if your new pug is a puppy (and because you’re likely excited about your new pug) but take it as slow as possible, to allow your resident pug time to adjust. After all, he or she didn’t really ask for a new roommate.



Do most pugs get along? Yes. It’s rare that two pugs will get territorial or argumentative. Still, especially in rescue-cases, your new pug may have some emotional baggage. It may take time before everyone learns to get along. You may need to separate everyone during mealtime and when they are home alone. It’s best not to leave your new pug and your resident pug alone together until you’re very sure that everyone is friendly.


Introducing Your New Pug to Other Dogs


When introducing your new pug to a resident dog, follow the steps above. Because pugs are small and vulnerable due to their protruding eyes and flat faces, it’s important to introduce them slowly to other pets.


Most pugs seem oblivious to the fact they are small in stature. Because of this Napoleon complex, and due to their inherent friendliness, they can come on a little strong toward larger dogs. Keep all dogs on a leash until you are absolutely positive that they get along fine. Even after everyone is comfortable together, it’s still a good safety precaution to keep them separate during mealtimes, or when they’re home alone together.


Pugs and other small dogs make great companions, but again, it’s important that they are introduced slowly and deliberately. Make sure both dogs are well-trained and getting along splendidly before leaving them alone together. Terriers have particularly different personalities from laid-back pugs, so it’s important not to force a friendship. Let it happen over time. 


What about humping? All types of dogs hump. Generally, it’s a dominance behavior that happens when one dog is feeling a little insecure about his position in the situation. This can seem strange if your normally innocent puglet is suddenly a crazed humper. It can also upset other dogs. If this happens, simply separate the dogs for a bit and redirect their attention to a toy or game. Always correct the behavior gently, but firmly so it doesn’t become a habit. 


Introducing Pugs to Cats


Some pugs are completely indifferent to cats and some cats are very comfortable around pugs and other dogs. In other cases, introductions can be quite challenging (and even dangerous). 


If you have a resident cat and you’ve decided to add a pug to your household, there are a few considerations. First of all, cats have sharp claws. With one playful or purposeful swipe, your pug can sustain a potentially horrible eye injury. With no snout to protect their protruding eyes, pugs are particularly vulnerable. 


Secondly, cats are very sensitive to changes in your household structure. Adding a dog to your household may seem like no-big-deal, but to your cat, it can be earth-shattering. In fact, some cats may experience health issues due to the stress of adding a dog to your family. 


With both these facts in mind, it’s crucial that you are very slow and deliberate when you bring a pug into your household with a resident cat. If it’s possible, trade bedding for a few days beforehand, so your cat can get used to the new scents associated with your pug. This will also help your pug get used to your cat so they aren’t overly invasive when they eventually meet.


When you bring your pug home, keep your new dog confined to one area of the house and allow your cat access to as much of the house as possible. Keep in mind, this was your cat’s territory first. They likely aren’t going to be excited to share. Again, follow a routine and keep both pets separate, until they seem indifferent about the situation. This can take several weeks. 


When introducing your cat and pug, keep your pug on a leash. Offer your cat plenty of treats and praise. Never force your cat to meet your pug. Simply “hang out” with your pug watching TV, reading, or doing another quiet activity. Allow your cat to come into the room and assess this situation. 


Never allow your pug to chase your cat. This may mean keeping your pug on a leash, even in the house for a while. Always ensure your cat has plenty of pug-free paths to his or her water dish, litter box, cat-tree, and other favorite areas (like the windowsill). 


As the owners of four cats and four pugs, one way we keep everyone safe is by using claw caps on our kitties. This is a cruelty-free alternative to declawing your cat, but it keeps their sharp nails safely covered, so a wayward swipe doesn’t scratch out a pug’s eyeball. We’ve been using the caps for years on our kitties and they don’t seem to mind it a bit. When one falls off, we trim their nail, and glue on another using the nail adhesive provided in the package. The claw caps generally stay on between 4-6 weeks.


Pugs and cats can end up getting along quite well. In fact, our three cats who have been around pugs since they were kittens, will even snuggle up to our pugs occasionally. That said, our oldest cat (who was the resident pet before we had any pugs) keeps to herself and simply avoids the pugs by staying in her preferred (pug-free) areas of the house. 


New Pugs and Other Resident Pets


Pugs are curious and friendly. If you have a rabbit, lizard, hedgehog, fish, or bird, most pugs are curious for a moment, and then quickly accept their little buddies. Pugs don’t have a high prey-drive so they aren’t likely to harm your small pet, but it’s still a good rule to never leave them alone unsupervised--even friendly “play” could lead to injury of a small friend.


Most pugs will simply sniff their new pal for a minute and watch them curiously. They may try to engage with them. Be sure your other pet is comfortable and feels safe. After all, even if you KNOW your pug has good intentions, they still see a “giant” dog coming their way. To a small animal, a pug can be as scary as a wolf!


It’s tempting to have your pug and their new friend hang out for the perfect “Instagram” opportunity, but always think of the welfare of your pets first. A photo opp isn’t worth emotional trauma and the fear your little pet may experience. It’s not necessary for your pug to be BFF’s with your guinea pig, bird, gerbil, or hamster. In fact, they may be perfectly happy NOT meeting their new neighbor (ignorance is bliss)!


If your home and heart are big enough to add a pug, there are many available for adoption. In most cases, you can find a way to comfortably introduce your pug to all your other resident pets.  Check with your local pug rescue to find your new BFF. Pugs are a wonderful addition to every family. 

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