Here at Pug Life Magazine, we like to keep our advice practical. We often focus on health tips and advice on pug care rather than simply telling you how to spoil your dog. But sometimes, you’ve got to get just a little frivolous.
After all, pugs don’t take life too seriously and neither should we, right?
Recently, our oldest pug, Frankie has been going through some serious eye problems with idiopathic uveitis, we can’t seem to get past. We’ve been going on weekly (sometimes multiple) trips to the eye specialist and he’s on a regimen of 25-30 eye drops a day. He’s been bummed out about it and to be honest, so are we. As pug parents, we’ve decided it’s our duty to spend some extra time spoiling our sweet boy while he gets through this tough time.
When humans are feeling poorly, we often think we need some self-care: a trip to the spa, eating our favorite comfort foods, a massage. Pugs are no different! Frankie (and his brothers, who have been taking such good care of him) are getting some special pampering these days--even more than usual.
Pug owners know just how important our little fur-babies are. Pugs are a breed that inspires hyper-loyalty and fandom. We can’t help but fall in love and want to treat our pugs to all they deserve. So here’s how to spoil your dog, treat them like the amazing little creatures they are, and give them all the extras in life.
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1. Spoil Your Dog with Their Favorite Snackies
Let’s just be honest here--the easiest way to your pug’s heart is through her stomach. Pugs love food (sometimes to a fault). While it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and avoid snacks that could be bad for their health, a treat is always appreciated and deserved.
Our pugs love Bil-Jacs which are great training treats because they’re small and apparently quite high value. Newman’s Own Organics Peanut Butter Treats are a favorite cookie. Greenies are another super treat they love, but have to enjoy separately, because they can cause a scuffle and some jealousy. We found that rawhide and bully sticks cause a lot of stomach upset for our pugs (who tended to eat them too fast) so we offer Kong toys and Nylabones as chew treats. Kong toys are particularly great because you can fill them with peanut butter and freeze them for an extra special treat.
Other snackies that pugs love? Veggies! Green beans, small chunks of carrot, sweet potato, pureed pumpkin or peas are great options. Our pugs LOVE veggies nearly as much as any of the commercial treats we buy for them. Plus, veggies are low calorie healthy treats.
2. Treat Your Pug to a Spa Day
Pugs need to go to the groomer regularly all year round. A groomer can help your pug by grinding their nails, expressing anal glands, washing and furminating your pup. However, many of these jobs can also be done at home and it’s important for pug owners to keep up with routine pug care.
Dog’s teeth should be regularly brushed. How regularly? Well, some sources say daily, believe it or not. If you’re not up for that, a few times a week will help your pug avoid some of the major health issues that come from poor dental hygiene. Use a toothpaste made specially for dogs (people paste can have Xylitol which is toxic to dogs). Some owners prefer finger brushes, while others like a small tooth brush.
Pampering your pug with a bath and a good, thorough brushing is something that most pugs enjoy. Even if they aren’t huge fans of the bath part, the brushing will help them look fluffy and keep their coat healthy. When it comes to pugs, they’re heavy shedders, so use a shed-minimizing brush like the Furminator. You may remove enough fur to make a second pug!
3. Take an Extra Long and Leisurely Walkie
Want to give your pug what he really wants? Take him for a long, leisurely walk. Let your pug stop to sniff every rock, shrub and tree they want. Allow them to roll over on the grass, or explore the rocks. Of course, you should always keep your pug on a leash and harness (collars aren’t good for pugs or brachycephalic dogs). If you want to treat your pug to something special, how about a cute new harness? We love Puppia, but Frenchie Bulldog Harnesses are also high quality and come in the cutest patterns!
Keep in mind, retractable leashes can be dangerous for both you and your pug--even though it seems like more freedom, you have less control should your pug wander into the road or near a less-friendly dog. Retractable leashes can cause cuts, rope burn and other injuries in humans, and they can break. Keep your pug on a regular leash instead.
Pugs aren’t speed walkers, but they definitely enjoy exploring and sniffing around. If your pug isn’t able to go for long walks, you may want to invest in a stroller, so they can still get some fresh air. A Pooch Pouch is another way to take your pug on adventures. Just be sure to let them down to explore a bit--exercise is important!
4. Provide a Super Luxurious Nap Spot
Pugs LOVE to sleep and nap. It’s true, they’re champion nappers in any space or sunspot. But if you want to treat your pug to something special, a new bed is a great present for them.
We’re partial to Nais Products pet beds, which come in the cutest patterns ever. While you’re on Etsy, go over to visit Kelly Dorsey’s shop as well to get a pug sleep mask for yourself (she also has cute bibs).
If your pug has orthopedic issues, you may want to get them a special memory foam bed, which can cradle their little joints. In the summer months, pugs love cooling mats which help them beat the heat and chill out. Elevated beds or cots are a great option to get air circulating around your hot dog. Your pug may insist on still sleeping on you, but when you’re away it’s nice to give them some additional options.
