Why Do Pugs Have Breathing Problems?

pug lifespan

Owning a Pug brings so much joy to your life! However, behind their endearing nature lies a battle that often goes unnoticed – respiratory problems. Pug breathing problems can cause discomfort and even result in severe health complications. That’s why it’s essential to educate ourselves about these challenges and take proactive steps to ensure the well-being of our furry friends.

Do all Pugs have breathing problems?

Although not all Pugs have breathing issues, a significant percentage of them do. Breathing problems are common in Pugs due to their unique anatomy and genetic predispositions. Numerous Pugs have brachycephalic characteristics, such as a flattened face, constricted nostrils, and an elongated soft palate, which can contribute to breathing problems. These structural abnormalities can restrict airflow, making it more difficult for Pugs to breathe comfortably. 

Even though not every Pug will experience severe breathing issues, Pug owners must be aware of the potential risks and vigilantly monitor their pets’ respiratory health. Regular veterinary examinations, proper weight management, and avoiding situations that can exacerbate breathing difficulties are essential for the health of these lovable companions.

Pugs in warmer climates are more likely to experience hyperthermia, a potentially fatal condition characterized by abnormally high core body temperature. Because of their narrow air passages and inability to sweat effectively, they quickly overheat in hot environments. 

That’s why it’s especially important for owners to pay close attention to their pets’ body language this summer. Excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, or difficulty breathing are all signs of distress that need to be watched for. Avoiding strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day, staying in the shade, and drinking plenty of water can all help to keep Pugs and French bulldogs safe from heat-related illnesses. In hot climates, the safety and comfort of our four-legged depends on our vigilance and responsiveness to their needs.

pug breathing problems

Pug breathing problems: symptoms

When it comes to Pug issues with breathing, our adorable furry friends may exhibit a range of symptoms that warrant our attention and care. Let’s take a friendly journey through some of these signs:

Symphony of Snorts: Pugs are renowned for their unique symphony of snorts and snuffles. While it may seem endearing, excessive snorting or noisy breathing can indicate potential breathing difficulties.

Winded Wiggles: After a playful romp or even a short walk, you may notice your Pug becoming easily winded. They may display rapid, shallow breathing or panting excessively, indicating their struggle to catch their breath.

The Snore Brigade: Pugs have an uncanny ability to transform snoozing into a full-on snore brigade. However, if their snoring becomes increasingly loud or accompanied by frequent pauses in breathing, it’s time to pay attention and seek veterinary advice.

Tongue Tango: Keep an eye on your Pug’s tongue. If it consistently hangs out excessively, appearing bluish or purple, it could be a sign of inadequate oxygenation and warrant immediate medical attention.

Restless Napping: Is your Pug having trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position? Do they toss and turn more than usual? These restless napping patterns may indicate discomfort related to their breathing.

Remember, these symptoms may vary in severity and frequency. If you notice any persistent or concerning signs, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian who can provide expert guidance and ensure your Pug receives the necessary care to breathe easier and live a happy, healthy life.

pug breathing issues

What Pug breathing issues can occur in the summer?

During the summer months, when temperatures rise and heatwaves hit, Pugs can experience additional breathing difficulties related to overheating.  These are the symptoms of overheating your Pug can experience in the summer:

The Puffing Pug: If you notice your Pug panting excessively and rapidly, as if they’re blowing little pug-sized bubbles, it may be a sign of overheating. They’re trying their best to cool down by expelling hot air and regulating their body temperature.

Tongue Out Tango: Pugs have an adorable habit of sticking their tongues out, but when they’re overheated, you may notice their tongue hanging out further than usual. It’s their way of trying to dissipate heat and stay cool.

Languid Laps: Overheated Pugs may appear more lethargic than usual. They may exhibit decreased energy levels, seem less interested in playtime, and opt for finding a shady spot to rest and recover from the heat.

Seeking Shade: Pugs are masters of finding comfort, so if you see them actively seeking out shaded areas or cool surfaces like tiles or grass, they’re telling you they need relief from the heat.