5. Snap and Share Some Pug Love
Pugs are perfect models. If you’re looking for Instagram tips check out our ebook on how to get your pug noticed. In the meantime, snap and share photos of your beautiful pug baby! It can be fun (if your pug is willing) to photograph your pug in fun attire or enjoying different antics throughout the day.
The pug community is one of the most supportive and friendly groups out there. For some reason, pug owners (or at least, all the pug owners we’ve met) seem to be awesome, kind and helpful. They also love sharing and viewing photos of their sweet pug babies.
While your pug may never realize they have so many friends on the Internet, it can be a great place to find the answers you need when your pug is going through a tough time. Pug groups and online communities are also fun to follow and share. Many rescues, like @homeward_bound_pug_rescue, @thepugqueen, @pug_rescue_austin and @pugnationla are great places to follow and check out for all things pug! Of course, @puglifemagazine and @darklordpug (and our baby @peeweesbigpugventure) are also great accounts (even though we’re a bit biased).
6. Show Off Your Pug Pride
Want to show off your love of pugs? Pick up some pug gear to be the proudest Mama or Papa on the block. @portiathepug_paw_pal_auction often shares great pug items to purchase and the proceeds go toward pug rescues and pugs in need.
We sell our pug designs at Dark Lord Pug and there are many other fun pug designers out there as well. Gemma Correll is one of our favorite pug artists and her cartoons are totally relatable and hilarious. Mike Norton’s comic book Battlepug is another fan favorite, we highly recommend.
Pugs pop up in culture all the time and the breed seems to instill a loyalty like no other. Pug owners and pug fans love to show off just how much they adore these strange little alien creatures. Join team pug by showing off your pug pride!
7. Join in On Pug Games
If you want to pamper and spoil your pug, playing with them is an easy, meaningful way to bond with your dog. Some pugs are totally into fetch and other “dog games” but many pugs march to their own drum. You may find your pug loves to simply chase you around the yard, wrestle with a favorite stuffy or chew on a Kong for days.
Pugs are playful and they love to scribble scrabble with their other pug buddies. Always keep an eye on your pug when they’re around other dogs, because sometimes they forget their own size and can get into trouble with bigger dogs.
For the most part, pugs are extremely playful and love to roll around and wrestle. They’re highly trainable and really enjoy learning new tasks and tricks. Try starting with easy commands like shake or high five, and work up from there. Your pug will catch on quickly and relish the chance to show off and get praise as they master a new skill.
8. Visit a Pug Event or Meetup
There are so many pug events! Imagine a room filled with thousands of pugs, pug gear and pug people! It’s a real thing! In fact, Pug Festivals take place around the country pretty regularly. Milwaukee Pug Fest is one of the biggest pug festivals, with the proceeds benefiting pug rescues.
There are also many pug meetup groups in major cities like Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles and New York. You can find groups of fellow pug people who would love to meet you and your baby. It’s great for pugs to have other pug-pals who are the same size and temperament, especially because some pugs don’t seem to be aware they are “dogs” (we’re pretty sure our pugs believe they’re human).
If there aren’t any pug events or rescues in your area, put out some feelers on social media or start your own meetup group. Pick a dog park nearby or check for playdates at your local Humane Society. Once you have a space, invite a few other pug owners to join you. Wait for the happy snorts and heavy breathing when pugs get to play together (don’t forget to take lots of photos!).
9. Pamper Your Pug with a New Look
Pugs are extremely amicable to being dressed up. Not every pug, of course, but most will allow you to put a t-shirt, sweater or jacket on them. Some pugs quite enjoy the attention and extra warmth when the weather’s chilly.
Pamper your pug with a cute new sweater, fancy rain jacket or fun t-shirt. You an even find plenty of sports gear so your pug can represent your home team. If the weather’s warm, or your pug prefers to be naked, a bowtie, or bandana will add a little style to their look.
Harnesses are another fun way to change up your pug’s style. Look for cute patterns or different styles so your pug can change things up with the seasons.
10. Spend Some Quality Time with Your Pug
All of these ideas are fun and many will make you, the owner feel a little pampered as well. But let’s be real for a minute. When it comes down to it--the most important thing to your pug is spending quality time with YOU!
We all joke about how much pugs love food, toys, walks and friends, but you’re truly their best friend and they’re your loyal companion. Pugs are people-dogs. Ever since their origin, when they were bred to keep emperors warm by sitting in the sleeves of their robes. Pugs have been the ultimate sidekick, wingman and bff of dogs. If you want someone who will always be by your side, get a pug. You’ll never even go to the bathroom alone, if you don’t want to.
If you truly want to pamper and treat your pug, give them love, spend time snuggling with them on the couch or sitting with them on the porch. Pugs just want to be near your side, knowing you’re there for them. Love your pug and they’ll love you back for life. That’s why pugs are the best!