Wilted Walks: Walking with your Pug during hot summer days can be challenging for them. If you notice them slowing down, lagging behind, or showing signs of discomfort during walks, it’s a sign they may be struggling with the heat and breathing more heavily.

Are you concerned about why is your Pug making weird breathing noises? 

Are you growing increasingly concerned about the peculiar breathing noises coming from your beloved Pug? Rest assured, you’re not alone in your curiosity and care for your furry companion. It’s natural to wonder why your Pug is making these unusual sounds and what they may signify. Pugs are known for their distinctive respiratory challenges, often attributed to their unique anatomy. Their flat faces, shortened airways, and other brachycephalic features can lead to a variety of breathing issues, causing them to make weird or snorting noises. 

These noises may include snorts, wheezes, or snuffles, which can be a result of obstructed airflow or the Pug’s efforts to regulate their breathing. While these noises can be disconcerting, it’s important to be proactive in monitoring your Pug’s respiratory health and seeking professional guidance if you have any concerns. Remember, each Pug is different, and what may be normal for one dog may not be for another. By staying attentive and informed, you can ensure the well-being and happiness of your Pug, helping them navigate their unique breathing challenges with care and support.

pug breathing problems

Are Pugs in pain all the time?

Even though your Pug might sound like it’s in pain all the time, the answer to this question is – No! Pugs are not in pain all the time like they sound. They can occasionally experience breathing issues when being exposed to physical exertion or hot weather.

What percentage of Pugs have breathing problems?

According to statistics, almost 30% of Pugs can face breathing issues during their lifetime. To make sure that your dog will live a happy life, we recommend you buying a puppy from a reliable breeder. 

A reliable breeder makes sure the puppies in the litter are completely healthy and that they don’t have narrow nostrils. Dogs with narrow nostrils often require to go through a surgery in order to improve their breathing.

What to do when your Pug can’t breathe?

As I watched my Pug, Baxter, breathe heavily and pant in the scorching summer heat, a wave of concern washed over me. It was clear that he was struggling to catch his breath, and I knew I had to take immediate action to help him cool down and breathe normally. Without hesitation, I quickly led him indoors, away from the sweltering heat. Inside, I placed him in a cool, well-ventilated room with access to fresh water. To aid in his cooling, I gently wet a towel with cool (not cold) water and placed it over his body, focusing on his belly and paws. I also turned on a fan to improve air circulation. As Baxter started to calm down, I continued to monitor him closely. It was important to keep him calm and prevent any further exertion that could exacerbate his breathing difficulties. If his breathing did not improve or if he showed signs of distress such as pale gums, confusion, or collapsing, I knew I would need to seek veterinary assistance urgently. In situations where a Pug is struggling to breathe, it is crucial to act promptly and take steps to cool them down. Here are some helpful tips for Pug owners facing similar circumstances:

Move to a Cooler Environment: Immediately bring your Pug indoors or to a shaded area away from direct sunlight and high temperatures.

Provide Fresh Water: Ensure your Pug has access to cool, clean water to stay hydrated. Consider adding ice cubes to the water bowl for an extra cooling effect.

Use Cooling Techniques: Wet a towel with cool water and gently place it on your Pug’s body, paying attention to areas where blood vessels are closer to the surface, such as the belly and paws. You can also use a spray bottle to lightly mist your Pug with cool water.

Improve Air Circulation: Turn on fans or air conditioning to enhance airflow and provide a more comfortable environment.

Keep Calm and Limit Activity: Minimize physical activity and keep your Pug as calm as possible to reduce exertion and prevent further breathing difficulties.

It’s important to note that if your Pug’s breathing does not improve or worsens, or if they exhibit severe symptoms such as extreme lethargy, pale gums, collapse, or difficulty standing, immediate veterinary attention is crucial. These signs may indicate a more serious condition, such as heatstroke or an underlying respiratory problem that requires urgent medical intervention.

As responsible pet owners, our Pugs rely on us to ensure their well-being, especially when it comes to their breathing. By being proactive, informed, and prepared, we can help keep our Pugs cool, comfortable, and breathing normally even in challenging situations, ensuring their safety and happiness.